Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Troubles Are All The Same

So, we're at the 3/4 mark for the season, with just 21 games to go, and the Leafs are dead last in the Eastern Conference, 29th in the NHL overall. Seemed like it might be a good time to take a break and hit the "reset" switch. Yet again. And then I found out that the Leafs don't play another game for 3 whole weeks due to something called the "Oplinkits" - according to my 2 and a half year old daughter - which I've never heard of until just now even though every four years it gets more media coverage then Christmas.

Speaking of Oplinkits, you might already know that I think that women that compete are magnificent. So I've had my eye on the Canadian Women's hockey team with some interest. In 3 games now they've outscored their opponents, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Sweden, 41-2. I especially like the line of Wickenheiser, Apps, and Piper, who've totalled 27 points between them so far in the tournament. Piper is from Toronto, and Apps of course is a granddaughter of Maple Leafs Hall of Fame legend, Syl Apps. Wickenheiser is in her 4th Olympics, as is sweet-skating Jennifer Botterill, and ultimate hockey-mom and stay-at-home defenceman (defencewoman?) Becky Kellar. Good luck, ladies!

More Oplinkits! Nice to see Matt Stajan's favourite teammate, Jerome Iginla, with the hat-trick last night. The Canadian defence moved the puck efficiently all game while the forwards looked dangerous and determined. About half-way through the game I realized that if I screwed with the tint-control on the TV I could kinda make their uniforms look sort of a pinky-purplish-blue, and with the Maple Leaf crest on their sweaters, I felt like I was watching a beautiful, psychedelic dream.

I still can't cheer for Danny Heatley. His second goal of the game to make the score 5-0 was just a rocket of a shot, but it didn't make me feel good. I don't admire the guy. I don't think I ever will. I don't care how good he is. Is that wrong, or is it right? Doesn't really matter much, it's just the way it is.

I'm looking forward to seeing Tomas Kaberle and Pavel Kubina re-united tonight when the Czechs take on the Slovaks. Speaking of Kaberle, which apparently I often do, I think it's worth pointing out that on the last Leafs' goal, scored by Kessel on the powerplay in the 2nd period against the San Jose Sharks, Tomas earned his 40th assist of the season, and the 400th assist of his career - all in the Blue and White. Maybe not as glamorous or outstanding as 500 goals, but I think it's still worth recognizing.

The Leafs last game, an uninspiring 4-0 loss to Carlo Colaiacovo, Alex Steen and the rest of the Unstempniak'd Blues, was disturbingly familiar to many, if not most, of this season's performances. Made me feel nostalgic for the good old slightly less crappier days. The temporary glitz and sparkle of the new Leafs sadly faded in that game, revealing a team very much reminiscent of the old Leafs, with similar results but only half the personnel. It occurred to me that since Wilson came to town, Fletcher and Burke have combined to trade Antropov, Moore, Colaiacovo, Steen, White, Hagman, Stajan, Mayers, Blake, Toskala, and two 1st round draft picks, for Phaneuf, Kessel, Giguere, Sjostrom, Stempniak, and two 2nd round picks.

So with nostalgia in mind, and nothing else for me to say, I've decided to end this post with some favourite pictures of familiar faces from the recent past, starting with Alex Steen and his visit to the dentist!
"Yeth, a thorthanded goal. Weally cruffed thier thpiwit."
"A'splode for glory!"
"Hey, look at me! I'm worth a 2nd round pick AGAIN! I can't wait to play for my new team, the Buffalo Sabres Florida Panthers Montreal Canadians. I made Jason Blake's contract seem almost reasonable! I should be a billionaire!"
"Whoo! Antropov is Atlanta Thrashers leading scorer now! Ilya and I are unstoppa... wait, what?"
Dear Vesa; Please wash that blue and white out of your equipment. Signed, Finland.
Jamal Mayers: Motivation leads to success, or in this case, doing stuff."I am the God of Misfortune!"
He's a complicated man, But no one understands him but his woman...IAN WHITE!"Happily married? Well, yes. Why would you ask?""See ya next year, everybody!"

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