Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Not watching the Leafs these days

A long post, but here's the gist of it:
The Leafs are slump busters right now - they're ugly and absent of any self-esteem, malleable to anyone with a stronger will.
I won't be offended if you don't feel like dredging through their last 10 games.

So, a few days ago I cut the Leafs off. I was just following the game on NHL.com's website, refreshing the score while because I follow along really well, BUT they just aren't entertaining anymore.

So Feb. 21 I swore off going out of my way to watch a game, to follow it online, or listen on the radio. I just quit - the first game was a bit tricky to avoid. I knew it was on, I had my laptop handy, but I refused to tune in and see how they did.

Of course they lost.

The losing skid: they beat EDM 6 -3 in Toronto, which was nice, peaking on a winning streak they could have been proud of on Feb. 6.

Then they lost to WIN on the 7th, 2-1, and then they lost to PHI 4-3, which were still close games ... which took us to the game in Toronto vs. Montreal. Didn't even get closed to competing with Montreal, losing 5-0. That's how they fight trying to nip a losing skid in the bud.

OK, regroup. Forget that drubbing and come out with a renewed effort on the road. Result: 5-1 loss to Calgary giving up a pair of goals before the game was 10 minutes old. 4-game losing streak.

Thank god the only team they've been able to beat in weeks was back. They sneak past EDM 4-3 after giving up a 2-goal lead and the tying goal within the final five minutes of the third period. Not the indicators of a playoff-caliber team.

Then slammed by VAN 6-2. That was the Saturday, I recorded the game and watched it the next morning. It was horrendous. These are the lengths I go to follow the team (getting up early the next day to see the team play) only to see them stink like poop.

So, by Feb. 21, and the only team they've looked like a pro against being the 29th overall Oilers, they NEEDED a win to keep them in the playoff picture, especially against a team they were looking to stay on pace with in NJ. They lost in overtime, after Gustavsson knocked a puck that was sliding wide of the net between his legs and across the line.

That was the last straw for me. It wasn't any fun paying attention anymore. I tuned them out, intentionally. It's been hard to ignore them knowing full well there's a game on, but over the past few games, I've been thankful that I just quit paying attention.

The Leafs were at 1-6 at the time. I ignored their next game against San Jose (which my brother and dad had tickets to, but didn't attend - good choice!). They lost 2-1, SJ on a losing streak of their own. Then the stinking Capitals played on the weekend, couldn't win a game to save their lives - but they whoop the Leafs 4-2, going up 2-0 in the first four minutes of the game.

Then a "must win" against Florida - WIN, FLA and WAS are all fighting for their playoff lives and the lead of the South East division, and they all earned plenty of points against the Leafs. They're in the worst, least competitive division in the NHL! They lose 5-3, down 2-0 before the game was three minutes old.

JUST TERRIBLE - and I'm pleased as punch that I haven't wasted a second of my time on them.

They're 1-9 in their last 10 games, with their only win in OT against the second-worst team in the NHL. The Leafs are slump busters right now - they're ugly and absent of any self-esteem, malleable to anyone with a stronger will.

The Chicago Blackhawks are on a losing streak, but they've got an arsenal of strong-willed champions on the roster. I can't imagine the Leafs keep up with them tonight.

And after following along with their fine season for 60 games, I can't believe they've absolutely thrown all their work away in the two weeks surrounding the trade deadline.

I'm a fan, but I need something to cheer about. I'm not going to watch another game or listen to another broadcast until the franchise has done something to cheer about. It's been too long -

.... the Senators should be a lot of fun to watch in the playoffs this year. They've been awesome.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Leafers on Ground Hog Day

Oh Leafers! Ground Hog Day was one of my cutoffs, right at the 50-game mark, but of course they played two games back-to-back, meaning I missed the mark by one game. So they're at 51 games played - BUT in real good shape once again.

About 1.135 points per game gets a team around 93 points, which is right about how much the 8th seed in the eastern conference will need to make it into the playoffs. At the 50-game mark we'd hope the Leafs would have about 57 points. At 51 games they've got 58 points, so they're right around the eighth seed, and good enough to qualify for the first round.

There aren't many games left, and there isn't a lot of room losing streaks or anything, so it'll be more interesting than ever to see how they do. A BIG game against the Senators on the weekend, which'll be exciting to watch (only if the Leafs win, lol).

30 games to go - 3 yardsticks yet to reach. They've come this far and they're still in it - so that's especially encouraging!
  • 69 points by Feb. 24
  • 80.5 points by Mar. 16
  • ... and of course, 93 points by Apr. 8