Did you know that Monday, December 23rd was the 190th anniversary of that famous Christmas poem? Neither did we. But if that isn’t a good enough reason to create a parody version celebrating some sort of joyful holiday message that we can take away from the Leafs‘ horrible play of late, I don’t know what is.


The Plight Before Christmas

T’was the plight before Christmas, when all through the team,
Not a player was scoring – nary a Phil, David, nor #Kadream.
The goalies were hung by their nets, out to dry,
In hopes this “defensive system” wasn’t just some huge lie.

The enforcers were nestled all snug in their spots,
Impressing the coach, taking part in the foughts.
Rumours abound – Eakins gone, Gardiner and Poulin as well?
The province of Alberta only rebuilds with Leaf personnel.

Randy, Dave, bloggers – all the same chatter:
Not a real clue what’s actually the matter.
Secondary scoring non-existent, Clarkson’s thus far a bust,
Plus the loss of Dave Bolland, who was, I guess, some kind of Horcrux.

Pure hell for the fans, in a city decreed hockey heaven,
Actually a pretty sweet deal for the producers of 24/7.
When what, to our wondering eyes should appear
But Paul Ranger in the press box, with Mark Fraser seated near.

With Rielly and Gardiner, so lively and quick,
The power play lived – might the youth really stick?
And Randy Carlyle: that often nice, pleasant fella
The cameras caught channelling his inner Tortorella.

“Now [censored] embarrassed! Now [censored] outworked!
Now [censored] out-executed, [censored] out-passioned!
Out every-[censored]-thing, unacceptable in our own building!”

That speech, I tell you, was more than just terse,
It was a perfect fit for an otherwise tough-to-mock verse.
Now Dave sought a 1A, to play with Phaneuf
A pain this poet sympathizes with, having also tried to pair something with Phaneuf.

And then, so it seemed, each game was a coin toss,
The stinging pain building with each crushing loss.
Try as they might to turn it around,
This Motley Leaf crew plummeted in the standings with a bound.

Jim Reimer, once proud in goalie gear head to foot,
Was now sodden and tarnished, with ashes and soot.
Not literally, of course, hockey’s fairly aesthetically clean game,
But his spirit, most definitely, had started to wane.

His eyes – how they had twinkled! His dimples, previously so merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
That smile and temperament, not one for issuing reproach,
But now, just icy glares—reserved for the coach.

He was grumpy and tired, not his usual self of old
In a postgame scrum so candid, you’d forget he struggles with rebound control.
“I can only make so many saves, we must help ourselves,” he basically said,
And I thought: when that man’s pissed, we all have something to dread.

But it’s true, I suppose, with proven talent and many games to play
That with a playoff race on the horizon, hope must be the way.
It can be disappointing, sure – just ask every Stark who’s now bones,
(Weird reference, I know. Started watching Game of Thrones).

Hope wins in the end: on some Manhattan avenue,
Gary Bettman sits all snug, counting vast record revenues.
I bet if you asked, he’d happily point out:
“Could be worse, Toronto: Buffalo, or still locked out!”