Drink Coke – View on Path.
Miss my view from the long weekend – View on Path.
Yup, it has taken me 2 days to get past the heartbreak of the Leafs blowing a 4-1 lead in game 7 vs. Boston. I won’t lie, it stung. The excitement of thoughts of going to the 2nd round completely dashed.
But I am still so proud of my Leafs. Like I said before, they weren’t even expected to make the playoffs,they weren’t supposed to come back from 3-1 to force a 7th game, let alone take one of the Top 5 teams in the NHL (the Bruins realistically should have finished inside the top 5 without the slump following the Boston Marathon Bombings) to OT in that 7th game.
There were so many positives to take away from that series (as well as a fair share of things that need to be improved). Phil Kessel finally broke out against his former team, James Reimer stood on his head and kept the team in every game (after Game 1), and most impressively, it was a coming out party for Jake Gardiner and Cody Franson. Gardiner, now knowing he has confidence of Randy Carlyle, looked like a 15 year, Norris winning veteran every time he touched the puck. Franson had 6 points in 7 games, and 29 in the regular season. He is in for a big pay day, and he certainly deserves it.
Yes, the defence needs to be improved around Gardiner, Franson, and Mark Fraser. Reimer needs to improve his rebound control, but if he does, he can easily be a top goalie in the NHL. The need for a top line centre has decreased as long as Kadri carries over his production to next year, but some depth up the middle with high face-off win percentages is desperately needed.
Now, moving on to my views of different fans reactions to the loss, and to the Leafs in general. There are 4 types of fans that have constant interaction and responses to this team:
Montreal Canadiens Fans: Now, Habs fans are usually a classy bunch. They understand hockey, and they understand and appreciate the rivalry with the Leafs. However, this seems to be more of the view of the older generation, whereas people my age bring down the class by only comparing success to that of the Leafs. The amount of arguments I have seen (and been apart of) on Facebook in the last 2 days about which team had a worse/better playoffs, which team is on the rise, who will win the cup first is too numerous too count. But Habs fans involved just continue to use excuses about their team flaming out in Round 1, and frequently use the line “at least we didn’t blow a 3 goal lead”….”price was hurt”….”we are a young team”. Ok Montreal young fans, start paying attention to other teams and class up. The rest of Habs fans, keep on supporting a class act team that will eventually bring you another cup (although hopefully after the Leafs).
Ottawa Senator Fans: These are a special type of “hockey fans”. Before this series, I had little respect for many of their fan base (not anything to do with the team, just the way the fans act), and my beliefs were confirmed this week. Unlike Habs fans, which compare the 2 teams and love the head to head battle, Sens fan just seem to care about the Leafs doing poorly. Within 5 minutes of the loss, I had 6 mocking, sarcastic messages from Sens fan, which I am almost certain I would have gotten even if the Sens missed the playoffs and finished in last place. However, I do know 1 Sens fan, that although her hatred of the Leafs is strong, was actually interested in talking about both teams performance throughout the series. She was happy the Leafs did well (although mostly because it distracted them from hating the Sens), and I even kind of hoped the Sens won last night for her Birthday. I am glad I can be best friends with a Sens fan like her.
Bandwagon Leaf Fans: These are the “angry” fans. The fans that instead of holding their heads high, took to chirping the leafs, even going so far as complaining that watching the series was a “waste of time”. These are not true Leaf fans. They watch and cheer when the Leafs do well. They do not watch all (or the majority of) the 82 (or 48) game season, they do not know the stats, the trends, and the ins and outs of the team. They are the people that make Leafs Nation look bad.
Blue Blooded Leafs Fans: These are the true Leafs fans. They bleed blue and live and die with their team. If you can hold your head high and be proud that your team took basically the 2011 Stanley Cup Champions to OT in Game 7, then this is you. You follow the team no matter what, win or lose, and although we often complain (after all, there has been a lot to complain about), you still wear blue and white, and always support your Buds.
Dave Nonis has a his work cut out for him to make this team into a real contender, but it certainly is possible with an improved defence and better rebound control from James Reimer. Hockey fans, stay classy, and worry about your own team once in a while. Until the fall, it’s time for posts about the Blue Jays!
Carving fresh brisket for their brisket sandwich. The pictures speak for itself. It is so darn good!
Go get this now at Hill Country BBQ.
