Toronto Maple Leafs
Published by Toronto Mike on April 14, 2010 @ 22:33 in Toronto Argos, Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto FC, Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Marlies, Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus, Toronto Raptors
It seems like we were just talking about the Raptors gunning for fourth in the conference and a home court advantage for their first round in the playoffs. For those who don't follow the Raps, we finished ninth in the conference and that means we missed the playoffs for the second season in a row.
At least the Raptors played a playoff game three seasons ago. Our Leafs haven't played a playoff game since 2004. That's five seasons ago and six years. My daughter's about to turn six and she's not been alive for a single Leafs playoff game.
Of course, if we're talking playoff droughts in this city, the Blue Jays are the top dogs. The last Blue Jays playoff game ended with Joe Carter touching them all, and that was back in 1993. What's that, 17 seasons ago? Do we count the year they cancelled the World Series? Is it really 18 seasons ago?
At least it's tough to make the playoffs in baseball. Our Argonauts play in an 8 team league in which 6 teams make the playoffs, and they haven't qualified since 2007. It's not looking good for next season, either.
I could drag Toronto FC into this mess, but they're only in their fourth season. We'll excuse their three years of missing the playoffs. And the Marlies missed the playoffs, but they were there last year, if we're desperate for a silver lining.
Who am I kidding... there's no silver lining. The three teams with the largest fan-base, the Leafs, Raptors and Blue Jays, have collectively been absent from the playoffs since the Raps lost to Orlando in the first round back in the spring of good 'ol 2008.
Google Leafs Ad Funny Because It's True
Published by Toronto Mike on April 13, 2010 @ 20:51 in Toronto Maple Leafs
The George Carlin of the Barilkosphere, Down Goes Brown, is sharing this great Google ad.
Google gets us. They really, really get us.
I'm listed in the first page of Google results for that search, by the way. Watch the Wendel Clark "All Heart" video here.
Dear CBC, Please Give Us Back Our Beloved Bob Cole
Published by Toronto Mike on April 10, 2010 @ 21:29 in Toronto Maple Leafs
My Leafs just wrapped up their last game of the season. As you know, we were attempting to throw a wrench into the Canadiens' playoff pursuit. It was a great game, but Montreal got their point and clinched their playoff spot. I'll still win the bet, but Ron Wilson really should have pulled the damn goalie.
The game was called by Bob Cole. I loved every syllable he uttered. I love Bob Cole's voice and style, I always have. He provided the voiceover for all my favourite hockey memories. Every Leafs playoff goal of my life has been called by Mr. Bob Cole and I'll always love him for it.
Hearing his voice tonight, I realized how much better Leafs games are when he's behind the microphone. Not only do I hope Bob Cole doesn't retire, but I hope the CBC gives him back to us and has him call every Saturday night Leafs game next season. That's the way it used to be, and that's the way it should be.
Besides, I sense others don't appreciate him the way we do. Here's Exhibit A, or "Reason #42 as to Why Habs Fans Suck".
Please CBC, give him back. We love him, we need him and they don't deserve him.
Leafs Talk - Cautious Optimism in the Barilkosphere
Published by Toronto Mike on April 2, 2010 @ 13:59 in Toronto Maple Leafs
My beloved Toronto Maple Leafs were eliminated from the playoffs on October 4th, so I've been watching and following my team with an eye towards next season.
I'm cautiously optimistic, for three reasons...
- Our goaltending will be better
- The Frat Pack is emerging as an intriguing line
- Nazem Kadri will be here to centre Phil Kessel's line
Pension Plan Puppets has a great little Nazem Kadri update for us today.
Remember how last time we checked in, Kadri was on a ridiculous and totally unsustainable scoring pace, with 8 points in 3 games? Well... yeah. He's now sitting with 16 points in 6 games, putting him 4 points ahead of the rest of the pack for the OHL lead. Turns out he didn't get suspended for his misconduct at the end of game three of the first round, either. He picked up 4 points in game five to help London move past Guelph. They now face Kadri's old club, Kitchener, where Naz had two points in a game one victory. A parting stat: Kadri has two points or more in every game this post-season.
Things can only get better, and they will. Go Leafs Go in 2010/2011!
What If Kerry Fraser Wasn't Blind?
Published by Toronto Mike on March 28, 2010 @ 20:44 in Toronto Maple Leafs
If you follow me on Twitter, you know I love those new NHL ads for the Stanley Cup playoffs. The two I've been seeing lately ask What if Bobby didn't fly? and What if Mario wasn't super?
Here they are. I never get tired of watching them.
What If Bobby Didn't Fly?
What If Mario Wasn't Super?
About three hours ago, after watching the Bobby Orr ad again, I tweeted my prediction as to what will be the third in the series. I predicted it would ask "What if Kerry Fraser wasn't blind?"
It seems fellow Barilkospherian General Borschevsky had the same idea, tossed it over the wall to Bloge Salming, who made that third ad for the NHL.
Great minds think alike...
