During the 1990-91 Toronto Maple Leafs season, I continued to wear my Leafs cap to Mr. Rocca's math class. When your second leading scorer is Mike Krushelnyski with 39 points, you know it's a rough year. That 1990-91 season was very rough indeed, and my classmates ridiculed me for continuing to don the Maple Leaf.
I took the abuse and continued to support my team. I could see they weren't very good, but that didn't mean I was going to bail on them. I was in it for the long haul.
I'm on the record as saying this coming season will be the worst Leafs season yet. As I eyeball our list of forwards, I don't see anything more than a long list of fourth liners and fringe players who wouldn't see much ice time on any competitive team. I'm slightly more optimisitic about our defenders, but not much. Our only hope is that Vesa Toskala stays healthy and steals several games between the pipes.
Cliff Fletcher, who may or may not read this blog, is all but agreeing with me. "You don't have to be a Rhodes Scholar to know there's going to be rocky days ahead, tough games, maybe tough stretches." He went on to say the Leafs have only one top six forward: Nik Antropov.
I agree with Cliffy that there are rocky days ahead, but I disagree with him about Antropov. I don't believe he's that good, despite his miraculous campaign of 2007-08. I don't believe we have a single forward worthy of a half decent team's top two lines.
Just as I continued to wear my cap in 1991, I take no delight in the fact my team will be horrible this coming season. It is what it is, but I won't bail. I'm in it for the long haul.
Here's the current Maple Leaf depth chart. Brace yourselves, this is going to get ugly.