Do You BeLeaf?
Do You BeLEAF?
OK, guilty as charged, it has been some time since my last blog. Was waiting for a call from YouTube about my viral video that was my last blog…. For some reason, 27 views doesn’t translate to Viral! Who knew?
Following my dreams up, with a lull in the quality of play, I was beginning to enjoy by the Leafs, and my blog idea for a report card on the 2017-18 Leafs was going to seem like a rant rather than an assessment (by a biased longtime fan) of My Team.
Flash back, ok… way back! I have been on this earth for a Leaf Stanley Cup Win! But then, the Leafs took a turn for the worst, for a long, very long time. Many took this time to blame Harold Ballard for everything. Not sure he wasn’t blamed for debt in Toronto. He was to blame because he took a stand against the WHA, at a time that the entire Leaf defense was getting too old to compete at the level required in the NHL. The Leafs did have a number of talented young defensemen in the minors, but when their agents threatened the Leafs that they would leave unless Toronto would match or better the offers the players had received from the upstart WHA. Harold told them not to hit themselves in the butt on the way out, and they did. Year after year, the Leafs remained in the deep south of the standings, never having enough defensive prowess and offensive thrust.
As a true fan I had to endure the endless taunts (generally from Hab fans), and unfortunately, I had no arrows in my quiver to fight back. My reply was simple… I do not expect them to win all of their games, but, please, entertain me. I have no problem having my team lose, if they have performed well, gave me opportunity to cheer, and still on occasion find themselves on the south end of the score. I can live with that.
Fast forward to the Matthews draft, the Leafs had started to assemble better talent, they were allowing some young players to remain in Junior, and further develop, both from a talent level, but more important from a physical side.
The league has a cap for players, but not for front office, and here is where the Leafs have spent, to assemble an army of talented hockey minds to hopefully lead the Leafs back to a level where they can be considered as a threat.
Simple to say, that the addition of head coach, Mike Babcock, is definitely one move that has accelerated the Leafs plan to reclaim the glory years. I do not agree with his loyalty to some players, but do applaud his ability to manage the time for his players. When the Leafs seem to struggle, you can see that through odd man situations, some players exceed their optimum playing time, and as a result their quality of play deteriorates. Want a great example from the past? Dionne Phaneuf, a talented NHL player, but not a first pairing defenseman. When his time per game exceeded 18-20 minutes, you could count on him to make bad decisions. I think it is “Chemical Imbalance.” The player loses the ability to make the proper quick decisions that are required at that level.
I promise that I will get that report card out shortly, (maybe a Video?) with my assessment of the players. Spoiler Alert- Matthews is the real deal!!!!!!!!!!!
I will also, be leading you through my trials and tribulations of building a new raised garden for the backyard.
Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, and wish you all a Happy New Year!