Friday, February 16, 2007

 

Is It Ever Too Early For Leaf Bashing?

Via BDHS, who will be at tomorrow's game, a report from David Shoalts that the Maple Leafs will have a pre-game ceremony tomorrow night honouring the 66-67 Leafs. Other than the good news that Davey Keon will in fact be attendance, the whole idea makes me giggle. Yes, yes, I know we in Edmonton like to brag about our five Stanley Cups, and we do go a little insane with the jersey retirement ceremonies. But that's five Cups and seven Finals appearances in the past twenty-five years (less, actually). The Oilers franchise didn't even exist when the Leafs last won the Cup. Neither did the Flames, Hurricanes, Lightning, Devils, Avalanche, Stars, Islanders, Penguins or Flyers, all of whom have hoisted Lord Stanley's mug since then. It's been forty years since the Leafs won a Stanley Cup, and it'll probably be another forty before they win another. What, exactly, is there to celebrate?

***Saturday Update*** I'm just going to leave this as the game thread. Check out the comments to see where ex-pats in TO are gathering. Enjoy the game, and GOOOO Oilers.

Prediction: The usual Toronto, Toronto and more Toronto coverage from the Mother Corp., turned up to eleven for tonight. Celebrity sightings: Mike Myers, Jim Cuddy, Gord Downie, Walter Gretzky, and Tyler Stewart. Jack Layton and Olivia Chow do the national anthem. Don Cherry weaves a yarn about the time Bobby Orr fought Dick Duff while dry humping Doug Gilmour in Hershey. He then cries while showing a tie that was made in Kandahar. But Alberta owns the night, as per usual. Oilers win in a romp, 7-2.

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Comments:

Also, a solution for hockey tunes....a little techinique I like to call "open link in new tab".
 


"techinique"...I guess it's about the same ideas as a pik-a-nik basket.

(the verification is oookbaw. OOOKBAW!


oookbah.



o god i'm drunk
 


It's 3:30 in the afternoon. That's impressive.
 


"It's been forty years since the Leafs won a Stanley Cup, and it'll probably be another forty before they win another"

It better be. I would rather endure nuclear Armageddon, an asteroid impact or any number of biblical level plagues in my lifetime than be witness to a Toronto cup.
 


What, exactly, is there to celebrate?

I think it's fantastic they're honouring these guys, one last time. Many of them are entering their 80s and probably won't see another anniversary.

It'll be good to see this Keon business put to rest.
 


I think it's fantastic they're honouring these guys, one last time. Many of them are entering their 80s and probably won't see another anniversary.

So have a dinner for them. Or write a book. Why does the rest of the nation (sans Quebec) have to suffer through watching it?
 


Why does the rest of the nation (sans Quebec) have to suffer through watching it

Fred Perry zip-ups made their way out to the sticks and you guys cant change the channel on your b&ws yet?
 


Fred Perry zip-ups made their way out to the sticks and you guys cant change the channel on your b&ws yet?

They are playing the Oilers. So, no.
 


I think it's fantastic they're honouring these guys, one last time. Many of them are entering their 80s and probably won't see another anniversary.

Ok, but it's very strange they would celebrate before a game against the Oilers. It's not like it's the same day the Cup was won or anything.
Why didn't they do this before a Leafs-Habs game? There would at least be a logical link with the opponent then.
For the Oilers, the only good thing about the lengthy pre-game would be if Ron McLean breaks in with the news that Lowe has re-signed Smyth. He will be meeting his agent Saturday, apparently.
 


I have to admit that the Keon thing will be nice but lets put it this way - I told my wife that they were holding this ceremony before the game and her reaction was ... uh, why?

Of course this is a franchise that is now reduced to making a big deal about teams that make it to the SC semifinals.

But they sure are going to put up some nice condos.
 


As a cautionary tale for clubs that have that haughty air because of success that lies almost 20 years in the past: The Leafs' streak was at 17 years when I was born. The Oilers streak, once they miss the playoffs this season, will be at 17 years. Careful because these droughts have a way of getting a life of their own.

And Black Dog, the 1993 reunion was organized by the players because they were a tight knit group. It's not like the Colts putting up an AFC finalist banner in the RCA Dome.
 