Looks so good!!!! Brisket sandwich
Beautiful ice mountains
Mary Lake | Lake O’Hara (by Feffef)
by Michael Badt
I was going to save this post for after the end of the Toronto/Boston first round series, but a few comments on Twitter and Facebook really irked me the wrong way last night, and I decided this should be said now:
When I was a kid, I remember watching my beloved Leafs lose in the Easter Conference Final to the Buffalo Sabres in 5 games. I was devastated. How could my team, that I cheered so hard for, the team I watched play night in and night out, lose like that? How could they let me down? I was 8, I probably spent the rest of the night crying about my team losing. For the next 13 years, it was “There is always next year”. For the last 9, this mostly meant another missed playoffs and decent but not top draft pick. Every new season brought new hope, only to see hopes dashed by February collapses. The same has been true for the Raptors and Blue Jays, and despite being alive for the World Series wins by the Jays, I have no recollection from that age, and have still yet to witness a Toronto major sports championship.
Last night, despite playing one of their best games all season, the Leafs fell 4-3 to the Boston Bruins in OT to fall behind 3-1 in the best of 7 series. The Leafs dominated play for much of the game, were aggressive, killed late penalties (including a huge 4 minute double minor), and just couldn’t seem to win. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. I would also be lying if I said I wasn’t proud of the way my team played, and proud to call myself a Leafs fan! I went to Twitter to read the reactions from many fans I follow. Some were reassuring, but many expressed extreme hatred and anger to Dion Phaneuf, who made a poor play that cost the game. Many tweets called for Phaneuf to be traded once the season ends, and I even saw some threatening messages. This is not what Leafs Nation is about, and I am writing this post because I beLEAF there is no reason to respond like that. Yes, fans have the right to be disappointed, especially since they pay the players salaries. I don’t think there is ever a reason in sports to respond with hatred towards an individual, especially when those individuals would perform nowhere near as well.
I know what it is like, I have been watching Toronto sports teams fall short and disappoint for 20 years. I remember the heartbreak from that Game 5 loss to Buffalo, and then again 3 years later in Game 6 to Carolina. But as I have grown older, I have realized that in the end it is just a game. It is entertainment, and the Leafs sure put on the what is likely the most exciting and meaningful game I have ever watched them play. I am embarrassed to be grouped with these people who call themselves Leaf fans, cheering for the team my Zaidy taught me to love from the day I was born. What matters to me is that for the first time in 9 years, and unfortunately my Zaidy isn’t here anymore to share the excitement, the Leafs have played exciting hockey. They have brought Torontonians together for the first time in 9 years, and we have shown the rest of the world that this city really is the “Centre of the Hockey Universe”. 5000 raging fans have showed up every night to Maple Leafs Square to cheer on the Buds, and I am sure it will be no different for Game 5 on Friday. If there is any silver lining, the Bruins know this series is nowhere near over, and they have a tendency for the dramatics, losing both of the series they lead 3-1 in the last 5 years, as well as a 3-0 series 2 years ago against the Flyers.
Sorry this is long, but I have a lot to say. Now, on to the team itself:
Considering 5 months ago there was a good chance we wouldn’t even have hockey, I can say I am still extremely happy with the season and the team. There was zero expectations of making the playoffs, with many “experts” placing them falling just short of the playoffs for the 9th year in a row. There is still fight in this team, and don’t be surprised if we get to see at least 1 more game in Toronto on Sunday night. The Leafs showed real tough and grit this season, leading the league in fights, hits, and having a top 3 PK. Not bad for one of the youngest teams in the NHL. All of the core of the team are on the right side of 30. Reimer 26, Kadri, 22, JVR, 24, Kessel 26, Lupul 29, Gardiner 22, Franson 25 are the makings of a really solid team for the next 5 plus years. While this post is not meant as a eulogy, it is a testament
Win or lose on Friday, this has been one heck of a season for the Toronto Maple Leafs, one I surely did not expect. There are many reasons to be excited for Game 5, and for the start of a full 82 game season in the fall. “There is always next year” suddenly is a lot brighter of a saying than it has been for the last 9 years.
GO LEAFS GO!!!
Fun times with Sarah! Except for the Leafs losing! – View on Path.
Mom’s freshly baked challah. #sogood #shabbat #alittlelate – View on Path.
Sill cousins! – View on Path.