In Praise of the Toronto Maple Leafs

My Montreal team has had a lot of lean years, recently. Nevertheless, bwa ha ha ha ha. In the nicest possible way.

(I mean, I would be gobsmacked if the Habitants made it to the third round. It has been one of those building decades.)

No need to be nice about it. As a former Leafs fan – one who often struggled to get tickets and was rewarded by one disappointment after another – I’m sick to death of these pompous complacent schmucks. And by “disappointment” I mean things like one game that promised to be lots of fun against traditional rivals Ottawa Senators where the Leafs ended the game down 7-0. After a lot of this kind of bullshit I just gave up. The only surprising thing about that last Game 7 was that the hapless Leafs somehow managed to score one goal. It must have been an accident.

I’ll try to keep my schadenfraude down to a gentle simmer. Those four big contracts:

Matthews 11.634 / 5 14.63 2023-24
Tavares 11.0 / 7 13.84 2024-25
Marner 10.893 / 6 13.37 2024-25
Nylander 6.962 / 6 8.76 2023-24

…makes it tough to find help to buttress them with that salary distribution.
And that annoyingly bandied-about intangible “killer instinct”, is, without question, a factor here. After Foligno, Bogozian and Simmons…nothing of that kinda player required for that elevated level of play, evident in the last three games of that series. Habs certainly out-hit them.
I’ll grant that Shanny pointed out that that core (of four) is young - there’s still a whole lotta career ahead of them, so they should obviously bode well for the future (hate using the word “should”, though), and they did well on paper this season, so I certainly won’t say that they didn’t earn what they were paid this season.
I could blather on.
But sure -
raspberries :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Holy crow, it seems like the hapless Habs are up 3-0 and heading for the third round. Wipe the egg off Winnipeg?

Hockey playoffs can be oddly random. It’s the nature of the sport. NHL teams are all pretty good and play in a league with a lot of structural controls over competitive balance, so the differences between a seemingly “inferior” and “superior” team are not that great.

The Habs defence is looking good after two periods in Vegas. If they are even after two games, well, things could be worse.

Given that the Habs were extremely heavy underdogs, they have to be at least content with coming home in a tied series.

While Price has always been an exceptional netminder, the quality of the Habs defence pleasantly surprised me. Vegas is a good team. I’m even watching hockey again after not doing so for ages. I’m not sure when the coverage got all Letterkenny but clearly that show resounded with someone.

Habs outshot 26-7 halfway through, but managed to pull off the overtime W based almost exclusively on the otherworldly play of Price. The Golden Knights are a good team but it wasn’t their night tonight.

The oddsmakers still heavily favouring the Golden Knights. Time will tell, but feeling good about les garçons even if Price is largely carrying the team. Vegas va-t’en!

Great game. But no W. So many good shots, all credit to Lehner.

Was this thread title ordered from the Eaton’s catalogue?

Indeed. “Mais apres le chandail est arrive, il y avait… une abominable feuille de l’erable sur la glace.”

The Habs looked very convincing winning important game five. They’ll be tough to beat at home with Price playing so well. Admittedly, though the team was seen as no great shakes, their route to the Cup was much easier than Vegas which had two very tough opponents in opening rounds. Still, it would be exciting to see a Canadian team in the Cup; especially my team.

  1. What was up with the referees in Game 4? They let everything go, even sticks and punches to the face. I think they lost control.

  2. A linesman was hit by a puck in the ear or upper neck in Game 5. Hope he is not badly hurt.

  3. One talking head had the theory Montreal was doing better since they travelled so often as part of the controversial Covid Canadian division, so were more used to travel than Vegas. I say unlikely - all teams are very used to travel, not like they go by bus, not done much for Canadian teams in general over the last twenty years.