Leafs postgame – On the proper use of “should of”

Just a note to those of you not in on the joke. When the Leafs are behind, oftentimes you’ll see our Twitter account retweet something like this:

Or this:

Or this:

To all the grammar freaks out there, we’re aware that the correct word in the situation is “should have” and not “should of“. But that’s why we do it. The grammar irregularity serves as a way of highlighting the absurd. Sure, I could James Reimer could of started tonight, and maybe Tim Gleason should of been in the lineup. Also if Clarke MacArthur would of stayed with the Leafs maybe they wouldn’t be struggling for scoring as much as they are this season.

I feel the need to explain our editorial use of “should of” because how else would you tee up this loss? Toronto dropped a game to the New York Rangers, a team that was chasing them in the standings, 7-1, and it could have been 8-1 if not for a goal waived off to goaltender interference in the dying seconds.


I’m not sure if I’ve used this clip before:

The New York Rangers scored early (Carl Hagelin tipped a puck in past Jonathan Bernier just 7 minutes into the game) and often (seven times) and Bernier was chased for the first time on the season. Despite the scoreline, there was a point in the second period when the Leafs were getting massively out-shot, but still looked like they had a chance because Bernier made a few big stops off key chances. The problem was that Cam Talbot was equal to the task on the other end, and little by little, the Leafs lifeline drained away.

Toronto can’t win games unless their goalie steals one (despite losing for 53:07 of the game, they still got out-shot 50-26) and this is what happens when the goalie has an off-night.


Well, because that’s sort of their thing.

The worst part was that the Rangers were on the second half of a back-to-back, on the road, after getting touched up a night ago by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Talbot got them an early spark, and Toronto was just absolutely flat. Everybody was flat. The fourth line was the only line recovering pucks in deep in the early going, the defence was absolutely immobile, and David Clarkson and Carl Gunnarsson both left in the first period, reducing the roster to 16 skaters. Cody Franson and Jake Gardiner looked absolutely awful, applying no physical pressure as Rangers skaters kept going around them and finding open lanes.

And Jonathan Bernier isn’t totally faultless. Dominic Moore’s first of the night (yes, Dominic Moore scored twice. That’s the hockey equivalent of your mechanic popping the hood of the vehicle and finding a family of hamsters living in your transmission. “Well, THERE’S your problem, Mr. Charron.”) It’s not quite Matt Cullen recording a four-point night as he did earlier in the season, but what the heck is this?

Gardiner won’t win any Norris Trophies, but he’s a very competent defenceman, and he made Dominic Moore look like Rick Nash. Thankfully, Rick Nash looked like Dominic Moore for most of the night, which is probably why the game wasn’t 10-1.


Well… not really. You lose by 1, you lose by 6, it still counts as a loss. A six-goal loss is easier to swallow when it comes at the heels of a six-game point streak and three-game winning streak. I think the Leafs may have been owed a night like this.

CBC immediately turning to the Ottawa-Montreal game to show Clarke MacArthur scoring the OT winner didn’t help things. The Senators are very much within striking distance of the Leafs, as are the Rangers, as are Detroit, up 4-1 on Dallas, as are the Philadelphia Flyers, currently tied 3-3 in the third against Phoenix, and as are Carolina, who beat the Islanders. The only out-of-town scoreboard game that broke Toronto’s way was New Jersey losing in Buffalo in regulation.

The night could have gone better. But it’s Saturday night, and there are more important things to worry about. Like Canada getting crushed by Finland at the World junior championship, for instance.

  • STAN

    This team has zero compete. Where was the forecheck, were was checking or obstructing forwards from easy access to net, where was the block out the front of net?

    Those factors are reflected in and are part of the
    reason why the leafs are getting outshot consistently. This team has little compete, heart and grit – they are soft physically and too weak defensively. Corsi is simply a measure of heart – desire to win – and the leafs have very little tonight.

    • Jeremy Ian

      I’ve been in the fire Carlyle camp but after tonight I starting to think there is a bigger problem on the leaf team itself.

      This team is full of brain dead players. Carlyle is not the player on the ice making unforced turnovers and he’s is not the one skating in circles and missing defensive assignments. This team is lazy and doesn’t compete. Carlyle is not the player getting beaten to open pucks, he’s not the player who is constantly comes out flat, he’s not the player who won’t fight for the puck, forecheck or battle for every inch on the ice.

      This team is rather content to get outshot consistently and not battle for the puck. Carlyle does need to start benching the players who are not showing up but these are professional athletes who show little pride in their efforts. I think before Carlyle is replaced they shake up the team and get rid of the problem players

      • Jeremy Ian

        The problem is that Carlyle has, more or less, the same roster that he had last season when they apparently did so well and almost beat the Bruins. In fact, we were told about how much tougher to play against the team was made in the off season.

        So they’re supposed to be BETTER than they were last year, and they’ve slowly but surely played worse and worse, or at least had worse and worse results.

        So what happened? If you’re not blaming the coach for their bad play now, you can’t give him credit for their “good” play last year. That means you’re giving credit to the players. But if you’re giving credit to the players, then the players they got rid must have had a lot to do with the team’s success and the players they brought in were extremely poor substitutes. The one to blame for that would be Nonis, since he’s the one making those changes.