As a cautionary tale for clubs that have that haughty air because of success that lies almost 20 years in the past: The Leafs' streak was at 17 years when I was born. The Oilers streak, once they miss the playoffs this season, will be at 17 years. Careful because these droughts have a way of getting a life of their own.

My objection wasn't with the Leafs not winning since 1967. It was in the Leafs celebrating that they haven't won since 1967. Big difference.
 


Normally, I would be all over this, but we still celebrate just making it to the Stanley Cup finals. Twice. In 37 years.
 


Geez, it sure seems the Oil are on the wrong end of these celebrations more than other teams. I was actually rather pleased when I found out about the J. Bucyk retirement, it meant I didn't miss the first period, although in hindsight, I wish I had missed the entire game.

I'll be at the game, but I think I'll just hang out with the suits and eat some sushi until the puck drop. I enjoy pointing out to every Leafs fan I meet (which is almost daily) that they have NEVER been able to win more than two playoff series in any season. I guess they're just so naustalgiac for the good 'ol days that they just call it quits after the second round.

Any suggestions for inappropriate signs? The obvious ones are "40 MORE YEARS!" and "Celebrating 40 years of sucking," but I'd sure like to have a clever one to get it on TV.
 


I suspect that at this point the league is actually planning jersey retirements around Oiler road dates.
 


Any suggestions for inappropriate signs? The obvious ones are "40 MORE YEARS!" and "Celebrating 40 years of sucking," but I'd sure like to have a clever one to get it on TV.

I'd suggest something about finding Bill Barilko's body again, but that would be tastless. How about starting the "fiiiii-iiiive" chant?
 


ppp, I know that the reunion was organized by the players - by Clark if I recall

my point was the big deal the club made out of the reunion, a fact that some players were a little unhappy about apparently

what was supposed to be a get together to have a few beers and shoot the shit turned into the usual Richard Peddie BS - pictures of the guys on the Jumbotron at every turn, interiews with suits etc.

that was a fun team and they had a fun run but as a Leaf fan you have to admit that Richard Peddie is a joke - he does one thing well, make money for MLSE, and good for him but his involvement in anything hockey is only bad news for fans

perhaps if he kept his nose out of the sporting side of things the Leafs might actually have something meaningful to celebrate

doesn't forty years without even a trip to the Finals, despite having the cash to basically do whatever they want, grate on you?

it would kill me - I'm pissed off about the Oilers screwing up this season and that's one year only
 


Black Dog, I don't disagree with your assessment of management. I hate Peddie, Tanenbaum, Ballard, Stafford Smythe, Stavro, and every clueless clown since Conn Smythe that has had anything to do with the Leafs since '67. When the stories of Ken Thompson buying up the team were circulating I thought that it was the greatest thing that could happen. The Leafs need a single owner who is in it to win because they love the team. Of course he died and we are subject to God knows how many more years of MLSE.

As for the reunion, what did those guys that are upset think was going to happen? Any random alumnus gets put on the Jumbotron and they expect the team that got closest to the final to be any different? LeafsTV is filmed in the lobby. Did they think that a channel starved for content wouldn't send someone to talk to them?

Andy, is there really a problem with giving the guys one last hurrah? Bower is 145. He could die if the celebration goes too long. And the rest of the nation can change the channel.

And why be upset about it? The Leafs are 1-4 in games with any pre-game festivities this year and terrible at home. Be happy that your team will probably win tonight.
 


ppp - only team with a worse record in these deals are the Oilers - this could be a 0-0 tie decided by Belak vs Greene in the shootout

I'll be at the game tonight and admittedly am looking forward to seeing the tribute, especially Keon's return. And as one of the guys mocking the situation, let me say this - I think it is a nice celebration and a classy gesture. My mocking is more directed at management - if they put as much effort into their club over the years as they are to this situation and to selling merchandise maybe it would not be the 40th anniversary of their last Cup. Watch for your #14 retro jerseys in stores coming soon.
 


Watch for your #14 retro jerseys in stores coming soon.

Sadly, it would not surprise me in the least. Management is what it is sadly and until I make my fortune and buy the team I see no end. I weep.
 


