Toronto Maple Leafs

A Leafs Fan Cheers For The Bruins (Because He Has To, And You Do, Too)

puckThis is going to feel funny, but here it comes...

Go Bruins!

BostonBRUINSlogo

That's right, during the first round of the NHL playoffs, I'll be cheering passionately and feverishly for the Boston Bruins, one of my five least favourite NHL teams. I don't want to cheer for the Bruins, but I have no choice, and neither do you, if you're a fellow Leafs fan. The reason is obvious.

bruins

Last year during the playoffs, many of you forgot the cardinal rule of the Barilkosphere. If you love the Leafs, you hate the Habs. It is written. In case you missed that gentle reminder from May 2010, here it is again for you.

LeafsIf another supposed Leafs fan tells me they're cheering for the Habs, I'm going to blow. The commonality amongst the people I'm hearing this nonsense from is that they're all young. It seems our youth thinks it's okay to love the Leafs and root for the Habs.

When I ask these young Leaf fans why they're cheering for Montreal, they give me the same two reasons:

  1. They're a Canadian-based franchise, and we should root for a Canadian team
  2. They're underdogs, and we should root for the plucky underdog

Kids, let me be clear: under no circumstance is it okay for you to cheer for the Montreal Canadiens if you love the Toronto Maple Leafs. There are no exceptions. Should Montreal face Ottawa in the conference finals, you cheer for an influenza outbreak that suspends the season.

Luckily, Montreal isn't facing Ottawa in the conference final. Montreal's facing Philadelphia, and that means for the next couple of weeks I'll be rooting with all my might for the Philadelphia Flyers. Normally, I strongly dislike the Flyers, but in this situation, as a die-hard Leafs fan, the choice is clear. Actually, it's not a choice at all.

If you know a young, ignorant, misguided Leafs fan who has decided to cheer on the Habs during these playoffs, please direct them here. We need to put an end to this despicable nonsense. Again, so there's no misunderstanding: If you love the Leafs, you hate the Habs. There are no exceptions.

Go Bruins Go!

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The Ongoing History of Optimus Reim

leafsLooking back at the 2010/11 Leafs season, I'm going to remember it as the year we discovered Optimus Reim. The Optimus Reim phenomenon has truly been something special.

As the season draws to a close, let's remember the year of Optimus Reim.

Jay Onrait shows the Optimus Reim logo on SportsCentre:

Great article by James Mirtle on the Globe and Mail web site about Reimer embracing the nickname:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/leafs-beat/leafs-goalie-embraces-optimus-reim-nickname/article1963475/

A photo of James Reimer's new helmet with Pucking Hilarious's logo on the side:

Optimus_Reim_Helmet

And of course, where everyone can order their own tee, including the new Optimus Reim Shirsey Foul tee:

http://www.puckinghilarious.com

James-Reimer-Optimus-Reim-of-the-Maple-Leafs

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Reimer, My Mazda, Ford Canada and $100 Worth of ACC Grub

LeafsI drive a 12 year old Mazda. I thought I'd get that out of the way before this entry is interpreted as some sort of Ford Canada love-in.

Yes, I was Ford's guest tonight at the ACC to enjoy the Leafs vs. Capitals. Ford's been very good to me over the years and I sincerely enjoy working with the good folks there. And yes, I was able to order anything I wanted from the super expensive ACC menu and it all went on their tab. A $12 hot dog never tasted so good.

To recap, Ford gave me the amazing 3rd row seat and let me eat and drink anything I pleased, but I still drive a 12 year old Mazda. Are you reading this, Ford? Don't you think it's time to put Toronto Mike behind the wheel of a new Fusion or Focus or even a Fiesta? Think about it...

Tonight, we were officially eliminated from playoff contention, but I didn't care. I was witnessing first hand the wonder that is named James Reimer. He was spectacular, and we let him know how grateful we are. He alone makes this summer different than any summer since the lockout. I'm certain we'll be in the playoffs next season.

Thanks again, Ford, for thinking of me and letting me order $100 worth of grub. Here are a few pics I took from the 3rd row, right behind the Leafs penalty box.

Leafs Game

Leafs Game

Leafs Game

Leafs Game

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0.1% Worth of Hope From the 3rd Row

leafsAccording to Sports Club Stats, the Leafs still have a 0.1% chance of making the playoffs this season.

