With real hockey just days away, I thought I’d share with you all the games I’m most looking forward to watching this season. Mark your calendars accordingly.
Saturday October 15 Vs Calgary Flames
Hockey night in Canada against any Canadian team is always a must watch. Despite only playing once or twice a year for me Flames games are always a must watch. At one point it was to once again relive the Doug Gilmour trade. One of my good friends is a big Flames fan so the games provide an opportunity for some chirping. And since the Phaneuf trade the games have been an opportunity to laugh at the misfortune of Flames fans. I hope that Wilson plays Phaneuf and Aulie for 25 minutes that night. I also hope the whichever Sutter is coaching the Flames that night plays Stajan, Hagman, Mayers, and White over 20 minutes as well, oh what’s that, I’ve just been told that they only have Matt Stajan left to show for Dion Phaneuf and Keith Aulie. The jokes write themselves folks.
Thursday November 17 VS Nashville Predators
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I hope Franson plays 20 minutes and tells Shea Weber he has a piece of chicken wing in his beard. And I hope Lombardi scores a hat-trick. We need to start the “THANK YOU LEBDA” campaign right this second.
Sunday November 20 VS The Island of Misfit Maple Leafs (Carolina Hurricanes)
The media loves to remind us of former Leafs who have gone onto find success, however meager, once they have left the team. To them it is proof of both managerial ineptitude and some innate ability of the city to suck the talent out of players. No NHL team has more former Leafs than the Hurricanes. Unfortunately they have taken some sort of Moneyball approach to finding defective former Leafs. (Not applicable to Tomas Kaberle) Tim Brent, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Jiri Tlusty, and Jay Harrison. Playing the role of King Moonracer is Paul Maurice, former coach of the Maple Leafs, you remember him, right? I am looking forward to all the articles about how foolish the Leafs were to let guys like Poni and Brent get away.
Saturday December 31 VS Winnipeg Jets
The Leafs and the Jets in Winnipeg on Hockey Night in Canada on New Year’s Eve. I know they’re the Atlanta Thrashers, and that an NHL team in Winnipeg might not be the most financially viable endeavor, but for one night none of that matters. The clock could roll back to 1997 after the game and no one would complain, would they? This game is going to be a whole lot of fun. Plus the Winter Classic is on the next day so you have something to distract you from your hangover and regrets.
Tuesday March 13 VS Florida Panthers
I’m going to go ahead and call that this is going to be the most important game of the entire Leaf’s season. Tuesday night games against Southeast opponents have become a curse for this team. While this is probably due to confirmation bias more than anything else, I still think the effect exists. The Leafs will be fighting for a playoff spot this late in the season. With only 12 games after this one, most of them against potential playoff teams, the Leafs will need to win this game. I know this in my soul. I’m not going to predict anything in the way of an outcome for fear of influencing it, but I know that this will be a must win game because it couldn’t be any other way.
So there you have it.
Set you PVRs.
Go Leafs Go!