So, who saw this start to the 2010-11 Season coming? A great big nobody that’s who.
Here we are a week into the regular season and the Leafs. The same Leafs we have alternately cursed and cried over for the past decade – those Leafs – are 4-0. Uh, WTF?
First of all how is this even possible? What bizarre series of events led us to this, this inexplicable and oh-so awesome start to the season?
How did our Leafs do it? Did they play the crappy Oilers-esque four times in a row? No.
Were the other teams crippled with some sort of SARS type Toronto disease that we unleashed on them as part of a multi tiered battle plan that included some degree of Biological Warfare? No.
Did they do it with good ol fashioned hard work and Wendell Clark type gumption? Oddly enough – yes.
They put on their hard hats and went to work.
THEY DID EXACTLY THAT
And that Leaf lovers is why we should be worried. Very worried. Hard work, finding ways to get a win, playing as a team? Worried indeed. Look we’ve been down this path before. Many times. The team starts to gel, the wins are racking up faster that Lindsay Lohan drug charges, new heroes emerge out of the ashes of the previous years and there is this feeling in your gut, in your very hockey heart, that maybe just maybe this team isn’t gonna disappoint.
I consider this "Leafs disease" which is part of a larger family of illness called "Canadian Hockey Fan Syndrome." It has been known to infect thousands of our Countrymen year after year and leads only to nausea, heartburn and in it’s final stages utter heart break. And I’m neighbours with a real doctor – so I know medicine related stuff when I see it.
Your team is winning and you’re eating all you can eat Vegas style prime rib buffet. Life is good. But do you honestly think it could this be the core that leads Toronto out of the desert?
Are Phaneuf, Burke and Wilson some kinda Moses trifecta that will take the sorry lost souls of Leaf Nation to the Promised Land? In a word: No.
Come on, 4-0. Big whoop. That’s why they call them roller coaster seasons. Expectations need to go waaaaaaay up before they can come crashing down, terrifying us all in the process. What does a 4-0 start really tell us? Nothing, nadda, zilch.
THE DROPPING OF THE SHOE
The worst thing this team could do to the hearts and minds of The LeafsNation is win and win early. When the inevitable Shaquille O’Neil sized other shoe drops and this team goes into a downward Mel Gibson esque spiral, getting shut out, out shot and outplayed on a nightly basis, we will be left to mutter statements aloud including:
- “How did this happen?”
- “I really thought Bozak was #1 line material, wasn’t he?”
- “Holy crap how do I get more of this Justin Beiber nail polish?”
When the reality comes crashing down and we’re left to rocking ourselves to sleep at night in our Felix Potvin bed sheets, we will be haunted by the feeling we had oh so early this year when you were cheering a 4-0 team. That feeling of pride. The feeling of a winner. The feeling we wished would never end and run us all right into the playoffs.
HOW DO I KNOW THIS?
Because friends, this has been happening to me for literally hundreds of years in a row. That’s right, in addition to living next to a Doctor, I am immortal. Immortal and sentenced to perpetual Leafs mediocrity that links my infinite existence to being infinitely disappointed in the Leafs.
Alright fine. Perhaps I am not immune to Earthly Perils. But I have been around the block once or twice and I can tell you that the worst thing about going 4-0 is it hurts so much more when the team free falls into a vat of suckfuric acid. The cup brimming joy I feel now will only lead me to greater unhappiness right around the corner.
I can feel it.