Well, God’s Team ain’t making the playoffs and it has become clear that the Leafs have only one way to go about things now… rebuild.
Rebuild through the draft and by trading away your once valuable playoff assets for guys that will make a difference down the road, and hopefully (not) take you to a CUP (Stanley that is).
It’s getting that time of year when playoff pictures are becoming clearer as the games go by, and with tight races for the bottom three positions in each conference, the rest of the season should be great. While some teams fight for their playoff lives on a nightly basis (RIP Maple Leafs), some feel safe in their playoff position and are already in cruise mode. But what if we added a kink to the playoff rules to keep things interesting top-to-bottom right until the very end…
Ussually the Masterton trophy is fought out by injury riddled stars such as Mario Lemieux, Bryan Berard, Steve Yzerman, Saku Koivu, Joe Nieuwendyk, and Eric Lindros, but this year, someone who was healthy most of his career, should easily take home the award.
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff was livid after the Sabres vs Leafs game in Toronto Monday night over a knee-on-knee hit Darcy Tucker made on forward Jochen Hecht, playing his first game back from a knee injury.
During the off season, the Leafs made a few, what were then called, “high profile” free agent signings. Guys like Jason Allison (who hadn’t played in years due to injuries), Jeff O’Neil (who Carolina couldn’t wait to dump), and Eric Lindros (who was and still is damaged goods). The Toronto-centric media was all over these signings. But the worst spate of journalistic bias came with the signing of Mariusz Czerkawski. In September 2005, Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun wrote:
Reputedly, Mariusz Czerkawski can do back flips after he scores.
Report in the Ottawa Sun today says that Wade Redden has agreed to terms on a contract with Ottawa and will likely announce the deal before the end of the season. Chara on the other hand will test the open market.
The Mighty Ducks are in the midst of a playoff charge, and for all intents and purposes, it has been beyond successful. Heading into the game on Sunday, Anaheim has won 10 of 13 games, and despite beginning the season winning just eight of their first 23, they find themselves quite secure in a playoff spot. Much of their success can be attributed to the resurgence of Teemu Selanne and his chemistry with Andy McDonald, plus the heart and soul of the team Scott Niedermayer finally adjusting to the new system.
To nobody’s surprise the Chicago Blackhawks were once again on the outside looking in come playoff time. This continues the longest Stanley Cup drought that now stands at 45 years. With the way things are going, the team may challenge the Chicago Cubs as the biggest losers in the Windy City. Except nobody really cares for the Hawks. The passion that existed when they played in Chicago Stadium, when Wayne Messmer sang the anthem, when the crowd was rocking, is non-existent. Instead we find seas of empty seats and silence in the United Center.