Black dog,

I was at the game in question, and to be honest, what was portrayed (primarily by a cranky Toronto scribe with an agenda) as a classless attempt to horde in on a player organized reunion was really nothing more than a light-hearted stroll down memory lane. The way the evening was chastised, one got the impression that the alumni were forced down a red carpet at gunpoint by the MLSE brass and forced to sit through a tedious, pseudo-emotional ceremony. In reality, the evening was quite humorous and really just involved clips of the ’93 Leafs doing an embarrassingly bad Superbowl Shuffle-esque rock number and spots involving individual players and Mike Myers (which were really funny). The night came off more like a tribute to 90’s kitsch then it did a heart-felt tribute to a Conference finalist.

I never heard anything about the alumni being opposed to the attention. I know some in the media speculated that they should feel that way, but I read that as merely a bitter attempt to try and put words into the player’s mouths in order to further their own agendas.

I hate MLSE too. But on this night, the criticism was unfounded.
 


In reality, the evening was quite humorous and really just involved clips of the ’93 Leafs doing an embarrassingly bad Superbowl Shuffle-esque rock number and spots involving individual players and Mike Myers (which were really funny).

Ooh, where can I see that? I'd pay to see that.
 


Grabia don't forget (everyone else forgive the inside joke) - "Davey Keon is my favorite player." Can you play Slowhand Walter?

Edmonton ex-pats in TO - come to the Rhino to watch the game, 1.5 blocks west of Dufferin on Queen (across from Cadillac Lounge).
 


Can you play Slowhand Walter?

I heard that one from my buddy Gordie Howe. Or maybe it was Gordie Johnson. I don't f@#kin' remember, but he was pretty f@#kin tough I know that fer sure.
 


MacT might've earned a page in my bad books with his "newfie Ft. McMurray" comments last year, and if I was in that scrum I would've retorted with something that would've garnered me a punch in the face, but there's no doubt he's a funny guy and he had some nice rips on the Leaves ceremony today along with referring to Tues's past Beanton gala as "the 4th Johnny Bucky night.

I'm sorta torn on the Leaves doing this tonight. I think my Dad would've appreciated this if he were still living and that tugs at me a little and keeps the venom somewhat at bay. That being said I think there's an awful lot of Red Sox pre '04 and Leaves comparisons as in they're gonna make the national news and scene no matter what they do.

I don't think there's anything wrong with a short ceremony tonight, though they are asking for a little mocking given it's against a team that has five cups in under 30 years, so let's hope it stays that way and doesn't sprawl past the 20 min mark

Dennis
 


Andy,

I doubt it. At least I've never seen any of them outside of the ACC.

I assure you though, the sight of Jamie Macoun "rocking out" is as funny in execution as it is in theory.
 


James,

Does this ceremony put the Keon tiff to rest though?

As I understand it, Keon has, in fact, accepted invitations before to attended Leaf games, both at MLG and more recently at the ACC. I believe he even took in a game from Stavro's private box once.

Keon has made it clear that he's attending this event out of respect for his teammates, not to kickstart some kind of ceasefire with MLSE.

As far as Keon's traditional gripes with the organization - the honouring of numbers, the manner in which they treat their alumni, the grudge he apparently still holds towards Ballard - there has been no indication that the man has put any of that behind him.

This ceremony will be significant because it will be the first time the fans get an opportunity to show their appreciation. But aside from that, I'm not sure it's the landmark homecoming that many Leaf fans are trying to portray it as.

In other words, if there's a "Keon curse," I doubt it ends tonight.

For that to happen, the #14 must go up to the rafters. And unfortunately, there's no indication that it ever will.
 


Keon has been at games but he has not partaken in any official club festivities (team dinners or any function) which is why this is a big deal.

The beef with Ballard I get but this is a different ownership group and one that has done a lot of work to try to bridge the gap between the club and past players that went up during Satan's rein of terror.

The jersey issue is self-serving. The team's rules for honouring jerseys are not problems for anyone else. If he will only sanction the retiring then that's his problem and he should stop getting media attention. Imagine if T.O. or some other athlete was demanding that his number be retired. The media would crush them.
 


