Toronto Maple Leafs

Loquaciously Combative When Lacking Factual Ammunition

leafsDisappointed in recent efforts from my Leafs, I wrote this. They then went out and laid an egg against the Panthers.

That entry did entice a chap who goes by the handle Whitby - Clark to wax poetic on the subject. The following words are his, and they are beautiful.

How can one emerge loquaciously combative when lacking factual ammunition?
In a perceptive state of despondence and exasperation I simply cannot congregate the fortitude required for the organization of an argumentative campaign. Alas; for this day I fall nothing short of incapable and disinclined.

Scarcity of integrity would be an acute definition to verbalize the least.
I fall witness to atrociousness; save Luke Schenn.
Failed attempts to provide victorious engagements have left this devotee in dishevelment. Depleted passion has seen the crescendo of inner animosities and discouragements regarding said saddening situation. Perhaps promises of gratifying ventures towards the horizons have become sequestered in an unobtainable fashion.
Absence of light at the cessation of the thoroughfare has left our denouement undistinguishable.

To you; issuance of surrender is the offering, accompanied by ones utmost sincere humility.
The branding has now become scarring as the wounds struggle through cauterization.
However be forewarned; vainglorious boasting will not bode will amongst the nation.
There will be a turn of tide, we will win again.

*while providing necessary amendments towards quotations care-of lunar expeditionary;*

“That’s one small step for [a] FAN, one giant leap for LEAFS NATION”

Degradationally,

Whitby - Clark

Just one thing... Leafs Nation is our slave name. In truth, drenched and blue and white forever, we are the Barilkosphere.

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Darkest Before the Dawn (And Other Such Bullshit)

LeafsArgh, I did it again. On October 16, following the Leafs' 4th win in their first 4 games, I declared it was feeling a little like '93. That was way stupid and way premature.

But that's the problem when you've endured such futility for over half a decade. You start to see what you want to see. Suddenly, Dion Phaneuf is Chris Pronger and Phil Kessel is Sidney Crosby. Hell, Phil Kessel is Han Solo. And Giguere, he's Patrick Roy. That's how it is here in the centre of the universe. We're starving for success and we see it everywhere as mirages and delusions of grandeur.

I believe in being accountable for my actions, so I'll take full blame for that crap I wrote on October 16. A 4-0 start fucked with our expectation levels and messed with our blue and white psyches. We're back to 11th in the conference, pretty much where you'd expect this team to be. Our true hopes and dreams aren't that we enjoy a Stanley Cup parade on Yonge Street this June but that we somehow play over our heads and slip into 8th in the conference.

Now that we're 1-6-3 in our last 10 games, what the hell do we do? Is it time to fire Ron Wilson?

Remember, it's darkest before the dawn. We'll be okay...

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Doug Gilmour Tribute

leafsMy favourite Toronto Maple Leaf of all-time is #93 Doug Gilmour.

YouTube user jokeswithoutlaughter is sharing a great tribute to Doug Gilmour entitled "Teach Me How To Dougie".

I've been trying to figure out how to Dougie for twenty years now.

[via Down Goes Brown]

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Bill Barilko Audio Recording - Listen to Bill Barilko Speak

Bill BarilkoFor the longest time, I was #1 in Google when you searched for Bill Barilko. Something called Wikipedia has since passed me, but I'm usually #2. I've maintained a tribute to Bashin' Bill for a decade, complete with video evidence of his overtime winner in '51, but I've never heard his voice... until today.

A site called barilko.ca is now hosting audio recordings of Bill Barilko. It's surreal hearing Barilko speak for the first time after wearing his #5 jersey all these years. Listen to him here chatting with his older brother Alex in Hollywood where Bill was playing for the Wolves in the PCHL. It's a greeting for their mother and sister Anne back home in Timmins.

[via @barilko]

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It Feels a Little Like '93

LeafsThe Leafs won again last night. I missed the game, as I was playing one myself, but the record shows Phil Kessel scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, to lead the Maple Leafs to a 4-3 win over the Rangers in New York.

You've likely heard that our 4-0 start is our best since '93. We won 10 in a row to start the '93-'94 season, making the calendar year of 1993 the most memorable one of my lifetime.

In the spring of '93, the upstart Leafs upset the Detroit Red Wings in a thrilling seven game series. My buddy Elvis just shared this tribute to game 7 of that series on Facebook, and I think everybody should watch it and remember what playoff hockey feels like. This was one of the most exciting games I've ever seen.

