Thursday, 3 April 2014

Musings on a shameful affair

A few thoughts on the Bruins-Leafs game, before I go for an hour-long Silkwood shower.

  • I know that the reasonable thing to want as a Canadiens fan is for the Leafs to stay in the playoff chase as long as possible, to prolong their agony, and depress their standing in the June draft.  Best case scenario would be for them to draft 14th overall.  Even knowing that, I was cheering for them to lose, badly, in another dispiriting fashion.  I want Mark Masters to, blessedly, shut the heck up about his Leafs.  He can jabber on about the Jays and Argos, I don't care, just hush on Dion Phaneuf's leadership and Jay McClement's case for the Selke Trophy.
  • That makes sense right?  Whether the Bruins win or lose at this point is immaterial, as revolting as the thought of being neutral about Boston is.  They've clinched 1st in the division, they're in, win or lose.
  • How do I cheer for the Leafs to lose though?  How exactly can I go about that, in this specific game?  Without accidentally sending positive vibes to the other side.  Maybe for Patrice Bergeron to get all their goals, unassisted?
  • I love how the Leafs used to have Mark Fraser, Colton Orr, Frazer McLaren among others, to crosscheck Brian Gionta in the mouth and play keepaway with Brendan Gallagher's head, but now that they're facing the big bad Bruins, they ice a milquetoast roster, and meekly allow Milan Lucic to stand wherever he wants on the ice, blue paint or not.  
  • Sean Thornton snow showers James Reimer?  No problem sir, take your time leaving our goalie's crease, we'll reconvene in the faceoff circle whenever you're ready.
  • Colon Campbell's favourite son cross-checking you in the back Nazem?  You don't feel like acting like a tough guy in this particular instance?  No problem,  don't face up against him and stand up for yourself, wait until a little while later and give a half-hearted, underhanded, dirty, dirty, dirty driveby dirty elbow on a Bruins defenceman who doesn't see you coming and had nothing to do with the previous altercation.
  • Gotta hand it to Paul Ranger, he showed tonnes of dedication and perseverance in pushing/punching Patrice Bergeron on top of Jonathan Bernier, ending the latter's night.  I'm not sure where the sportsmanship aspect fits in tough.
  • When I watch any game featuring any Canadian team on TSN, I actually make a point of watching the panel between periods.  They tend to be entertaining and informative.  Anyway, you usually get half the time allotted to the featured game, and the other half to other Canadian teams, analysis of their situation or prospects, or any big news of interest in hockey or the NHL.  Well tonight, it was all Leafs, all the time.  Not one peep about anything else but the valiant struggle of the hard-bitten Leafs.  Is it just me, am I just paranoid, or is TSN not really a national broadcaster, but a Toronto station that fills occasional dead air with content from other Canadian markets?
  • The fact that Zdeno Chara now plays forward on the powerplay, and that the previously moribund Bruins PP is now one of the best in the league as a result, is further proof that the Bruin Morlock is not a good defenceman, despite all the slurping he receives from the complicit media.  The guy can't skate anymore, he's a liability on the ice, and he can't play the point on the powerplay.  Aside from Rod Langway and maybe Scott Stevens, any All-Star defenceman plays the first wave of his team's powerplay, that's a given.  That Zdeno Chara can't, that he acted as a drag on his special teams for years, shows that he's only valuable because of his freakish size, and the lax enforcement of the rules he's supposed to play under.  If the NHL was a skill/hockey league, and not a toughness/violence league, he'd barely be a #6 defenceman, he'd be Hal Gill.
  • The Leafs eventually win in overtime, and watch their odds of making the playoffs increase by a few points, to nearly 10%.  Great job, stupid Bruins.  Tie it up, grab a loser point, and then leave the Leafs some life.  The only silver lining, most of the points came at the expense of the Flyers, who are still not in mathematically.  If the Flyers could stumble out of the playoffs, that would be nice too.

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