Oh and prediction for the game:

Da Leafs win the game 402-zip but Mats Sundin will be held to under 200 goals.

Go Leafs Go!
 


I think the Leafs have the right idea with honouring players instead of retiring numbers.

Too many players have their jerseys hanging as it is. Reserve it for the truly elite.
 


Sigh. 1-0 Toronto on their first powerplay.
 


After that second powerplay I swear you could see Craig Simpson yelling 'That's not how I drew it up!!'.
 


Craig Simpleton is completely useless.
 


Edmonton ex-pats in TO - come to the Rhino to watch the game, 1.5 blocks west of Dufferin on Queen (across from Cadillac Lounge).
Hey, one of my best friends works there, but I'm a Flames fan...

:P

Go Flames!
 


Can I change my prediction to "a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Leafs"?
 


I think Nedved needs a nap. And then a one way ticket to the same retirement home Johnny Bower escaped from.
 


I want to sit on a knife.

How bout them Raptors!?!> :0
 


MAP! That was nice.
 


Worst penalty shot call ever. Pouliot was not on a breakaway.
 


The rookie scores on the penalty shot? Whoa, nice. Pouliot's played since he's been recalled. Now the rest of the team, be like Pouliot. Gawd, never thought I'd say that.
 


ppp: fuck off.

This team is like a combination of vodka, 3AM and the girl with the curl.

Kill me. Kill me now.
 


I understand the hatred for MAB. Brutal giveaway on the third goal by him and Nedved.
 


So touchy LT ;)
 


i can't believe nedved saw the ice again after that 3-1 goal. I'm a MacT guy but he should be kicked in the nuts for putting him back on the ice. 16 and 34 aren't coming back and this team in it'a current form blows. We're dying on the vine here.

Dennis
 


Bergie made a nice pass, it was Nedved who screwed it up. Gawd, bench that loser.

And it was a penalty shot. Watch the replay.
 


Meh, in my eyes he wasn't clear of the Leafs forward before Carlo barreled into him.
 


ARRRRRRRRRGHH.

Well Sundin has kind of iced it, hasn't he?

I haven't heard Lupul's name on the radio once tonight.
 


He's been as effective as Gary Lupul.
 


shitbuckets.

Kevin Lowe, you asshole.
 


Wow, that was close at the end. Good thing Pouliot didn't play baseball as a kid.
 


[slowly takes off his puckhat and gently weeps]
 


ppp:

Lanny for Wilf. Fucker.
 


Such misplaced anger.
 


ppp: Good luck with the Cup run.
 


LT: Thanks, hopefully it goes one game better than the Oil's last year.

p.s. Pronger for Lupul, Smid, and picks. Fucker. Have a good night :)
 


PPP: 1967
 


Oh I know Mirtle.
 


Oilers 06-07 run for the playoffs:

I want more life. Fucker.
 


PPP: Feb 17 2007

Congrats to us. No matter how many bring up 1967 from Oil country, we can sleep peacefully tonight knowing we didn't a) Trade away the best player in the Universe for money, b) Trade away the best defenceman in 2006 for, cough, Joffrey Lupul, or c) Make it the finals last season only to miss the playoffs one year later.

Sucks to be you, Mirtle.
 


Haha...lookit all of the little Leafs fans showing their muscle!

It's cute!
 


Oh, and not to burst your bubble, uh, Muppet: but Mirtle isn't from Edmonton and he isn't an Oilers fan.
 


No matter how many bring up 1967 from Oil country, we can sleep peacefully tonight knowing we didn't a) Trade away the best player in the Universe for money, b) Trade away the best defenceman in 2006 for, cough, Joffrey Lupul, or c) Make it the finals last season only to miss the playoffs one year later.

Yeah, it's definitely easy to look down on the Oilers when you cheer for a team that institutionalized sexual abuse, wasn't able to trade away one of the best players of his day in Darryl Sittler so they just traded all the guys who were friends with him and, the last time that they made the finals (40 years ago), proceeded to miss the playoffs the next year out.
 


