Sunday, December 30, 2007

Know Thy Enemy : Hate Breed

Round Two: The bain of my existence, the Ottawa Senators fan.

The Ottawa Senators fan is a curious thing, they probably encompass the largest range of fandom prototypes out there. They range from the passionate, honnest god fearing hockey loving, old school fans to the professional bandwagon hanger-on-ers to fans who you'd normally see cheering for the Buffalo Sabers (I.E. Jerks).
Most of the Senadroms of optimal fandom age (16 through Senility) are recycles. Former fans of other teams that have abandoned their previous affections for the newer, sportier model. Kind of like a mid-life crisis. A large percentage of these Benedict Arnold's are former Leafers or Habitants who grew frustrated within the late 90's and early 00's with the lack of results. Thus culminating in a bitter, yet fun set of rivalries.
Of course, much of this has translated into the famous 'I hate your team more than I like my own team' mentality that plagues many a Sens fan (though is not exclusive to them *cough*Sabers/Rangers*cough*) and can be seen daily in everyday hockey fan life, be it on the street or on the net.
Now, lumping all Sens fans in with those, lets say suspect hockey fans would be unfair. Many a friend I have is a Sens fan. Many of my favourite hockey blogs are run by and written about the Trojans. Some Sens fans are true fans of the game and while we don't see eye to eye on hockey teams, the debate is nothing short of fun and hilarious....most of the time. Of course that doesn't make them any less a treacherous entity in the hockey world.

The secondary Sens fan archetype is the new comer. The one that didn't start liking hockey, or was too young to have a favourite team before the Senators existed. Those poor misguided youths, I guess its better than the pot...but only marginally so.

Senators fans are a rabid breed, and are not to be taken lightly. In their short existence they have been subjected to a team that started out so bad that even the mighty Alexander Daigle could not save them. And finally when many consecutive low placing finishes had netted them enough young draft talent to become competitive, they gained the choke moniker that has followed them to this day.
They also face mass enemy invasion of their home barn when playing any other team with a significant fan base. This has made them very defensive, and of course the best defense is a good offense. Often the first fan to choke out '40 years absent' is wearing a condom logo on their chest, but then says we have no material when we bring up the 4 straight playoff losses to a certain team.

While, not the most creative as a group, there are several shining stars that make Sens fans not seem so bad. The fact that some of them are just so likable as people, that just makes me hate them all the more.

Part three next month, when we go on a Bear hunt.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Same, Yet Different.

With work running me absolutely ragged in the post Christmas way. I have not had time to watch the Leafs, let alone blog unto them.
And frankly from what I've seen that has been a good thing. The Tosk is out with a wonky groin and Razor has gotten even duller in his time on the pine.

And here come the Rangers with Avery and Jagr and Lunquist.

Well, heres to some success in the new year, and Carlo running Avery through the boards.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Spirit

With Christmas fast approaching, I find a new rising of optimism towards mine Buds. I don't know where it comes from, maybe its the spirit of the season and all its pretty lights and shiny things, maybe its the eggnog spiked with rum spiked with rye and Christmas cookies spiked with Baileys. But I have a good feeling that all is not lost.
While the Leafs remain a bubble team, the point differential around them is still minimal and ground can be made up quite rapidly (or likewise lost just as fast). This team can do it, they have shown the ability to shutdown, score in bunches and again have a goalie that has win stealing potential (The Tosk gets more and more comfortable in Blue and White every game).

The main thing the Leafs are missing right now is grit, and to a lesser degree heart, or more fittingly gritty-heart, or hearty-grit, whatever your religion says is ok (like pork, only less tasty).
They have grit with players such as Kilger, Bell and Belak crashing and banging and pretty much ruining all who stand in their way. They have heart with Mats, Antro and The Tosk playing their bolloks off nigh on every night and near willing the Leafs into the win column.

What they need is a player who does both. And they have one who fits that description to a Tee. Well he used to any way.

