I get why the Leafs Nation is extra pissed off at this year’s train wreck.
They just can’t take it anymore. They are sick of the losing. They are sick of seeing others teams make the playoffs year after year while the Leafs brass sit around in a board room wondering what the hell went wrong.
The Leafs Nation is sick of bad contracts and under-performing star players. They are sick of watching the Leafs defence throw the puck around in their own end like it is a ticking time bomb. They are sick of slick talking management types who don’t produce results. They are sick of coaches who helplessly stand around while everything around them crumbles.
They are sick of slumps and injuries and everything that goes with a team that can’t even earn one freaking point in eight straight games. In today’s NHL that is virtually impossible; but by God the Leafs did it.
They are sick of their friends at work who like the Penguins or the Bruins or the Red Wings, laughing at them for being a Leafs fan.
Once again the Leafs Nation has to bend over and take it as the rest of the league has a good laugh at their expense. If you thought Habs fans were insufferable before, just wait, it is only going to get worse when the playoffs start.
This is beyond mere frustration for Leafs fans. This is white hot anger. God dammit they want some heads to roll for this choke job.
Consider what Adam Proteau of the Hockey News pointed out on
Twitter Wednesday; the Leafs have hosted three playoff games at Air Canada
Centre since the spring of 2004.
Three home playoff games in 10 years!
Meanwhile the Senators have been in 11 playoff series during that time. The Leafs have been so bad the past decade their fans can’t even make Sens jokes anymore.
But for some reason this one hurts a lot more than it
has in previous years. Last season’s return to the playoffs whetted the
collective appetite of the Leafs Nation. Leafs fans yearned for more love-ins
outside the ACC. They wanted to stand with their friends at Maple Leafs square, get pissed out of their mind and yell about a Leafs playoffs win. Hell, it had been almost a decade so who could blame them.
The Leafs Nation desperately wanted to take trips to support their
team on the road to playoff glory.
Instead they watched in horror as the Leaf proceeded
to go an inexcusable 2-10 run with the playoffs within their grasp.
Not only did the 18 wheeler go off of the cliff; it
burst into flames.
Fans in Toronto called their local talk radio
station, screaming for change. But as many have pointed out changing the Leafs
front office and coaching staff is one thing; changing their players is another
Is there another General Manager in his right mind that
would make a trade for Dion Phaneuf and take on that contract? The answer is
no, not bloody likely.
Meanwhile I realized that my oldest daughter will be in University
when David Clarkson’s contract finally comes to an end.
If Tim Leiweke decides to toss a grenade into the
Leafs front office and start over again any new G.M. that comes in will have a real mess on his hands to clean up.
The saddest thing about being a Leafs fan right now
is the bitter realization that you are going to have to adopt another team for
Out of principle there is no freaking way I will be rooting for the Habs.
So I am open to suggestions.
For a lot of Leafs fans the pain of another lost year is just too much to take. They won’t be adopting another team this year. Oh sure they will watch the playoffs. But they will watch with a sense of despair.
A lot of Leafs fans will watch this year’s playoffs and wonder when will it all end? When will management and the coaching staff get it right and turn the Leafs into a perennial winner again?
I know that’s what I will be thinking of. I will be thinking of that while I stick pins into my Randy Carlyle voodoo doll.
As the anger finally subsides the Leafs Nation will be able to form a sensible list of coaching candidates. They might even need to make a list of potential General Mangers depending on what Leiweke does over the next few weeks.
In the meantime it is time to vent our rage and demand an end to the endless cycle of losing.