Saturday, November 28, 2009

How CBC Made Nickelback Tolerable

nickelback cbc rock sucks
I admit I like a Nickelback song. Maybe you don’t think there is anything wrong with this. You’re probably from Alberta or maybe Saskatchewan. It is egregious. It pains me. Nickelback is a national embarrassment. Is this what the world thinks of Canadian music? Despite my shame I feel a tremendous surge of happiness each weekend when I hear Chad Kroeger belt out “Saturday! Saturday! Saturday!”

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Free To Be...Awful

The Toronto Maple Leafs have a theme song. It’s perfect. It’s perfect because it typifies how cocky and out of touch MLSE is. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, you probably have not suffered the misfortune of watching a Leafs broadcast this season. At least not on LeafsTV, who insist on polluting my ear canal with it at every waking opportunity. The song is called “Free To Be” and it's by Alan Frew of Glass Tiger.

Nik Antropov: A Toronto Maple Leafs Success Story

nik antropov leafsThe Toronto Maple Leafs have a history of giving up on young players too early. The eternal pessimists believe/fear that every time these players depart the organization they are destined to become stars. This isn’t entirely false, particularly in recent years.

Steve Sullivan was waived by the Leafs at the age of 26 and turned into a consistent 60-point player. Fredrik Modin was traded for Cory Cross in 1999 at the age of 25 and became an important component of Tampa’s championship team. The Leafs traded Jason Smith to the Edmonton Oilers, who he would later captain, in 1999 at the age of 26. Those aren’t even that bad. Russ Courtnall was traded to the Canadiens at the age of 24. I don’t think it’s healthy to continue this list, so we’ll stop there.

I always argue that if you reflect on past trades and potential draft picks you will drive yourself mad, regardless of your favourite team. I’m not trying to be a sadist, but discussing the Leafs' penchant for giving up on players is particularly relevant at this juncture. I know frustration is moutning with the regression of a few of the team’s young players (e.g. Mitchell, Schenn, Kulemin) and others' inability to even make the NHL roster (Tlusty). Thankfully, there have been no real cries from the fans to trade any of these players... yet. Fans must remember that these players are very young and developing into a full-time NHLer takes time.

The best example of sticking with a player, regardless of fan sentiment, is Nik Antropov. He is a true Maple Leafs success story.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Phil Kessel, Metaphorically Speaking

phil kessel leafs
With each mounting loss there is only one thing on my mind: first-round draft pick (or lack thereof). In previous years I shielded myself from the emotional pain of losing by looking forward to the end of June when an awful season could be rewarded with a tantalizing young prospect. However, this year, a loss is just a loss. There is no upside to losing.

I’m not concluding that the Phil Kessel trade was bad for the Leafs. In reality, whether it was a good deal or bad won’t be known for a number of years. My opinion, at this early juncture, is that the trade was good. Here’s why: Kessel is young. Jiri Tlusty came from the same draft class and is still considered a prospect. Whether this reflects poorly on Tlusty rather than favourably on Kessel isn’t relevant. He was also considered a top-end, franchise-type player when drafted and the early returns for the Leafs appear to indicate as much. Accordingly, this year’s draft pick doesn’t really matter. The Leafs have already drafted it. The Leafs’ first-round pick this year is Phil Kessel. I’m happy with that.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Well, at Least There Was a Nice Hip Check

ian white leafs moustacheJust the second post and I'm beginning to wonder if this season will be too psychologically damaging for me to handle, especially if I need to write about it. Well, I last said I was a classic Leafs fan in the way that I experience the highs and lows and tonight's match-up really tested this means of "enjoying" the Leafs. When Ian White scored to make it 5-4 I let out an emphatic "yes!" Unfortunately, when Erik Cole responded I was in shambles. I thought I was going to cry. After that the finale was a foregone conclusion. I needed a shower to cleanse myself.

I've decided that in order to get through this rough spell, which encompasses the entire post-lockout, I can't dwell on the negatives. Therefore, I'm embarking on the first post in a series called Reasons To Keep Watching. This way I can shield myself from self-inflicting psychological damage and avoid moving to a country that watches soccer.

The first reason to keep watching the Leafs is the continued progression of Ian White.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Respect Yourself or No One Else Will

There is a disturbing sub-type of Leafs fan developing. They are the self-loathing Leafs fan. There is a striking similarity between this Leafs fan and the fans of the Boston Red Sox prior to their cathartic 2004 World Series win. (I should note that I mean cathartic for Red Sox fans, not for everyone else who now has to experience an even more aggravating Bostonian).

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