This season is over and the playoffs are but a distant dream to all Leaf fans yet to master the power of Inception. What now? Jump on a band wagon? Do you jump in withVancouverorMontrealwhen the inevitable “cheer forCanada’s last team” cries are made?
Hell no! No one gave a damn year after year when the Leafs were the final Canadian team. Cheer for someone else? No chance, instead I recommend some off season reading:
- The Three Musketeers: Right now there is a strong possibility ofToronto having three 30 goal scorers next year. That’s right, THREE. It wasn’t that long ago that Kessel became the only Leaf not named Mats to score 30 goals since Alexander Mogilny. This season had two with Kessel and Kulemin making the grade, and Grabovski right of their heels with 29. Toss in Clark Macarthur and you have Dartanian, fighting his way to the team lead in points. An instant must read classic.
- The Call of the Wild: A man named Lupul was once picked out of anAnaheim lineup on the cusp of a championship and thrown into the rough life of a Flyer. After moving to teams several more times he has seemingly found a home inToronto for now, but how will his ending the written? Will he immerge as top dog? (Odds are Pronger will be involved somehow)
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: In trainingcampNazem Kadri got into some trouble with the puck on the ice too often and was sent back to whitewash his risky play with the Marlies. When he was recalled his play was not up to par and he took off back across the street to Ricoh. His career was thought to be dead by some pessimists only to return as the funeral for this season was imminent and scored the first few goals of his career. To be continued?
- Garfield Large and In Charge: Looming over everything this season, reaping the rewards of all the hard work done by the players and the endless torrents of excited hockey fans, there is Richard Peddie and the Fat Cats of the MLSE Board of Directors. They make brief appearances say a few quick lines and depart. With any luck the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan will be featured in its final strip very soon and new ownership will focus on winning instead of getting money to buy more lasagna.
- Homer’s Odyssey: After a long war and finally fighting their way out of the basement the Leafs have embarked on their long voyage home to respectability. With some players lost to the sirens song of better opportunities most of this resilient crew from the ACC have remained together and are stronger then ever. Even more so since Captain Phaneuf was untied from that damn mast. Where will their adventure take them next? Worst case scenario would be a team with too many puck hogs.
My only suggestion is next time you roll a wooden horse intoBostonbe sure thatSeguindidn’t fall asleep in it before you leave.
These are only some of the terrific tales to be told in the coming months. So sit right down, read between the lines as you take in the playoffs. Let the other teams enjoy it while they can, after all the future for this team could be brighter then any of us ever dreamed and the Toronto Maple Leafs could weave another chapter into their epic tale.