A couple of rounds later in '93, in a game seven against Los Angeles, Kerry Fraser ensured we wouldn't win the cup. But damn, 1993 was a fun year for Leafs fans.

You know what? It feels a little like '93.

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Justin Bieber Loves the Leafs

leafsThis Justin Bieber kids seems to be a pretty big deal these days. Did you know he's from Stratford, Ontario? That's prime Leaf fan territory, don'tchaknow.

Dude's got 5,707,831 followers on Twitter. 5,707,831 followers... that's even more than I have. He's got 5,707,831 influential, passionate fans clinging to his every Tweet, and guess what he just tweeted?

bieber

That's right, Bieber's a Leafs fan. And now so are 5,707,831 others.

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Jeff Finger Signing Never Made Sense

leafsJeff Finger has been placed on waivers by the Toronto Maple Leafs. When he clears waivers, he'll be sent down to the Marlies and Brian Burke will get $3.5 million of cap room back.

One of the cool things about maintaining this blog for the past 8 years is that I can go back in time and read what I thought about events as they unfolded. For example, on July 1, 2008, I wrote an entry entitled "Uncle Cliffy Gives Us The Finger". The deal didn't make any sense to me at the time, and here's what I wrote.

I understood signing Cujo to a nice and tidy one year deal for $700,000 but I don't get why Cliff Fletcher just signed defenceman Jeff Finger to a four-year deal worth $3.5 million a season.

I understand the Toronto Maple Leafs need bodies, but do we really have to give four year deals to 28 year olds with 94 career games under their belts? Admittedly, I can't remember ever seeing him play, so if The Finger is Sylvain Lefebvre reincarnate I shall stand corrected.

In a sense, Uncle Cliffy just gave us The Finger and told Bryan McCabe to f*ck off.

It's also fun to read the comments that fateful day in July, 2008. I wrote this in response to a few "trust Cliff" comments.

C'mon, he was benched for half of the Avs' playoff games. How awesome could he be when he's a healthy scratch in the playoffs?

And, that's a mammoth raise for a guy with one season under his belt. Why did we pay so much for such a lengthy term?

A two year deal at $2 million per sounds about right for The Finger.

I also made a little image that day. It rings more true today than ever. Thanks Uncle Cliffy!

The-Finger

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Cleveland Show Tribute to Joe Bowen's Down Goes Brown

TVI PVR The Cleveland Show. It's part of the Sunday night cartoon block I record on Fox and watch when unwinding. Last night, while The Cleveland Show aired live, I started seeing tweets about a "Down goes Brown" call. Here's The Cleveland Show's "Down goes Brown" reference I just captured on my digicam and uploaded to YouTube.

If you Google "Down goes Brown", the results are flooded with info about this guy. But Down Goes Brown the hilarious Barilkospherian blogger took his handle from Joe Bowen's legendary call on The FAN 1430 back in 1992 of Sylvain Lefebvre knocking out Rob Brown. Here's Joe Bowen's "Down goes Brown" call.

I know what you're thinking... How is it possible The Cleveland Show would parody a local Toronto radio call this obscure? Surely this is one big coincidence...

My forensic analysis is complete, and I'm ready to declare this is in fact a homage to Joe Bowen's 1992 call. As you heard in the Zapruder film above, the announcer repeats several well known calls after he mimics Joe Bowen with "Down goes Brown! Down goes Brown!" They are:

  1. "I don't believe what I just saw!" - This was Jack Buck's famous call after Kirk Gibson's walk-off World Series homer in 1988
  2. "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!" - This was Al Michaels' famous call after the USA hockey team stunned the Soviets in the 1980 Olympic Games
  3. "President Reagan has been shot." - This was the famous first announcement that John Hinckley had shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981 (I'm not sure who said it first)
  4. "Soylent Green is people!" - This was the famous final line from Charlton Heston in the movie Soylent Green
  5. "Fahrvergn├╝gen" - This was an advertising slogan used by Volkswagen in 1990

With this additional context, it's clear "Down goes Brown!" is being used in The Cleveland Show as a parody of a famous call, and "Down goes Brown!" has no other meanings in popular culture. Some of you will say it's a spin on Howard Cosell's famous call when George Foreman knocked down Joe Frazier, as was Joe Bowen's original call. Cosell's call was "Down Goes Frazier! Down Goes Frazier! Down Goes Frazier!". I feel sorry for those who choose to believe such things.