An Open Letter To Darcy Tucker
, I know you have your knee issues going on right now, I know your not scoring in bunches like you did last year, but seriously, step the fark up. Step up, and play like yourself. Never in your career have you looked so lackadaisical on the ice night in and night out. You don't need to score, you don't need to be on the first line, or the first power play. You need to do one thing. You need to electrify the crowd, you need to bring back the play that made you a fan, and personal favourite. Agitate, aggravate and irritate. Bring the crowd to its feet the way you used to before you became our secondary power play weapon. That's not who you are. You are the heart and soul of the Leafs, a scrappy, take no shit, doesn't back down from anyone always in the back of every opponents mind shit disturber. Good ol' crazy eyes who's mouth never stops flapping. We miss you. And if your injuries are making you feel that you cannot do that anymore, take some time off to heal and don't come back until you are ready, don't listen to Leaf medical, listen to your body, it will tell you when you are ready. We won't mind if you take time to heal. We do mind, however, if you come back when you aren't ready and play like a shadow of your former self.

Saying that, this will be my last post before festive festivities, so a Merry Christmas to all my (two) readers and Happy New Year as well. Also all the best to you, your families and a rejuvenated Tucker to you all, and to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Insert Scorpions Joke Here

You know the best part about working every day at 2am?
Going to bed at 9:30. Yeah, thats real awesome when you go to sleep and your team is winning 2-0 with 10 minutes left and you think "I can go to sleep now knowing my team has a win, Yay my team."

Of course I always forget my team is the Incredible Imploding Maple Leafs.

Son of a bitch.

Bedtime now, before I drift off into an angry rant calling my team a bunch of names of the level of intelligence usually reserved for children under 8 who think writing BOOBLESS in your calculator is the pinnical of humour.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Valtrax For The Win

So.... Bryan Mistakes is gone for a might.
Now in of itself that doesn't sound that bad, but when any team looses a 30 minute a game player it's a big deal, especially if they don't have a viable replacement.
I be guessing we'll get to see more of young Mr. Stralman and at least 6-8 weeks + Carlo's magnificent return until the Leafs case of blue line Herpes gets cleared up.

Also, thanks to Loser Domi, I totally punked the title from you.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Soupy Goodness

Another brief post due to jamming my blogolating between Christmas shopping, falling off ladders hanging lights and a Christmas party. And general lack of creative....ness.

Leafs V. Habs tonight. Haven't we seen this dance already?

We have? 4 times already? Really?
Games are split two a piece eh? Well then, carry on.

Let them feel the wrath of the scoring superpowers of Sundin and Antro. Time to ruin Cary Price forever.

For your game day goodness pick your poison, for your tasty goodness check out Pension Plan Puppets, for your bitter grossness check out Four Habs Fans. For they are all more entertaining and have higher readership numbers than I could ever hope to achieve.

Go Leafs Go!


Thursday, December 13, 2007

To Be Brief

Tonight, Leafs V. Thrashers.
Sundin the Awesome V. Kovalchuk the Leaf Shredder.
Me V. the unwashed masses at the mall.

Christmas shopping battle cry - KELPAAAAAAAAAAH!

PS: to those wondering what to get me, I want a Stanley Cup, and a pony.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bear Trap

I know its effective, I know its smart, I know it wins games.

But G-F-D if watching the Bruins trap, in the first bloody period (joke so intended) is the most mind numbing form of hockey ever. I mean goddamn, to make me turn away from a hockey game that has to be some dull ass shite.

I hate you Claude Julian you peeper looking jack-tard.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Where Credit Is Due

So.... A winning streak eh? I'd forgotten what one was like from this end.

4 games? Wow, that qualifies as not a fluke even.

So where do I place my kudos?
The Tosk, for being super-dee-duper?
Antro, for having a seemingly out of nowhere scoring touch?
Mats, for just being tha bomb?

Yes, they are all deserving, and are a huge part of the continuing streak of kick-assedness.

But I know who is the real story behind this surge is less obvious than any of those.
My kudos go to one Loser Domi of The Wonderful World of Loser Domi, and her fantastic use of reverse psychology. Keep up the good work!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Know Thy Enemy : Pea Soup

At long last, the first chapter of 'Know Thy Enemy'
Our first subjects of interest are those wacky Montreal Canadians fans.

