Home Authors Posts by Matt Mistele
Boxscore | Ice Time | Recap
With tonight’s loss, the Leafs are 34-36-10. Writing a Game in 10 at this point – and after a night like that – feels like what I’d imagine trying to re-animate a dead cat with a car battery feels like. Disappointing, redundant, and bathed in some foul odour from the burnt hair family of odours.
At least it was kind of entertaining.
AP Photo/Paul Sancya
A disappointing reality of which most viewers arenâ€™t aware, modern â€œrealityâ€ television is â€“ in fact â€“ fairly scripted. â€œSoft scriptingâ€ is the technique a showâ€™s producers use to vaguely outline what should happen to the showâ€™s participants, and oftentimes, they will implore those contestants to perform as requested. Documentaries are no different, typically outlined based on extensive research and footage collection and them assembled to form a coherent, calculated point.
Since the February announcement that the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings will compete in the January 2012 Winter Classic, many have assumed â€“ correctly â€“ that HBO will film and broadcast their next season of 24/7 focussed on the two teams. What many readers wonâ€™t have realized is that HBOâ€™s award-winning writing teams have been working on scripting the show secretly since the announcement in preparation for the expected deal.
"No, Mr. Burke. I expect you to die trying while I COMPLAIN!"
Februaryâ€™s losses devastated the 2011-12 Toronto Maple Leafs! The NHLâ€™s most arrogant coach ever couldnâ€™t save the flailing squadron from amateur mistakes â€“ and was fired for it! The softest forward corps in the league is totally un-truculent! Jim and Gus couldnâ€™t do their jobs if they went out pregame and found a 600-page guide entitled â€œHow To Tendâ€ sitting in goal!
This team is junk, top to bottom! Fire Burke! Rebuild the rebuild! This is a SimCity nuclear meltdown, hail on summer corn crops, â€œI can see Russia from my houseâ€-sized DISASTER!
Hyperboleâ€™s way too easy, people.
Photo: Toronto Star
Photo: The Star
A few months ago, Brian Burke joined Twitter. He caved to fan and peer pressure, selected a username that will become instantly obsolete if he ever leaves MLSE for different employment, and took up social media residence on the popular frontier that has all but eliminated the need for news tickers and TSN alerts.
He could have quit there. But Burke, a master of rhetoric and image control, took it a step further and offered fans a one-hour window in which they could submit questions that he would attempt to answer directly over the coming weeks (and, one has to assume, months). To this point, heâ€™s been surprisingly thorough in responding to a massive amount of Twinquiries.
You could see it, feel it â€“ even hear it. It was the complete overtime game-winning-goal experience, and in the playoffs, no less. Their first round opponent was the Ottawa Senators. It was here, in this newfound playoff rivalry, that the Battle of Ontario was truly born. And by the searing power of our Captainâ€™s blade, it roared off to a memorable start.
Game 1. The Senators were second seed in the standings and the apparent favourites, but the Leafs â€“ on the back of their oft-underappreciated gem of a leader â€“ fought out a tight 0-0 tie into overtime. Steve Thomas executed a fairly textbook give-and-go at the Ottawa blueline. As he dished the puck to his Swedish linemate and dashed toward the net, Thomas couldnâ€™t see Sundin step forward and take what has to be one of the most interesting shots Iâ€™ve ever seenâ€¦
It’s a Friday night, and the Leafs are playing! Capital!
I’m not actually sure which usage (“capital” or “capitol”) is correct there. Is anyone? People apparently used to say that as an exclamation of being pleased with something. And by “used to say that”, I actually mean that Pete Campbell may have said it once on Mad Men (so I assume it’s true). And since Mad Men features a lot of people wearing suits, I consider that vague connection a decent enough excuse to use an oddly-Presidential Photoshop for the GDT. Definitely not just because it’s funny, or the first one that comes up in our media library when you search for ‘Ovechkin’.
photo: kulas korner
photo: kuklas korner
Or, “How I learned to stop worrying and love MLHS titles that are way too long.”
Every so often, an opinion thoroughly disguised as a mainstream news article presents itself – one that is so ridiculous, so utterly without basis, that the most appropriate response is to simply ignore it. In these situations, we are encouraged not to â€œsink to that levelâ€ by dignifying the position with a response. You know, to rise above – behave with a level of superior maturity. This is not one of those times.
Photo: Abelimages/Getty Images North America
The Toronto Maple Leafs currently sit with an NHL-fifth-best average of 3.09 goals scored per game. Yes, fifth. The same Toronto Maple Leafs who have been desperately chasing a star forward via trade in order to upgrade whatâ€™s perceived as a lacking, ever-so-slightly-impotent offense, are â€“ by statistics â€“ one of the National Hockey Leagueâ€™s highest scoring groups.
