Morning Mashup: Do We Smell Optimism?
I love a lot of things. My family, girlfriend, friends, hockey. Life. But one of the more recent things Iâ€™ve started loving is the newly found optimism of Leafs Nation. Letâ€™s face it, coming into next season we finally have a legitimate reason to be somewhat optimistic.
Here Iâ€™m not talking about your usual it will be better next year type of optimism, no. My kind of optimism stems from being one of the better NHL teams towards the end of this yearâ€™s regular season and making a legitimate playoff push. And letâ€™s face it, fact is even if things donâ€™t change, right now weâ€™re a better team from the one that actually made that push.
It also stems from knowing that this probably isnâ€™t a short term thing. Burke has also helped to re-stockpile the youth ranks and with prospects like Nazem Kadri, Joe Colborne, Jerry Dâ€™Amigo, Greg McKegg, Tyler Biggs, Sondre Olden, Jesse Blacker, Jake Gardiner, Simon Gysbers, Stuart Percy, Ben Scrivens, Jussi Rynnas, Mark Owuya, we have something we havenâ€™t had in a while. Perspective.
Iâ€™m almost afraid to mention the fact that the current roster is also among the youngest NHL teams because I risk sounding a little too thrilled about the future. Sure, we might not compete for the Cup next year and even if making the playoffs might seem like a must, it really isnâ€™t. Itâ€™s expected, itâ€™s possible and one might even call it somewhat probable if that someone sees the glass as half full. But it isnâ€™t a must because the glass is actually 70% full. Even if next years playoff push is just a pipe dream, Brian Burke is building a team that will compete for years to come and Iâ€™m finally glad to be able to say that and be objective.
Pardon me for looking ahead and writing this semi sentimental, semi optimistic bit, but you know things are slowing down when you start wondering about who will sign Alexei Kovalev.