Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Leafs lose a must lose-game
This season the Maple Leafs might actually be in synch with their fans. Most fans understand that finishing 20th is not better than finishing 28th or 29th. If you aren't going to make the playoffs then dropping in the standings makes the most sense. That increases the possibility of drafting a player who can help you next season. Provided you have hung on to your first pick.
Yet each season over the past few years the Leafs make a run on the standings with too little left in the schedule. Frustrates the hell out of fans since the wins are meaningless. But this year the team has essentially given up on the season. A few guys are playing for spots next year but since of the team is signed for next year why bother. Welcome to the 2012 strain of the blue and white disease. The team has the serious look down pat along with the standard "we are working hard to turn this around." Sure you are.
So tonight was an important game for the Leafs. A win by Carolina along with a win by the Islanders dropped the Leafs to 26th overall and lottery country. Gustavsson was at his worst and got the yank after it was too late to mount a comeback. It would only be fitting if this was his last game at the ACC. The Monster has long ago become a nightmare. The night had a little bit of irony with two ex-Leafs scoring for Carolina. Both Jay Harrison and Tim Brent were journeymen players who mostly spent time with the Marlies. The third goal by Harrison was particularly ugly. He just lofted the puck at the net and it went over Gustavsson's shoulder. Vesa Toskala lives on! Thanks guys for sticking the knife in nice and deep.
So the Leafs are now mathematically eliminated so one set of cliches will be dropped for a new bunch. Next up is Philadelphia. We can only hope for a bloodbath.