A week ago, several people, including the illustrious Howard Berger at Hockeybuzz, had written of not only the entire hockey season in Toronto, but certainly the first game, against the mighty Detroit Red Wings.
And who can blame them?
Here were the lowly Leafs, heading to Motown to take on the defending Stanley Cup champs. Most hockey pundits would have picked the Red Wings in a rout.
Even myself, being an ever-optimistic fan of Le Buds, had my doubts about opening night, but clung to the hope that these kids could make something happen with their speed and tenacity.
And they did.
So, as I sat here, sipping my Kool-aid, I had to wonder just what all the nay-sayers were writing today. Sure â€˜nuff, many have softened their stance on the cellar-dwellers, at least for now.
One game does not a season make, but the Leafs showed signs that they could be more difficult to play against than many people gave them credit for.
Just the other day, olâ€™ Howie had them picked for dead last. And they may well end up there, but Iâ€™m more inclined to think that they will surprise more people than not.
As I mentioned before, speed and enthusiasm, coupled with their willingness to follow Ron Wilsonâ€™s system, may produce more wins than many people thought.
So many want this team to tank. And although itâ€™s an interesting concept, I really donâ€™t put much weight behind that theory.
So many first-overall picks have not panned out. Is it worth it to finish dead last, enter the lottery, get the pick and then hope for the best? I highly doubt it.
I believe they are heading in the right direction, and with a few additions, and a solid work ethic, the Leafs will be fine. Time will tell.
Of course, meanwhile, Iâ€™ll keep reading the pessimism and drinking my kool-aid.