Your guess is as good as mine.
The Toronto Maple Leafs enjoyed a relatively injury-free training camp heading into the 2010-2011 season. Apparently, karmaâ€™s been waiting twelve months to deliver a shattering right cross of vengeance. Weâ€™ve poured over the countless Tweets, articles, and even contacted some unofficial sources to assemble the most comprehensive online report to date of the Leafsâ€™ current injury situation.
Brace yourself. Itâ€™s worse than any of us could have imagined.
UPDATE (11:32pm) – Of course, 11 hours after I posted this, Drew Doughty has signed in LA. Early indications put the deal at 8 years for $7 million per. So, the obvious lesson for both sides: procrastinate something as far as you possibly can, because when you do it, the timing will be hilariously perfect.
While enjoying patios and beer league baseball shenanigans this summer, Leaf Nation couldnâ€™t help but keep one anxious ear primed for any news â€“ or explanation â€“ surrounding the lack of a Luke Schenn signing well into September. Now, late into training camp, fans of the Los Angeles Kings wait with the same baited breath for their own RFA superstar Drew Doughtyâ€™s new deal. To call both situations peculiar, given the playersâ€™ individual importance to their respective teams, would not be an overstatement. Is there some connection between these prolonged negotiations?
Might Donald E. Meehan – founding partner of Newport Sports Management and agent to both players â€“ be that common denominator?
Anyone with eyes, or access to a radio station, has a fairly good idea by now that Brian Burkeâ€™s a busy man. Between lending his presence to charitable causes, managing his NHL team, or working the phones to improve the mediocrity quality of said team, he never seems to slow down.
The man deserves a break.
But of course, those whoâ€™ve balanced a similar workload in their life know wickedly effective time management skills are critical for success in such circumstances. So much so, in Burkeâ€™s case, that he extends those practices to his time off. Thatâ€™s right. In order to maximize the relaxation the way he maximizes the trade returns on MLSEâ€™s on-ice refuseLebda, Brianâ€™s generated a checklist to help him organize his summer vacation. His duties and time off overlap incredibly, leaving him with little choice. The Toronto Truculent has, of course, obtained a copy.
A few items have evidently been highlighted by his personal assistants to indicate high priority, or already completed. Itâ€™s late July, after all.
Rumours. Dirty, dirty rumours. Â© Google Images
With the explosion of social media and online quasi-reporting, inventing chasing down NHL rumours has evolved into a full time job. Even more difficult is the fansâ€™ arduous task of tracking these updates. The vast majority of our message boardianisms are no longer devoted to even discussing the game on the ice itself but, rather, to the potential movement of contracts behind the scenes.
We curse them for their inaccuracy, mock them for their inventiveness, and lament their lack of effort to incorporate any grammar whatsoever into 140 characters or less. Despite this, the rumour business is booming. We all get terribly excited for any new nugget of information, however blatantly false, that these sources provide.
Probability dictates that, barring a planetary or economic catastrophe of crippling scale, the Toronto Maple Leafs will win another Stanley Cup. At worst, theyâ€™ll be defeated in a gut wrenching final paralleling their Canadian, specifically British Columbian buddies of last evening. (Fun fact, to distract from that frustrating reminder of it: The provinceâ€™s name was chosen specifically by Queen Victoria in 1858, mainly in reference to the then-British local territory drained by the Columbia river1 â€“ in fact having nothing to do, as I had assumed, with being a tea-swilling version of its Latin American counterpart).
If the fervour, emotion, and insanity with which the city of Vancouver reacted to last nightâ€™s outcome can be considered a molehill, the passion for hockey in the Greater Toronto Area would undoubtedly be its mountain. Vancouverâ€™s a city placated with success in sport, having hosted a wondrously successful Olympics last year and serving as the focal point for intense national pride as Canada again proved that, as a nation, weâ€™re pretty much still awesome at that sport weâ€™re clearly always awesome at.
Please welcome Matt Mistele of Toronto Truculent to the MLHS Blogging team. A really funny guy with sublime writing talent and hockey knowledge, we’re thrilled to have him.
Let’s begin this â€˜Confidential!â€™ piece with an outright disclaimer:
Kerry Fraser seems like a nice guy. A few epically blown calls aside, heâ€™s apparently well-liked by the players both personally and professionally â€“ voted the most consistent NHL referee by the players in a poll that happened in December 2005, according to this. The successes and unique accomplishments of this manâ€™s career vastly outweigh the failures on paper.
Prev123Page 3 of 3