Toronto Maple Leafs
This afternoon, I interviewed Habs blogger The Active Stick for a job. At some point during our conversation, we compared the Barilkosphere to the Habs blogosphere.
The first thing you need to know about the comparison is that we're united under the awesome handle "Barilkosphere" while they're divided under the cumbersome name "Habs Blogosphere". As we talked, The Active Stick seemed envious, as if she really wanted to be a part of our club. That's when I challenged her...
"Try rooting for the Leafs for one week and I promise you'll never look back."
It's true, we haven't played in a Stanley Cup final during my lifetime, but cheering for the Leafs is good for the soul, spiritually fulfilling and a whole lot of fun. The Barilkosphere is smarter, funnier and better looking as a whole than online fans of any other team, especially the Montreal Canadiens. A Habs fan would be unable to hate our Leafs after spending a week in our shoes. They'd never look back.
Are there any fans of other teams willing to take The Barilkosphere Challenge? Give us a week and we'll change your life. I'm looking right at you, The Active Stick.
The montage that opened Saturday night's Leafs / Habs match-up on Hockey Night in Canada was pretty awesome. I've been critical lately of these opening HNIC montages as they've been pretty weak so far this season, but this one was a winner.
The song is Paul Langlois' "Can't Wait Anymore" from his new solo album. It's perfect for this footage. If you don't know who Paul Langlois is, you're not Canadian.
I just wish we'd won the game.
I love trivia. I love the Maple Leafs. I loved this clip.
It's from Mastermind, a British quiz show, and it's comedian Stewart Francis being peppered with trivia questions about our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs.
[via Pension Plan Puppets]
Pat Burns was 58. He is the only Maple Leafs coach to win the Jack Adams Trophy as NHL Coach of the Year by leading the club to a 44-29-11 record in 1992-93 in his first season behind the Toronto bench. He remains the only NHL bench boss in history to earn the award three times, winning it with Montreal in 1989 and with Boston in 1998. The Leafs’ resurgence in 1992-93, with Burns at the helm, marked the first time that the Original Six franchise advanced to the Conference Final since the 1977-78 campaign. The team would repeat their playoff success the following season in 1994 under his leadership.
With the Leafs, Burns posted a coaching record of 133-107-41 (.546%) in 281 games behind the bench. On the Leafs’ All-Time Coaching List, Burns is tied with Red Kelly for fifth place in victories.
Overall, he coached in 1,019 NHL games in 15 seasons from 1988 to 2005 and compiled a record of 501-353-165. He coached the Devils to a Stanley Cup title in 2003.
I'll never forget Pat Burns and his Leafs teams of the early 90s. They truly were the best.
I remember when we drafted Nazem Kadri. It was a time when we actually got to draft in the first round. It's amazing how excited you can get about a first round selection...
I remember his NHL debut. Actually, it's his only NHL game. He was an emergency call-up against the Sharks and we all expected he'd make the team out of training camp this year. At least I did. Instead, he was sent to the Marlies and only a month and half ago Brian Burke dropped this little quote on us:
His play right now indicates that he’s not ready at all to contribute at this level.
That line broke my heart. Here in Toronto, we eat our young. I'm thinking of my buddy Justin Pogge and the countless other "future greats" who crumbled under the weight of our sky high expectations. Kadri was deemed "not ready" by our GM and then went on to record five goals and nine assists through 14 games with the Marlies. I guess he's ready now...
It might reek of desperation, but it's given tonight's game an additional spark. I know I'll be watching #43 closely tonight... unless he's wearing #91 or #13. In under an hour, we'll know exactly what to do.
Update: He's #43. Set your sights accordingly.
Disappointed 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”
Whitby - Clark
Just one thing... Leafs Nation is our slave name. In truth, drenched and blue and white forever, we are the Barilkosphere.
Argh, 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...
My 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]
For 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.
The 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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