Thursday, March 22, 2007

Oh, you don't say?

I want this blog to be pretty much only about the Leafs and not the NHL in general, and this does relate to the Leafs in a roundabout sort of way, but I need to vent for a minute.

So you know, the Toronto Maple Leafs are in a playoff race and all, trying to get that elusive last playoff spot in the East. Well, maybe even seventh. Or sixth, if Tampa really falls apart. Whatever, the goal is the playoffs, right?

But of course there's these other teams playing the games too and they all want to make the playoffs too. Well, sort of. Philadelphia probably gave up on the playoffs in mid-October, Washington is a year or two away from making a serious run, Boston gave up last season (this will be good for like, I don't know, five years? Seven?), and fucked if I know what Florida's doing.

So those four teams are out, and then there's the cats at the top of the standings. Buffalo, New Jersey, Atlanta (hey guys, welcome back from the dead, glad you could join us), Ottawa and ( really, really kills me to say this) Pittsburgh. They're all securely in playoff spots, so it's really just the last three in play. Tampa Bay has a pretty decent lock on sixth from the looks of it, so maybe we'll count that and not get too upset over them winning tonight. I mean, shit, does it really matter what that Jekyll and Hyde team does anyway? They're either going to take the division back, stay in sixth, or fall off the face of the earth. So yeah, let's not count them.

That leaves the Rangers, Islanders, Canadiens, Hurricanes, and of course our heroes, the Toronto Maple Leafs. They're all fighting for those last two spots. The Rangers played last night, demolishing the Flyers (and Todd Fedoruk, incidentally) 5-0 in a win that would have been a lot more impressive if they were playing last year's Flyers. I guess we can't be too mad at them, either, given that if they lost to Philly we all probably would have been laughing at them so hard we would have forgotten that there was even a hockey game, or several, on tonight. This post would probably just be "BRENDAN TRAN-AHAN" over and over and over again.

The Leafs also had the night off, which was ok, because the other three teams in the race all had games tonight and have all been spotty of late. I mean, what better opportunity to gain ground than to not actually do anything but let your opponents waste a game and make it easier for you, right?

Except it didn't exactly happen that way and all three of those teams fucking won. The Hurricanes beat Washington 4-3, which probably makes sense because Carolina SHOULD beat Washington but they haven't been winning those games lately and it would have been nice if they could have kept that up. The Islanders beat Pittsburgh just because the Penguins are a bunch of fucking assholes who fuck up everything that I want them to do. I hate them and want them to suck balls all year (because, for whatever reason, I don't think that getting yet another top five pick will help them in anyway... no, I tend to not think like that when it comes to Pittsburgh, I just want to see them lose and lose badly. I officially hate this team more than Ottawa now, and dammit, I'm a Leafs fan, I hate Ottawa more than Hitler hated Jews) so of course they go out and win all fucking year, have everything come together and end up not only in the playoffs, but possibly winning the division and getting home ice. If they don't win the division, they get to play Ottawa, which is fantastic because there's going to be nothing to draw me into the playoffs like the two teams I want swallowed up into the ground and die only happen to be in the same God damn first round series. Sure, one goes home, but one goes on, and fuck that. AND! To top it all off, when I want them to beat the Islanders to help the Leafs' playoff hopes out, well they fuck that up too. Fuck Pittsburgh.

Which brings us to Montreal. Montreal was down 3-2 after the first two periods, and then decided not only were they only going to shoot four times in the third in a bizarro attempt to get back into the game, but that they're going to score on all four of those shots. I'm not sure WHY they decided that was the best strategy but fuck me, it sure seemed to work out because the ended up scoring five unanswered goals in 22 minutes and slugging Boston 6-3. I mean, Montreal SHOULD beat Boston, but they should not beat Boston like that. Suddenly the up-and-down Canadiens I mentioned earlier today have won three straight (tonight's Boston game, another game against Boston where they won via 1-0 shutout, and the game on Saturday where they beat the Leafs in a shootout) and Toronto sits in 11th.

What a great day.

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