I grew up watching Leafs games with my father. We went to games whenever we could afford/find tickets, we watched the games while he called business clients and I did my homework and we got dressed up in our best blue and whites every playoff game.

I’m not going to pretend I love the Leafs because I respect the history or I identify with the players or any other BS like that. I like the Leafs because my dad liked the Leafs. I’ve been a Leafs fan as long as I can remember, and I plan on being one until 2067 when they finally win a Cup again.

So, it might be a surprise to say I’ll be cheering for the arch-rivals of the Leafs this Tuesday. You’ll be hearing calls of “tabernac!” and “vive le bleu-blanc-et-rouge” from my mouth on Tuesday night as a little part of me dies and I root for the enemy.

What could turn me to the darkside so completely? It’s pretty simple really – the Leafs need to sell, sell, sell. Quinn and the gang are putting on their game faces and saying they’re still gunning for the postseason, but I think even the most optimistic fan would have to admit a crushing defeat against the 8th place Habs would pretty much seal the deal for the Leafs playoff hopes. This season has been a total bust since Christmas and the Leafs have shown no signs of being a playoff team at all.

I was with JFJ at the start of the year. He was in a tough spot with no cap room, fan favourite players he had to dump and pressure from the top to sign a player with nothing left (Domi) because he was friends with the big boss. So, JFJ took a chance and signed some talented, but risky players to short term contracts. IF Allison could put up PPG numbers without being injured and IF Lindros could regain some of his old form and deliver some important goals and IF Belfour could continue to defy time and IF Czerkawski could chip in 20-30 goals…well, the Leafs could compete in the playoffs and after that – who knows? Now, obviously those are some big ifs…but I’d argue JFJ didn’t have much choice in the matter. He had no money to sign FA’s, he had almost no youth to bring in, and none to trade away. So, he gambled.

Obviously, he lost. But, it’s not the gamble I am upset with, it’s how the Leafs lost.

Problem 1: The Leafs can their respected medical staff. No reason is given, but a whole new squad comes in. There was a bit of an uproar at the time, but people ultimately decided it wasn’t a big deal. After listening to some insiders talk about it, I was pretty confused and upset about it. These were the guys who had kept a team full of over-the-hill players in the playoffs for years and years in a row. Why were they being let go?

Problem 2: The Leafs didn’t buy out Belfour. I can’t really pin this one on the management, because I don’t think it was ever a choice. From what I’ve heard (and what makes business sense), the money boys at MLSE told JFJ he buy out Nolan (if he won his case), but that was it. It just didn’t make sense to throw money away. But, the Leafs could have signed Cujo for 1/4 of Belfour’s salary and spent that other money on better FA’s.

Problem 3: This is the one that put me over the top. On December 12th (we’re talking MONTHS here) Lindros suffered a pretty basic wrist injury. “No biggie” everyone said. Just slice him up, fix it and he’ll be ready in 4-8 weeks for the rest of the season. During that time, we can save on the cap a bit and use the money to pay a decent player at the deadline. INSTEAD, the (new) medical staff either decides to use some crazy cast that everyone else knew wouldn’t work OR let Lindros decide the best course of action. EVERYONE said this was a stupid decision. Howard Berger from the Fan 590 was against it from day one. But, they go ahead with their cast and Lindros is out for 27 games…which is probably more than he would have missed had he just bit the bullet and had surgery. In any case, he comes back after the Olypmic break and plays three games and is now…OUT FOR THE SEASON.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but if I mess up that much at my job, I am GONE. The medical staff should be fired for such a massive blunder and I’d be taking JFJ with them for hiring them in the first place. This isn’t a 50/50 gamble that they lost…this is pure and completely wrong.

It’s not just losing Lindros that stings. It’s losing all that money and having him drop out less than a week before the trade deadline and with the Leafs basically out of it. Had he just done the surgery, the Leafs could have replaced him, and had him back now and maybe (yes, I realize it’s still only a maybe) been in the hunt for the playoffs.

I was at the game in Buffalo (had a fantastic time despite the brutal loss) and the Leafs have clearly given up this year. They played awful, there was no chemistry and they weren’t working for basically the entire first and third periods. This team is done. There is no key FA they need to add to make that 8th spot in the East. There is no magic bullet to get the skilled guys like Sundin back to where they should be. It’s not a matter of firing Quinn and getting someome else to motivate the team. They are simply finished for the year.

Yet, I am still hearing talk of being BUYERS! It’s insane.

So, I am hoping for a 10-0 blowout of the team I grew up loving and probably always will to the team I grew up hating and probably always will.

