Raking Leafs

Mixing metaphors and casting cliches about hockey and the Maple Leafs for the ether's pleasure since MCMLXVII.

9/25/2008

Rare Synchronicity

As you can tell my Leaf blogging urge has ebbed over the past year. The reasons are due to physical health, mental health (Wilson's mantra of attention to detail is my current medication), as well as other interests over-taking my irrational insistence on watching a team with a deeply flawed ownership and team philosophy.

The leader of the competing pack is fly-fishing. This year has been a banner year for me simply because of the number of hours I have been able to enjoy streamside. Along with getting married, this will be one of the most memorable years of my life. Not to get too non-Leafs on the few souls that still manage to click their way here every now and again, but delving so deeply into a new passion can at times bring you back full circle.

This morning is a case and point. Looking to augment my already overflowing arsenal of hook, thread, and fur and feather, I stumbled across a bodacious looking fly, aptly named the Melrose Mullet. I know Barry hasn't gone the blue dye route yet, but I could imagine it if he ever landed Cherry's gig in a decade.


As for the Leafs, well, it is looking like a sit back and watch kind of season. Or as my employer often drones on, this is a period of transition with loads of opportunity. (ain't phrasing the modern magic akin to a snake oil sales pitch?)

I'm still waiting for the first major injury to derail the optimism. I'm guessing Kaberle or Kubina's ankle while blocking a shot. I'm sadly not surprised that my boy Kaberle is struggling to adjust to zone coverage. He's been badly tainted, and some patience might be needed with this reliable veteran. I'm also eagerly waiting to hear from the media how Kulemin is being ruined if he managed to stick on the top line. But the number beside the line shouldn't be very important this year. Scoring has to come from everywhere, which should be possible if the team actually plays a turn-over type defense in all three zones. But what I would like to see most this season is a team that demonstrates that it gets it, that preventing goals is how you win the game and if the players don't commit to preventing goals, they sit.

An early trend that is worrisome is the PK. I know Wilson has had half a practice with the team to cover the abcs, and Gill isn't here anymore to save the day, but this aspect of the game needs serious attention. Tim Hunter, I'm looking at you.

Some things I'd like to see are Antro and Kulemin, Stajan and Hagman, Steen and Blake. Actually, that last one would be a fight every time up the ice to see who gets to take the long slap shot the goalie can clearly see. So maybe, Steen and Hagman and Stajan and Blake. Over the first ten games I'd like to see goals against less than 25. I know the early season score-a-thon is a tradition for the Leafs, as it is with much of the league, but if things are to be different, this is a great place to start. If the goals for is less than 10, that's ok. I'm more concerned with generating scoring chances. By December hopefully the details have spread from the D zone all the way to the other end of the ice, but if that takes until March, that's ok too.

Other than that, I'm still waiting to see some live action. No pre-season Leafs for me down here in the NY media market. And the most pressing issue for out-of-marketers remains HD broadcasting on the Center Ice package.

Though there are benefits. Not hearing the incessant scripted non-stories all summer is a serenity those in the Big Smoke no doubt envy.

Patience. That's the word we all need to remember, however difficult it maybe. Without it, the Leafs losing will continue to be a self-induced nightmare.

Patience. It also helps with the fishys.

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4 Comments:

  • At 11:41 AM, Blogger Chemmy said…

    Whoa, welcome back. Where in NY are you?

    I'm in CT.

     
  • At 11:45 AM, Blogger ninja said…

    I'm actually in Summit, NJ. and Thanks. I'm not sure if I'm completely back yet. Time will tell, I guess.

     
  • At 3:00 PM, Blogger Chemmy said…

    I hear ya. I'm writing with PPP over at Pension Plan Puppets now, you should stop by.

    Maybe you don't feel like blogging, but feel like talking Leafs every now and again. :)

     
  • At 4:14 PM, Blogger Bryon said…

    Good to see you back!

     

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