The Habs Bet With Metric Julie: The Terms
Published by Toronto Mike on March 26, 2010 @ 09:09 in Habs Suck, Toronto Maple Leafs
Last Sunday, I appeared on The Team 990 in Montreal. If you haven't heard my 8-minute segment yet, click on over and give it a listen.
I made a statement that's ruffled a few Habs fans feathers. I confidently predicted that my Toronto Maple Leafs and their Montreal Canadiens would win the exact same number of playoff games this season. In other words, the Habs will be swept in four games in their opening round.
Metric Julie was on The Team 990 at that time, and she proposed a bet to make things interesting. I agreed, and now we've settled on the terms.
If the Habs fail to win a playoff game this year, Metric Julie will sing "The Leafs Are The Best" on Montreal sports radio. If you haven't heard this epic song, hear it below.
This is going to be fun. If the Habs win a game, I have to... nahhhh, it's not going to happen. No need to worry about it.
Go Leaf Go!
My Appearance on Team 990 - Pissing Off Habs Fans
Published by Toronto Mike on March 21, 2010 @ 20:30 in Habs Suck, Press Recognition, Radio, The Best of Toronto Mike, Toronto Maple Leafs
I appeared on Montreal's only English sports radio station tonight, The Team 990. The show is called Game Points and they had me on following their discussion about my blog last week.
It's not easy being cocky when your team hasn't played a playoff game in five years but I think I pulled it off. Have a listen and tell me what you think.
5 Years Ago Today, I Wrote About My Game
Published by Toronto Mike on March 20, 2010 @ 10:39 in Toronto Maple Leafs
Think back upon all the Leafs games you've attended over the years. Which was your favourite?
Five years ago today, I wrote about My Game. This game took place over twenty years ago, but it remains my personal fave.
I attended the last Toronto Maple Leafs game of the 1980s. I have the ticket stub to prove it. I attended the game on December 30, 1989 with my buddy Joe and it remains to this day the most entertaining game I've ever seen live. This is the story of my game.
The first 37:09 of play was dismal. In fact, we had brought a megaphone and began heckling our beloved Leafs. After one defensive lapse, we anointed a particular blueliner "Al I-Afraid-Of-The-Puck". The Leafs trailed the Boston Bruins 6-1 at this point and with only a few minutes left in the second we were literally playing the funeral march. We knew our limitations and overcoming a deficit of this nature against a far better team wasn't going to happen. Furthermore, prior to this game, the Leafs were 1-16-1 when trailing after 40 minutes. Conversely, the Bruins were 12-1-1 when leading after two periods. To make matters even worse, the Bruins had won six in a row against us.
This is when my game becomes legendary. After Vincent Damphousse scored to bring us within four, Gary Leeman began the unpredictable rally at 4:59 of the third. Only a couple of minutes later, Luke Richardson scored to make it 6-4. It was at this point that we began to believe in the unbelievable. Could we? Would we? Ed Olczyk brought us closer to this realization when he banked the puck in off Stephane Quintal behind Andy Moog. It was 6-5 and the blue and white express was in full effect.
I think it would have been extremely painful to have lost this game 6-5 after trailing 6-1 so late in the contest. Thankfully, I knew we'd complete this unprecedented comeback. I knew we had a couple more rabbits in the hat. Eddie O came through again on a break away to send my game into overtime. The Leafs could actually win this game they had no business being in. I was ecstatic, beside myself, in complete disbelief. I didn't want to tie the Bruins in this final game of the 1980s, I wanted to beat them.
With 1:41 remaining in the extra period and after Al Iafrate made a great play to keep the puck inside the blueline, Wendel Clark whacked home the winner. The Toronto Maple Leafs had defeated the Boston Bruins after trailing 6-1 late in the second. My voice is still sore from screaming after Clark's goal. It felt as if we had just won the Stanley Cup.
There were 16,382 of us there that night, but nobody left Maple Leaf Gardens happier than I. I had just witnessed a miracle that I'd never forget.
10 Post-Olympic Break Leafs Games
Published by Toronto Mike on March 19, 2010 @ 17:35 in Toronto Maple Leafs
I had quite the iron man streak of Maple Leaf recaps going. I had written a recap of every Leafs game since the start of the 2003/2004 season until Brendan Burke passed away. I couldn't find it in me to recap that night's game.
Post Olympics, I had another problem. There's now been ten games since the Olympics and I haven't written a single recap. I think I'm done with recapping Leafs games this season.
I've been watching, though, and following. The past ten games have actually been quite entertaining, and we've won six of them, including two against those hateful Sens. It's clear to me that my recaps have been holding us back, even though we did win one playoff series during my recap era, although that was against the Senators and probably shouldn't count.
We've got the team I love to hate, the Habs, on Saturday night, and I might be talking about it on Montreal sports radio Sunday night. We'll see if they can meet my hefty salary demands.
I'll just close this recap of my lack of recaps by saying Phil Kessel can score. He's at 27 and counting. Brian Burke's no dummy.
And oh yeah... Go Leafs Go!
The Great One and The Greatest One
Published by Toronto Mike on March 15, 2010 @ 15:06 in Toronto Maple Leafs
I love this photo of The Great One and The Greatest One.
[via Vintage Leafs]