Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey over the weekend to help build out our bracket for Absolutely, The Leaf’s Madness. I think I’ve learned a lot about Leafs Nation in the process, but the main thing is that crowd sourcing led to a pretty solid looking bracket.
The main regional matchups will get underway on Wednesday, and we’ll do our best to keep voting every weekday for the next couple of weeks, but you’ll notice that there are three play-ins on the bracket, and those will get underway tomorrow.
Your Grandpa’s Leafs Region
Frank Mahovlich is awaiting his first round rival, and he’ll be facing off against either Hap Day or Bobby Baun
Hap Day has pretty much filled every role you could possibly ask a player, coach, executive to fill and he’s won in each of those roles.
He goes up against the Stanley Cup legend that is Bobby Baun. Since I was a child I heard the tale of Baun recovering from an injury to return and score the game winning goal for the Leafs, and while it may now be considered reckless to put a once in a lifetime moment over addressing an injury, the story lives on in lore and this should be an interesting matchup.
False Hope Region
Curtis Joseph in the three seed is awaiting his rival, and at this point I can assure you that it will be a Russian. It’s just a matter of whether it will be Dmitri Yushkevich or Sergei Berezin.
Yushkevich is the defenseman we all wish the Leafs had now. Defensively responsible, hits like a truck, and had enough skill that you didn’t hate him for being primarily a defensive defenseman.
Berezin now would be a Corsi God. He never met the shot he didn’t want to take and at times that worked really well for him. When he got put with players who could make up for his shortcomings he looked pretty good. At the very least he was fun.
Recency Bias Region
Auston Matthews, not surprisingly, received the most votes of any player in the tournament and is probably the favourite going into this tournament. We’ll make his trip to the Final Four a little more interesting by having him go up against either Matt Stajan or Clarke MacArthur in round one.
Neither Stajan or MacArthur are going to give Matthews any real competition, but Stajan has local boy status and MacArthur created some really fun moments and seeing both these players get enough votes to make it into the bracket made me feel good.
For now there are 67
Let us know who you are surprised is missing. I mean, for me Russ Courtnall and Danny Markov not receiving a single vote was a bit of a surprise, same with Allan Bester for that matter. I also have to admit I’m shocked that Morgan Rielly was a dominate #2 seed ahead of Marner, Nylander, and Tavares.
Hit us up with your brackets on Twitter and Facebook, and go on record with our thoughts and predicted winner in the comments.
Voting can be found here tomorrow and on twitter @TLNdc.