I hope they get absolutely destroyed in all areas of the game and are 10 points out of 8th. Only then do I think the Leafs will finally do the right thing and sell of anyone who isn’t Karberle, Steen, Wellwood, Stajan, Poni or their young goalies. Gone is Belfour, Sundin, McCabe (he won’t resign), Allison, even Tucker who has been the only guy who’s showed up this year. If you can get a bag of pucks for Berg or Antropov – take it.

Get as many picks and prospects as you can, sign some good leaders and role players in the off-season and stink it up next year. But, build from there.

Here’s to the Habs on tuesday night. May your game-watching experience be filled with spitting out poutine in joy as Koivu scores his 5th goal and waving your blue, red and white flag as Huet gets his shutout.

2067 isn’t looking so far away.

128 Responses to Go…Habs…GO?

  1. Gretzkin says:


    You seem to be very tolerant…

    I guess that explains why you never made it to a game at Maple Leaf Gardens, considering it was on the corner of Church Street, located right at the base of “Boys Town”.

    Still doesn’t explain why you haven’t been to the ACC.

    I’ll travel UPS, because you probably couldn’t afford to send me, as it would probably cost you the same amount as it would to buy a Leafs ticket. It’ll never happen.

  2. Gretzkin says:

    Yeah, I was a Nerd in College?

    I took tybo? (Thai-bo).

    I’ve always been able to kick ass, actually I learned it from watching The Karate Kid, over and over again (amongst other things)…

    I tell you what, I’ll tie my right hand to my side with a belt, and settle you up with my left.

    I’ll sweeten the pot as well.

    If you win, I’ll send you and a friend to a Leafs game at the ACC of your choice, plus $100 for beers and snacks.

  3. Gretzkin says:

    Not making fun of dishwashers, or anybody that works for a living.

    Just directly insulting thatleafsguy.

  4. Gretzkin says:

    Yeah, what mush124 said.

  5. thatleafsguy says:

    nah he was making fun of “Red Lobster” employees, I was defending the hard working types, Gretzkin is a clown that enjoys this type of useless online bickering.

  6. 92-93 says:

    oh take a pill sally.

    we are just joking around.

  7. 92-93 says:

    right on both accounts.

    i still cheer for the leafs no matter what but i also know that if they lose to the habs they’ll be 10 pts out and it might force some changes (but it still probably wont).

    as for the quebec comment, the Canadiens of quebec (if we are talking about history here) were in Canada long before the English and were as far south as Louisiana so this guy you are responding to doesn’t have a clue. for him, history began with the conquest of New France in 1759-60 (just like the ‘war on terrorism’ supposedly began on sept 11, 2001, LOL).

  8. 92-93 says:

    i agree with the aka Rangers comment.

    but the habs?!?!

    when did the habs rebuild exactly? you could make a case for the late-1990s, but if you look at the last 13 years (post-1993 cup win), the habs have done virtually nothing (a couple of 2nd round apperances), traded Roy, but no rebuilding that i can see. i’ll give you that habs are a competitive team, if you consider perrenially finishing 3rd-5th in their division, 5th-10th in their conference, and once-in-a-blue-moon making it to the 2nd round as a ‘competitive team.’

  9. Realistic says:

    Thanks for the name calling slick, i’ll take the higher ground on that one.

    Pseudo Cdn – yes, that was uncalled for, but if you ahve been to a Habs game in MTL, there are quite a few people booing the CDN anthem, so I think that gives the right as a proud CDN to question some Hab fans allegiance to this country. Did I mention I lived in las belle province for 4 years…lots of great people, lots of idiots with ignorant anti-cdn rheoris and trust me, comments like mine are what ” makes Quebecers want to seperate”

    On the second account, why does cheering for a team suggest that I cannot also be critical of them. I am very critical of the Leafs, but they are still my team and even though they are stinking, I still cheer them. Just because your team isn’t playing well or you disagree with mgmt is no reason to stop cheering for them.

    Call me a moron if you will, but I imagine there are loads of people who would agree with my thinking (and would resist namecalling because they share a different point of view)

  10. Realistic says:

    Yeah, I have no clue, bang-on 92-93.

    Yes, the french were here before the english, but that was well before we became Canada. Regardless of that, I wish everyone in Quebec (and for the record, Ontario, BC & Alberta too)loved Canada the way they should — we live in the greatest country in the world!

    I am curious if you (since you are so much edumucated than me) know what pseaudo means? My comment suggested that there are those in quebec who consider themselves CDN and those that don’t, they consider themselves Quebecois. By saying pseudo-CDN I was making an underhanded comment at those that do not consider Canada to be their country…which those in Quebec who are pround CDN’s may appreciate.

    Thanks for the history lesson though, it was very insightful (as you say…LOL)

  11. Realistic says:

    Listen buddy, my gf is the only one who can call me a girl’s name…and only when she strapped on!