I often wonder if Leafs fans themselves think, deep down, that the Oilers have had the superior history even though they've been around for a much shorter length of time.

speeds
 


Ok, so that was one of the WORST performances I have ever seen from my Oilers (in person). That being said, three of the team's most important players are injured. It really hurts to lose to the Leafs, but I'll be a prick and reinterate that the Leafs have NEVER won more than two rounds of playoff hockey... that's right PPP, NEVER!! That's some team you've got there.

By the way, can I plead insanity if I assasinate Craig Simpson? Those two pitiful PP's in the first ten minutes set the pace for the game.

Three of the players I've defended the most this season - Torres, Lupul and MAB - were AWFUL. Torres was sleeping out there, which is surprising since he was playing in his hometown and probably in front of family and friends. Lupul is the softest power forward I have ever seen (he looks much better on TV, I concede that he sucks, although he did fire some nice shots during warm-up, nice job buddy) and MAB play speaks for itself. This is a game the Oil could have won, even with key components missing. It might be time to sell all our UFA's (especially Sykora... NOW!!!!) and start giving ice to our young guys (MAP looked pretty solid tonight). The worst that could happen is we have a horrible finish and find ourselves with a good draft position.
 


I think it's fantastic they're honouring these guys, one last time.

What on earth makes you think this is the last time? I'd predict celebrations on a 5yr rotation from now till the last one dies or the Leafs finally win the cup.
 


Another great Saturday night -- the Flames win, the Oilers ... don`t.

The prevailing wisdom around here last week was that the Oil needed to go 4-2-1 on this road trip to have a hope of making the playoffs. It appears they have now accomplished the 2-1 piece. Can they go 4-0 the rest of the way -- pfft, to ask the question is to have answered it.

Go Flames.
 


Peter, you goddamn rascal!
 


What the cocksmoking FUCK was Smid doing on that wraparound goal by Sundin? WHY ARE YOU STANDING AT THE FAR EDGE OF THE CREASE HOLDING ONTO THE CROSSBAR WHILE YOU WATCH SUNDIN AND STAOIS FIGHT IT OUT ON THE WAY TO THE NET? Don't they teach how to challenge an opposing forward? During the game I saw Smid hanging on the corner of the net as the puck chipped into the corner and spent the next 8 seconds not watching Sundin but seeing Smid on the edge of the screen not moving. I knew full well there was about to be a goal, and its frustrating as hell. We already have 47, we don't need imitators.
 


It really hurts to have the Loaves place the last nail in the Oil coffin.

KLo, you're in my bad books. And Simpleton. And MAB. And Lupul. And Torres. I'll stop now.

I don't feel like going to my last 2 games - Flames and Canucks. If I do (sigh, I will), I'll just hope for some good fights. And witness MAB be an idiot. And wish that I could throw popcorn on Simpleton's 80s gelled head.
 


Actually Oiler Joe, The Leafs won two rounds in 1993, 19994, 1999, and 2002. Unfortunately, it was only two rounds.

Tyler, Ballard was a terrible person.

And apparently Mirtle is a Canucks fan so it makes as much sense for him to bring up 1967 as when Jay does.

And for the record, I have seen Oilers teams come back from similar holes and, as much as I tweak Habs fans about their team being dead, the Oilers still have 23 games left and 3 against the Wild. Stranger things have happened.
 


I said:

(the Leafs have) NEVER won more than two rounds of playoff hockey

I think we all remember their great runs to the conference finals. To be fair, it should have been a Leafs/Habs final in '93 if not for the Gretzky rule.
Also, the Oil actually play 5 more games against the Wild, so yes, anything can happen, but with the current team that KLowe has decided to put on the ice, I doubt we can string together more than two wins in a row.

I wonder how long it will be before our 5 forward PP gives up a shorty? Simpson looks pretty desperate.
 


Apparently, Lowe has just given up MAB for Denis Grebeshkov. Who the fuck?
 


bergeron traded!

http://tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=196732&hubname=

I have no idea what to think about this.
 


Sorry OJ, misread that. 5 games? I was sure it was 3. Even more reason for hope.

Who is Grebeshkov? Maybe Mudcrutch's post about Bergeron was the last straw for Lowe.
 


They couldn't trade Bergie for a defenseman actually playing in the NHL right now??? Oh come on Lowe, what the hell???
 

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