Have you ever played a really shitty round of golf. You know, you lose a ball a hole at least, can’t drive, chip or putt. Until the last hole you drive the shit out of the ball- longest drive of your life- straight down the fairway. You then chip the ball on to the green only to be followed by the greatest putt ever. To the point that as you walk off the course, you say to yourself, hey, I’m not so bad, next time I will kick ass.
Now, consider our beloved Maple Leafs. Every time the sky seems to be falling, you know they can’t win a game, let alone kill a penalty, the are free falling in the standings, everyone including the press is writing them off and what do they do???? They go on a mini streak. Pucks start going in when they shouldn’t, goalies are making saves they have no business making and guys like Colton Orr actually win a fight or two.
Don’t get me wrong, they don’t rise meteorically to playoff levels, no, they win enough games to be considered back into the hunt, do well enough to draw us back in and then, they will return to their mediocrity that we know so well. They will lose like they are losing now….and all will appear almost lost again.
So that is where we are today. The Toronto Sun has an article which basically says Ron Wilson is starting to realize that he doesn’t have the troops to win the battle. The Toronto Star has one that says kids are so bored with the Maple Leafs they are playing video games as opposed to watching Leafs games. The Globe and Mail has one questioning whether Ron Wilson actually deserves the reputation of being a good penalty killing coach.
Every blog around (this one especially) has written this team and players off as crap. The stage is set. Get ready to be teased as we get every year. Its about to happen again. Yes Maple Leaf fans, this is the time when the Leafs are supposed to complete the swan song and nose dive right to the bottom. But no, instead I am certain they will do exactly what they have done in the past, they will pull it together just enough to get our hopes back up. You know, they will hit that tea shot, chip and putt to get us all thinking maybe they aren’t that bad after all…
Unfortunately, for us, like the beginning of Major League, when all the locals comment on just how shitty the Indians actually are, we too know the truth. This team is devoid of real talent. The wholes are big and numerous.
When Mats Sundin arrived, after the Gilmour era, every problem the Leafs revolved around the fact that the Maple Leafs were one dimensional. Every single forward of any name or value that was brought in was done to play with Mats. Only one problem. None could play with Mats. None were as good as Mats. Now, the pressure is on Burke to find someone to play with Kessel. Kessel won’t be a superstar here unless he has someone of equal value to play with. None of the role players will be able to play roles as long as we don’t have depth. It’s really that simple.
You know it’s coming when Damien’s latest article talks about the reason why the Leafs won’t tank this year. The Leafs never tank. They tease. This is the time they do it, at our darkest day, when all looks lost, they will become our short term oasis. Enjoy it while it lasts, but don’t get sucked in….it’s not real, and let’s hope our own talent evaluators know better.