0.1% doesn't sound like much, but it means everything to me. It means our game against the Capitals tonight matters, and thanks for Ford Canada, I'll be watching it from the 4th 3rd row of the ACC.

Remember when we started the season 4-0? Our odds of making the playoffs following that 4th win was 78.32%. Methinks we peaked too early.

odds

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Ron Wilson's Reimer > Rebecca Black's Friday

leafsRemember that song "Friday" by Rebecca Black we've been yakking about for a couple of weeks? That was soooo March 2011.

This is April, and Rebecca Black's Friday has been supplanted by Ron Wilson's Reimer. Of course you want the MP3 for your iPod! Here it is.

[via Down Goes Brown and Bloge Salming]

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5 Reasons to be Psyched About Next Season #leafs

leafsThat was far more fun than I thought it would be. We limped into the all-star break, with little hope and almost no reason to care, and have gone 15-7-5 since.

I don't know about you, but I sure started to care again. Leafs games became must-see-tv, scoreboard watching became an integral part of the process again, it was a lot of fun.

But alas, it's over. There's always next season, and I've got 5 great reasons to be psyched about the Maple Leafs 2011/12 edition.

1. James "Optimus Reim" Reimer
I'm afraid to even talk about this kid for fear of ruining his career. On that note, on to #2...

2. The Mac-Russian Line
Phil who? Our top offensive line all season has been Mikhail Grabovski, Clarke MacArthur and Nikolai Kulemin. All three have impressed me, especially Grabovski. He's our true all-star.

3. Our Lord and Savoir Luke Schenn
He's back, baby! And the young Jedi has more hits than any other defenseman in the league. It's a fact, you can look it up.

4. Phaneuf and Aulie
The emergence of Mohammed Aulie and the recent return to power of Dion Phaneuf has made this my favourite defensive tandem. How ya like that trade with Calgary now?

5. Mike Brown's Mustache
Mike Brown's mustache has been epic all season. Who wouldn't be psyched about another season of this?

62177666

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Finally, Playoff Hockey in Toronto

leafsIt's not the 4 points we're behind Buffalo that'll kill us, it's those 2 games the Sabres have in hand. That combination means this realist isn't getting his hopes up.

But that's okay. As commenter Ryan G. pointed out, we've been playing playoff hockey for the past few weeks.

that game felt playoffy because that WAS our playoffs. in fact the last week or two has been the first round of our playoffs.

sure the league nor anyone else recognizes that officially, but eff'em.

if we do in fact make it to their so called playoffs, it will be OUR stanley cup final.

and, if we make it past their so called first round of playoffs, there's really no more for us to do since that so called first round was our Cup final. so even if they want us to play in their so called second round, we'll just say no thanks, we're done...we've just won our Cup final.

and then when we get all the Leafs in convertibles, on like, a monday afternoon, and drive down yonge street, who cares if they don't really block off traffic for us.

and just wait and see what happens when our Leafs show up unannounced at the white house just like the blackhawks did this week..

Next season, Optimus Reim leads us to the Stanley Cup finals. You read it here first, folks.

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I Won't Blog About the Leafs Today

LeafsThe Leafs beat the Sabres last night in a very intense game that felt awfully playoffy, but I'm not going to write a word about it.

There will be no reference to the fact we're only four points back of 8th. I'm not even going to mention the fact we're just two points out of 9th. I'm not going to say a damn word.

In fact, this entry is over.

kingandhiscourt-water

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Which Leafs Jersey Should I Get?

leafs jerseyOn the heels of our "which baseball team to root for" flowchart is this handy "Which Leafs Jersey Should I Get" flowchart from Maple Leafs Hot Stove.

Click the image below to see it full-sized.

jerseyflowchart

According to this, I should get a Joey Crabb #46.

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Leafs 3 Points Back With Game In Hand #winning

leafsI loved last night's Leafs game. An overtime win against the Penguins got me out of my seat, screaming like it was a playoff game. Tonight, when Boyce scored late in the third against the Flyers, I did it again. Throw in a James Reimer game saving stop and it was clear I was hooked.

Here's the current standings. Take it in and meet me after, k?

standings

Those pesky Hurricanes are still 4 points up, and those damn Sabres still have the two games in hand, but the Rangers are falling fast. We're only 3 points back with a game in hand.

At the risk of jinxing it all with this entry, I'm going to come out and say what we're all thinking. We can make the playoffs this season. We're getting great goaltending, playing excellent hockey and earning points. We can do this.

#winning

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