MLHS is running its annual playoff pool over at CBC, and HOLY SHIT there’s Leafs players in it this year. The prize for the individual group winner will be a “Phil & Nazem & Joffrey & James” MLHS t-shirt. If you happen to win the overall CBC-wide pool, you will also take home a car (an MLHS’er actually finished top 5 a few years back).
The Toronto Maple Leafs are officially in the playoffs.
I hope that felt as good to read as it did to write.
It has been a long nine years since Jeremy Roenick broke Leafs Nations’ hearts in 2004. The excitement that year was nuts. The Leafs traded for Hall of Fame defenseman Brian Leetch for a bunch of guys nobody knew existed and Toronto was buzzing with Stanley Cup hopes. I remember Leetch’s first game against the Islanders; Leetch had three points and the TV broadcast had this stupid iso-camera on Leetch every time he touched the ice. (Ironic side note: the only player traded in the deal who became relevant in the NHL was drafted with the expended second round pick, a player by the name of Michael Sauer – you know, the guy who had his career ended by Phaneuf).
Good Day MLHS readers! How was your Sunday? Did you find that you got your best night’s sleep? Did the air feel a little crisper, the sun shine a little brighter? Does everything in your life feel significantly better? I sure found that to be the case. Why? THE LEAFS ARE IN THE MUTHA FUNKIN’ PLAYOFFS!!!1 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
Okay, I’m good now. This weekend is just the start of the good times, we’ve got at least four hockey games in May worth watching and I’ll optimistically say I think we’ll be seeing more than seven this year. We may not yet know who the Leafs are playing in round one, but we know for sure that CBC will be the network carrying the games.
Toronto Maple Leafs forwards Alexander Mogilny, left, and Gary Roberts stand dejected at the bench after their Game 6 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in their Eastern Conference semifinal in 2004, the last year the Leafs made the playoffs. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)
Not too long ago, the Leafs were sitting pretty comfortably in sixth and all looked pretty much ideal as far as the playoff picture was concerned. It hasn’t turned out so simple, of course. Washington has caught fire in the Southeast while Ottawa has fallen off with several consecutive losses. Now the Leafs are in 5th place, well back of 4th but increasingly clear of 6th (up by 4 points, even on games with the Sens).