        Either that, or there’s some other reason why the team slowly but steadily has lost the ability to play hockey. Some, including myself, are looking more and more at the coach. When a team lacks disciplined hockey and consistent effort, is that not what a coaches primary purpose is? To take a roster, instill a system and style of play for them to adhere to, and then keep them motivated and prepared going into every game? The last time we’ve seen the Leafs play this poorly was at the end of Wilson’s tenure, when they had quit on him. Funny, that.

        • Jeremy Ian

          And the roster (more so last year) has the same players that Wilson had and he flopped. So where does the comparison end?

          You argue it is just Carlyle, rather I’m saying it is both the players and Carlyle. Maybe the problem is those same players under Carlyle and Phaneuf.

  • STAN

    I don’t see that retweeting bad grammar has anything to do with anything.

    Just as you probably think that sports broadcaster intentionally abuse the language by incessantly reading /writing a proper noun pronoun malfeasance, e.g. Bernier he. The Leafs they. My co-reader she. My grammar it.

    As for the game, the moment the Leafs “gritty” stalwart Clarkson went down, all hell broke loose. The buds would not have been pounded 8-1 (it was 9, even though officially it goes down as a 7 spot) with Clarkson at full throttle. Probably would OF been 6-1.

    Paul Ranger was not even AHL calibre tonight and the only forwards who at least tried were Holland, D’Amigo and Lupul.

    Bring on 6 games in 8 nights, or whatever it is. carlyle and the boys are obviously up for it.

    I’d love to hear Leiweke and Nonis talking about MacArthur’s OT game winner tonight and 14 goals on the season.

  • Bertly83

    Im really getting fed up with this team. Most nights they look like guys who hate going to work and only show up for the sake of showing up. We need competitors on this team, people who love playing hockey for the sake of playing hockey not just to make money. Ill remain a leafs fan until the end, but this team really irritates me most nights.

    • STAN

      To David’s point, think about this: next season the Leafs will pay Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel $8M apiece, while the best Captains in the business are getting far less – (Toews, Dustin Brown) and some other notables (Crosby, Getzlaf) are making about what The Pylon and Mister One Dimensional will pull down for the world’s most famous and profitable team.


  • STAN

    “the Leafs lifeline drained away.”

    If you are going to persecute random tweeters for their use of “should of” for “should’ve” (which sound identical in spoken English), I would like to highlight this egregious mixed metaphor. Perhaps you *should of* used the image of a lifeline “drifting away”, like out of the reach of a drowning person.

  • Jeremy Ian

    I like the grammatical parody for this team. At least it makes sense, even if it’s nonsense.

    McClement (19:57) plays more time on ice than any other forward when what you need are goals? He didn’t record a single SOG — even Franson got 4 (second only to Lupul, with 7 SOG)

    Phaneuf fights Kreider while Orr skates around?

    This is beyond having an “off” night, whatever that means.

    For the past few months, the Leafs’ opponents’ scouts have figured out that a combination of deep forechecking and pinching defensemen will choke the Leafs into their own end — and drive the Leafs to rely on their weakness to rectify: exiting their zone.

    Maybe we should of been holding someone accountable?

  • Jeremy Ian

    “Most coaches will succeed with above average goaltending.”

    That’s… my point. You said Wilson and Carlyle had the same roster and I pointed out that they didn’t. One has goalies that are near the top of the league and the other had goalies that were dead worst.

    • Jeremy Ian

      Not quite. Carlyle has been missing two of his top centre but Wilson on the other hand had an injured goalie. Carlyle still has outperformed anything wilson has managed.

      But that’s not even the point as it seems you are set on convincing the world that carlyle is a terrible coach and he is the only problem. I’m in the fire carlyle camp but not until these players also start competing instead of this blue and white apathy.

      • Jeremy Ian

        Carlyle and Wilson did not have the same roster.
        Carlyle and Wilson did not have the same roster.
        Carlyle and Wilson did not have the same roster.
        Carlyle and Wilson did not have the same roster.
        Carlyle and Wilson did not have the same roster.

        I feel like I’m not being understood very well.

  • Jeremy Ian

    Maybe some more numbers? How about J – M Liles on the ice for 7 of Carolina’s last 9 goals? A plus/minus of five in 3 games…. Didn’t he used to keep our press box warm?

  • Jeremy Ian

    Twitter: Where unfunny people can point out unfunny things “ironically”.

    “…The grammar irregularity serves as a way of highlighting the absurd.”

    No, it just makes you come across as a petty child, pointing and laughing at the slow kid during math class.

    C’mon Cam, you’re better than that. Very passive agressive kind of dick move imo.

    Please don’t take a page from twolinepass.

    Re: Leafs, fire the coach and play skill to win. Status quo will continue to produce what we’re seeing here. They are rudderless, and things need to change or it’ll certainly get worse.

    Maybe I “should of” stopped caring. Maybe I “could of” found a new team. Perhaps I “would of” done so already if I didn’t love the blue+white.