Thursday, October 28, 2010

You Win Some

Try to keep things in perspective. I guess that's the moral of the story.

Last night, Colton Orr's game-winning goal was admittedly one of the most abhorrent, vile, revolting - and hilarious - missed calls that any sleazy, insecure reporter with no friends can ever remember.

Here's some perspective: That's Versteeg making contact with the puck, right around cross-bar height, but well below shoulder height, which is all it needs to be for him to legally knock it to the ice and then legally play it into the net. Which he does. Except - no goal. The Leafs do eventually tie the game, but then the Islanders score on the powerplay in overtime after the Leafs are assessed - get this - a goaltender interference penalty.

One of the great calamities in recent NHL history.

Imagine dancing around like their team deserved the goal and the win! It's amazing these nitwits can live with themselves.

Here's a remarkbly similar goal which proves that pitchforking a goalie into the net is indeed a legal tactic, and I think that the Leafs are not employing it nearly enough.

I love GRBRZRKR's spirited reaction in that one compared to Toskala's stunning apathy from the previous year. Clearly, and so dishearteningly, we kept the wrong goalie two summers ago. (Glove tap to Jared and Clawson for reminding me of these two plays and making me find them.)

Here's one that's eerily similar to Tim Brent's second goal. Puck in goalie's glove. Goalie's glove in the net behind the goalpost. Except - no goal.

Oh well. That's the way she goes. What goes around comes around. Sometimes the lucky bounces don't go your way, but it all balances out right? Over an infinite number of years? I can wait that long. I guess I'd rather have all my bad luck when we have a bad team and it doesn't matter so much, and then collect on the good karma when our team is a contender. I really hope that's what's happening now.

This is my favourite way to get screwed. It's called Intent to Blow. It means it doesn't matter if the puck goes in the net before the whistle, if the referee, in retrospect, wished it hadn't.

The point of all this is, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, and sometimes you get screwed. No one should ever act like Leaf fans don't know what that's like. And most Leaf fans are aware they aren't the only victims of NHL ineptitude. Seems every team gets their (un)fair share. Just search on youtube for "disallowed goal NHL" and you'll find every team has their own little collection. Some of them are astounding, and some impact so heavily, like Brett Hull's skate in the crease, that they become a part of the folklore that drives their underdog image, their sense of destiny and purpose, or their desire to win.

Every year there's controversy, and every team has their list of complaints. But our list belongs to us and it's our right to vent and scream when we feel cheated. We'll defend the home side, same as anyone else, and so we should, and so should they. That's all part of cheering for your team and not being a passive, neutral observer.

It's part of the game and it happens to everyone, but it always sucks when it happens to you. It's senseless to dwell on it, but it takes more then a few make-up calls or lucky breaks the other way for things to feel repaired and fair and square. Eventually the frustration will pass, and winning definitely helps, but for certain dubious and unscrupolous events, only a Stanley Cup could make us ever truly forget.
You win some, you lose some. And what goes around comes around, we can only hope.

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