"Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?"
Welcome Leaf fans. Today is Mats Sundin Appreciation Day at just your usual general borschevsky. Over at Pension Plan Puppets there's been a really good response to the announcement that Dougie and Wendel will have their jerseys honoured, in the form of Fanshots recognizing our heroes' greatest moments. In the same spirit, we would like to dedicate this post to Sundin, and some of his outstanding accomplishments and highlight his best moments in a Maple Leafs uniform.
Hockey is about excitment, and while Mats Sundin has not brought us a championship (or even a playoff spot recently), he does bring a level of excitment to every game, to every shift, and I fear his absence, while improving our chances of landing a high draft pick (I personally don't find any value in that), will also lead to an incredibly dry, dull, and boring season. At the very least, without Sundin, or any other superstar to lead them, and Ron Wilson's defence-first style of approach, highlight reel goals and memorable performances will be few and far between.
First up: Mats' does it all himself, scoring 2 goals in 14 seconds, single-handedly giving the Leafs a chance to comeback from a 3-0 deficit. The Leafs did eventually lose this game, but at least they were in it. Having Sundin in the line-up means you never give up hope.
Ironically, this next clip is also against Washington. Too bad it wasn't the same game. We can pretend I guess. With 21 seconds left, Sundin is Captain Clutch.
Sundin overtime magic: Game 1, first round vs. Sens, in Ottawa, 2001. I was at this game (and PPP was too). The goal looks awesome on TV, but it was incredible live. Best goal I've ever witnessed with my own eyes.
Sundin scores his 500th. In overtime. Short-handed. To complete the hat-trick. Because that's they way he wanted to do it.
Sundin ties the game with 18 seconds left. Oh ya, also, it's his 400th goal as a Maple Leaf. Mats loves the dramatic. So do I.
Against the Panthers, this game was basically a Sundin vs. Nieuwendyk battle of the titans, with Mats coming out on top. In on every goal, Mats had 4 goals, 2 assists, and led us to another overtime victory.
But can Mats Sundin hit? Ask Brad May.
Maybe that one was a fluke, but watch what Mats does here to Jagr in the playoffs, after a behind the back pass in the nuetral zone to no one. Basically, Jaromir gets what he deserves.
This one's my favorite. Mats hammers Jason Blake. Don't you just wish that was last year?
Finally, to fully appreiciate the greatness of Mats Sundin, one only has to remember that he was the inspiration for a series of brilliant commercials, indeed, the best commercials I've ever seen, for the NHL. If you've never seen these before, boy, are you in for a treat!
Even if you have seen this before, I bet your still gonna laugh when he says, "You're de wurst Leafs on erth!"
Fucking good times. Finally, some idiot reporter asks Mats if he's taking French lessons. If he's been reading my blog, then hopefully he's picked up one key phrase. Here's his reaction:
So, that's it. Hope you enjoyed. If Mats doesn't come back to Toronto and we don't get to enjoy any more of these great moments, well, I guess this is my way of saying, "thank you Mats, for the memories".