The oldest rival of the Leaf fan is the Habs fan. While this rivalry has wained in the past decade or so, most purists (of appropriate age) still remember this rivalry at its hottest and most bitter. The rivalry is so bitter that even today, every real Leafs or Canadians fan still blindly hates the other team without knowing why, just that they must.

Canadians fans share many a similarity with Leafs fans, more than either camp would care to admit. Both love their team unconditionally, both have long and storied franchises and both have a backup camp so strong that their team could place last for years in a row and support would still be strong enough to sell out their respective barns.

What differs mainly is in the approach to this loyalty. While Leaf fans clad their team in a collective armor of Blue and White with a 'there is always next year' attitude, Habs fans separate the weak from the heard and mercilessly attack anyone who dares tarnish their great franchise (in Leaf land this honour is reserved for special players like Aki Berg or Herpes). The siren song of "Kill Ze Team!" can be heard echoing across la belle province during any loosing skid longer than 2 games.

Habs fans are also unapologetic about their allegiances, and don't shy away from their team loyalty no matter what. They are everywhere as well. From coast to coast, Habs fans permeate the home arenas of rival teams and are fearless when wearing their colours in a rival barn, many a time a solo fan in a Roy jersey can be seen surrounded in a sea of enemy fans in any rink across the continent, even when the Canadians are not playing in said game.

Habs fans are, without a doubt, the most emotionally involved fans in the NHL. A camp so passionate that they often have their red tinted glasses surgically grafted to their skulls. Try convincing a Habs fan about anything negative about their team in the midst of a 3 game Montreal winning streak, it is impossible.

The Habs fan's main talent, however, lies within his/hers ability to conjure up ridiculous trade ideas for their team and convincing themselves that there is a real chance of it coming to fruition. My favourite so far involved a Huet / Ryder combo for Lecavalier.

The Montreal Canadians have, indeed, one of the most loyal fan bases in all of sport. A fan base that we Leaf fans must be wary of, and stay vigilant not to let them over whelm us. They have a passion that rivals our own, which would be admirable, were their taste in hockey teams not so poor. This has become a most important task, as in recent times the Habs have become replaced as our number one enemy number one.

More on that next time, as we discus the disgust that is the Ottawa Senators fan, on the next 'Know Thy Enemy'

Saturday, December 1, 2007

A Chill In The Air

Tensions are high in Leaf nation.
The Jekyll and Hyde (mostly Hyde) play of the Leafs, plus many a tension in the management roost has most Leaf fans pretty grumpy.
I have come to a personal conclusion. I. Don't. Care.
I don't care about JFJ, I don't care about Tenenbaum, I don't care about Peddie and I don't care about Maurice, and frankly I am getting sick of the debate surrounding them.
Not that I don't think a team requires a competent managing crew to be successful, I just think the team can do much better in spite of all of that.
I care only for the team.
When I say I care about my team, I mean just that. The team. The players. The ones who put their bodies on the line every game. The ones in the media spotlight on national TV with every mistake, miss-step and bad decision they make. They are the ones I care about.
This team has shown an ability to beat anyone this year. An ability to shut down the NHL's top players, to score on its best goalies and to out work teams much more naturally talented then them.
Consistency has been their main issue.
Sure, one could argue that Blake isn't on the path to score 40 goals (or even 10) this season, but he has 16 helpers and skates his ass off every game. You could take the easy road and talk about defense or goal tending or whatever, but on several occasions the Leafs have shown the ability to do both quite well (well..except for Herpes).

Frankly, I am just sick of my team being undermined by the media, its fans and its management who are playing grab ass trying to blame the other for the 'success' so far this year.

When it comes down to it, the game is won or lost on the ice. This team can win, this team will win, and I have an undying faith in that (and a case of beer riding on it). I have no delusions of them winning the cup, or doing mass post season damage. But the season isn't even half over yet. There are a lot of games left.

Have faith, settle down, and Go Leafs Go.