Without a doubt, someone on The Cleveland Show writing staff is a big Toronto Maple Leafs fan who felt it was time an American series paid homage to Joe Bowen's legendary call. Like The Hip said, it's been a long time coming, but it's well worth the wait.

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Made It, Ma! Top of the World!

LeafsIt was great fun watching the Leafs dominate the Sens last night. That's two wins over our two greatest rivals to start the season, our best start in 11 years.

On this 10th day of the 10th month in 2010, at precisely 10:10, let's take a moment to soak in this wonderful new reality. We're #1.

nhl-standings

Too soon?

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Maple Leafs Opening Night Roster

mapleleafsThere's a Leafs game tomorrow night. The hateful Habs are in town. It's a clean slate, we're tied in first and we're all drinking from the fountain of eternal optimism.

Here's our opening night roster. Go Leafs Go!

Forwards

# NAME HEIGHT WEIGHT DATE OF BIRTH AGE BIRTH PLACE
9 COLBY ARMSTRONG    6' 2" 195 23 NOV 1982 27 LLOYDMINSTER, SK, CAN
42 TYLER BOZAK    6' 1" 195 19 MAR 1986 24 REGINA, SK, CAN
37 TIM BRENT    6' 0" 188 10 MAR 1984 26 CAMBRIDGE, CAN
18 MIKE BROWN    5' 11" 205 24 JUN 1985 25 CHICAGO, IL, USA
84 MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI    5' 11" 183 31 JAN 1984 26 POTSDAM, DEU
81 PHIL KESSEL    6' 0" 202 2 OCT 1987 23 MADISON, WI, USA
41 NIKOLAI KULEMIN    6' 1" 225 14 JUL 1986 24 MAGNITOGORSK, RUS
16 CLARKE MACARTHUR    6' 0" 191 6 APR 1985 25 LLOYDMINSTER, AB, CAN
39 JOHN MITCHELL    6' 1" 204 22 JAN 1985 25 OAKVILLE, ON, CAN
28 COLTON ORR    6' 3" 222 3 MAR 1982 28 WINNIPEG, MB, CAN
38 JAY ROSEHILL    6' 3" 215 16 JUL 1985 25 OLDS, AB, CAN
11 FREDRIK SJOSTROM    6' 1" 218 6 MAY 1983 27 FÄRGELANDA, SWE
32 KRIS VERSTEEG    5' 10" 182 13 MAY 1986 24 LETHBRIDGE, AB, CAN
26 MICHAEL ZIGOMANIS    6' 0" 200 17 JAN 1981 29 TORONTO, ON, CAN

Defencemen

# NAME HEIGHT WEIGHT DATE OF BIRTH AGE BIRTH PLACE
22 FRANCOIS BEAUCHEMIN "A"  6' 0" 213 4 JUN 1980 30 SOREL, QC, CAN
4 JEFF FINGER    6' 1" 209 18 DEC 1979 30 HOUGHTON, MI, USA
36 CARL GUNNARSSON    6' 2" 196 9 NOV 1986 23 OREBRO, SWE
15 TOMAS KABERLE 6' 1" 214 2 MAR 1978 32 RAKOVNIK, CZE
8 MIKE KOMISAREK "A"  6' 4" 243 19 JAN 1982 28 WEST ISLIP, NY, USA
29 MATT LASHOFF    6' 2" 204 29 SEP 1986 24 EAST GREENBUSH, NY, USA
23 BRETT LEBDA    ** 5' 9" 195 15 JAN 1982 28 BUFFALO GROVE, IL, USA
3 DION PHANEUF "C"  6' 3" 214 10 APR 1985 25 EDMONTON, AB, CAN
49 DANNY RICHMOND    6' 0" 192 1 AUG 1984 26 CHICAGO, IL, USA
2 LUKE SCHENN    6' 2" 229 2 NOV 1989 20 SASKATOON, SK, CAN

Goalies

# NAME HEIGHT WEIGHT DATE OF BIRTH AGE BIRTH PLACE
35 JEAN-SEBASTIEN GIGUERE    6' 1" 202 16 MAY 1977 33 MONTREAL, QC, CAN
50 JONAS GUSTAVSSON    6' 3" 192 24 OCT 1984 25 DANDERYD, SWE
** = INJURED RESERVE

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