My Face Is Itchy

Well, after 2 months and 6 victories I still have the beard that I promised to grow until the Leafs won 10 regular season games. With their penchant to lose mightily in Buffalo I'm not sure whether I should think that the Leafs are "due" to win in Buffalo or accept the inevitable. I would imagine that (My name is) Jonas is starting tonight, so there is a good chance that the score will be 4-3. I don't really have a lot to say today, besides mentioning how unprofessional I look at work with the Unibomber-style facial hair. I did shave off the Whoville jaw tufts as I had to visit a client onsite one day. So now I look like DeNiro in Deerhunter, without the forbidden relationship with Meryl Streep. I'm still wondering if any graphically-minded person in the Barilkosphere might want to give me a hand with a banner. If so please contact me. I'd like to add some professionalism to an otherwise passionate project. Thanks for listening.


Daddy, No More Pull-Ups!

Those classic words were the final words spoken in the movie 2012. Never before has such a monumental movie been summed up by one line of dialogue. Why do I mention it here on my hockey blog? Because these words were spoken after a world wide catastrophe happened and 98% of the human population was wiped out. Kind of how the Leafs season is going so far. Let's accept the inevitable here. The Leafs are second last in the league, are playing the last team in the league tonight(The 'Canes are last only because the Leafs have a game in hand), and the fans are left with the exciting prospect of playing for last in the league. Oh yeah, the Leafs don't have a first round pick in the draft next year.

Don't get me wrong. I still watch every game and get excited every time the Leafs come back from a one - nothing deficit to tie it and eventually lose. Phil Kessel has cheered up my household greatly. I now only swear too loudly and bother the neighbors in the third period when the game is finally out of hand as Toskala lets in another back-breaking goal. Nope, we're all full of good cheer and pessimistic optimism here at Far Away Leaf.

Now for those of you who haven't seen 2012. Let's just say that we may still yet get our Pull-Ups Moment(tm). The clouds will part, the shine will shine through and the Leafs will open the first round of the playoffs. They will look up and Daddy Burke and say, "Daddy.....no more pull-ups!". And we as a nation will CHEER!


They Deserved A Better Fate!

I, for one, am tired of hearing it. With a tired Calgary team, they couldn’t take advantage of it. Why? Their team game still isn’t anywhere close to being there. Their polar opposite special teams definitely didn’t help. The Leafs came into the game with the 3rd ranked powerplay and it’s the first time I have seen it function as such. In a game against Anaheim they brought their powerplay percentage up by clicking 5 times. The Leafs needed 42 minutes and 23 seconds to get a powerplay against Chicago the Friday night, mostly because you need to forecheck and frustrate the opposing team to draw penalties.

The Leafs penalty killing continues to be atrocious. So every time they take a penalty it’s a sphincter agitating proposition. Not to mention Toskala has not quite redeemed himself after just one competent game. After facing few shots and the Leafs pressing hard, Toskala once again failed to hold his team in the game. Then let’s take a penalty, down 2 late in the 3rd period. This is the familiar recipe for a 5 – 2 Leafs loss.

Don Cherry, who would have to practically wear my ass as a hat to get me to agree with him lately, is spot on in his assessment of Rickard Wallin. Where has this guy been so far this year? I know he’s supposed to be a third line checker with a slight offensive upside, but he has done nothing. Basically, he’s wasting a roster spot. Speaking of which, there has been a gross mismanagement overall of the roster. Jamal Mayers was one of the only men on the ice in blue that looked like a hockey player. He’s been sitting out, not due to an overflow of talent in the roster, but of some idea that he isn’t benefitting the team? I like Primeau in the line-up as well as Orr, but who should be sitting? Wallin as it is right now. Primeau wins face-offs, Orr beat the living snot out of McGrattan(great fighting name by the way) and the usual fall-guy, Kulemin, is the only forward who finishes every check and backchecks. Lets give the Wallin experiment a break, shall we?

With 3 total wins there is a time to admit defeat. How about now? Our goaltending saviour is human, our $4 million backup has the worst numbers in the league and our expensive back end can’t keep a puck out of the net. Let’s get the kids up to the big team. I shelled out for Center Ice this year to watch my favourite team play. I have only seen it happen half of the time. Last year’s team that never gave up is gone. We’re looking at winning over 70% of the rest of the season to get into the playoffs. ENTERTAIN ME ALREADY.



I read today that Toskala is "happy" with his performance and said it was his best start of the year. That is saying a lot about how far Vesa has come since platooning with Raycroft two seasons ago. Raycroft and Toskala were easily the two most deluded goaltenders in the league when they played together. It was never a reflection on them when they lost and they always felt "great" about their performance. If I had that first goal scored against me in NHL 10, I would be emailing EA and saying there was a glitch in the game and could they please fix it. No NHL caliber goalie should let that in. Ever. Seriously, Vesa, they showed us footage of you practicing fundamentals with Allaire in a montage(MONTAGE!) on HNIC. I'm not going on too much about this other than, I hope Jonas Gustafsson learns to love it in Toronto despite losing. He is only under a one year contract and the Leafs are moking it very hard to put him in a situation where the better bid would be coming from the TML office in