    (I may come as serious, but I’m not…don;t take me too seriously ans I won;t take you too seriously either….just don’t like the namecalling when someone disagrees…very childish)

  12. 92-93 says:

    yes i know was ‘pseudo’ means and i addressed your comments.

    these ‘fake’ canadians, however, don’t consider themselves canadian for the very reasons that i pointed out: some have a long memory and don’t feel that their culture is being recognized or appreciated (and some even think that they are still ‘conquered’). do i agree with it? no. am i aware of it? yes.

  13. Realistic says:

    4472 votes….if you don;t like the poll, write the Toronto Star

  14. 92-93 says:

    but, name-calling is all i know.

  15. 92-93 says:

    you’re either anti-canadian or pro-canadian? is that right?

    you’re either with us or against us? where have i heard that before?? hmmm.

    well, unlike my american neighbours to the south, i don’t get quite so worked up over a canadian flag be burned or the anthem being booed. its a pretty immature way to express dissent mind you but i am all for living in a country like canada when such things can happen (as opposed to the States, which after 9/11 resembled a totalitarian state where any criticism of the US was off limits).

    i guess when people boo the anthem, they are booing the English Canadian ignorance. but like i said, there are better and more mature ways to protest.

  16. Realistic says:

    Not to sound brash or crass, but in my eyes are lucky to still ahve their culture…..back then (when they were beaten on the Plains of Abraham), you either went back to your country, accepted the new rulers or you were killed.

    I like that Canada has so many different regions, but anyone that wants Quebec to seperate is, in my eyes, a traitor to the country. Sounds harse, but only in Canada (where we are so nice, polite and accomodating) would the seperatism sh*t fly. Look what happens in Indonesia, etc. when various groups try to seperate! Now, I am not saying we should take drastic measures, but it does bother me there a large number of people who feel they deserve special rights…if anyone deserves special right, it’s the natives who got (captial) F-U-C-K f*cked by both the French and the English.

  17. Realistic says:

    ok, you can call me Sally then, but please don;t tell her….she may put the big one on to punish me!

  18. Gretzkin says:

    No, I was just making fun of you.

  19. Realistic says:

    Frankly yes, in Canada, you are either pro-Cdn or anti-Cdn.

    “you’re either with us or against us? where have i heard that before?? hmmm.”

    Not the same, the Americans who I imagine you are ferring to have told OTHER countries to either be pro or anti US. Canada (and the US) has no right to demand that of other nations, but within our own nation, I think we have every right to say love it or leave it.

    “well, unlike my american neighbours to the south, i don’t get quite so worked up over a canadian flag be burned or the anthem being booed.”

    It’s not like when I hear them boo I put on my sh*tkickers and stomp everyone I see drinking Pepsi, but it does annoy me and anger me that some people don;t appreciate how good we all (as CDNs) have it.

  20. 92-93 says:

    yes – you are right, that was an unprecedented thing where the conquered kept their culture – hence why its so strong now and hence why the demands for recoginition are so strong.

    i’d rather live in a country that includes a Seperatist party in its parliament then a 2-party system like the states. period. its important that such dissent exists and keeps our democracy on its toes.

    and you are totally right about the natives – they deserve a lot more than what they’ve got now – and considering the water scandal, its not much.

  21. 92-93 says:

    i think we also have a right to always demand the most from our governments and be able to have serpatist views if we want and to be un-patriotic if we don’t feel very proud of the country we live in. for you or anyone to say ‘well just leave then’ – totally misses the point.

    if you want to seek a consensus-based, unitary, society which completely believes in the myths and ideologies then you are sadly mistaken because they don’t exist.

    you are entitled to your opinions and feelings about the booing and for the most part – i agree with you. i think the booing is stupid but it doesn’t really bother me that much.

  22. thatleafsguy says:

    whatever there is to make fun of…….you’re a waste of oxygen.

  23. Realistic says:

    I hear you, I am glad we have a multiple party system as opposed to the americans 2 party system. I guess my frustration comes from 4 years in Quebec listening to the argument for seperating…it bugs me that many seperatists want the best of both worlds (a seperate PQ and all sorts of special rights as Canadians)…you can’t have your cake and eat it too – pick one or the other.

  24. my_sphincter says:

    4472 votes does not equal 4472.8%. I don’t understand what you are saying.

  25. my_sphincter says:

    You know why they want to seperate???


    When you call a group less than Canadian because their politicians are pushing seperation and SOME of them might be led by the constant barrage from the Bloc, you are pushing them farther away. I remember when Don Cherry call Quebecers non-Canadians… Don’t you think that helped the sepratist cause?

    The point is, they are Canadians. If you treat them like Canadians… with respect, maybe they’d change their mind about seperation. I would want to seperate too if I was constantly called non or pseudo Canadian. By doing this you are showing how truely uneducated you are.

Leave a Reply