Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ok, settle down people

We understand the panic; we really do. But come'on faithful remnant, do you really think that a defense of Kaberle, Komi, Schenn, White and Beauch are currently playing to their potential? That this is all they can give? That they have peaked as defensive players? No, you don't believe that. You believe that they will gel as a unit and that shots will be blocked and opposing players will be squished at appropriate times and the GAA will go down.

Do we need goals? Sure. We need players to pot some. It'd be nice to see Stempniak score, but right now he's a 30-year-old deck chair (all wood, no finish). Grabs seems to have missed the memo that he has line-mates and people aren't driving to the net to get some gross goals. But when you are 0-2 at the end of every period, you try to be a hero every time you cross the blueline. Not cool. We seriously need to win some 2-1 1-0, 3-2 games.

And, freaked-out-nation, we will. We'll be fine. We'll get a 4-5 game win streak in here in a few weeks. You watch. The Rags will get a losing streak of a few games in the next little bit and all of a sudden the Leafs are in the middle of the pack. This is a good thing for the lil smurfs to go through right now--it'll put them in their place. "Wilson is the boss, Burke controls my fate and I am but a humble player only worrying about my life 30 seconds at a time." What will this adversity also do? It'll find us a Captain and reveal to us those who don't buy into the team mentality. I say we bench the detractors or trade em or waive em and let Bozak, Stalberg and Poni be the second line with Grabs, Hags and Lemon (to be replaced by Kessel) on the top.

We're all so worried about the draft pick. It astounds us here at TOV that we are that worried about this intangible thing that we have no idea where it will fall (and chances are it'll be between a 12-17th overall pick) but we aren't excited about other intangibles like "hey, Stemp can move the puck, but can't finish. Wonder if he will work magic with Kessel?" or "wow. Jonas is back from injury and is continuing his .930ish save %. Wicked." How can we focus on the intangibles of a year away and forget the intangibles of two weeks from now?

No friends, Ron Wilson's "reset" is under way and I am sure that this Saturday we will see a spirited game. Especially since the Rags gave us an epic beat down last week.

So let June worry about June. I guarantee you Peter Chiarelli is not even thinking about the draft picks. In fact, he is probably still pissed that that was the best deal out for him.

So cheer on your boys, remember that we have years of Schenn, Kadri, Bozak, Kessel, Stalberg and others ahead of us. Years! In the grand scheme of things this is the perfect time for them to learn about brutal losing streaks and getting out of them. I wouldn't want them to learn about this in 2 years when we are in some race for a better playoff spot during our perfect open-window-time and we decide then that it is a good time to drop 6 games. It's kinda like the stock market--there is money to be made in both a bull and bear market. (But you gotta understand which one you are in.) But a lack of long-term vision will kill ya.

Hit up the Licbo, grab some expensive, snobby-Bay-Street-beer (we are, after all, the Lower Bowl Brokers) get a cigar or two and some Scotch for the Satellite Hot Stove session and laugh at the days to come. We are where we are supposed to be--learning under fire.

Keep the faith, and for the love of Truth and Goodness, stop listening to the mittenstringers who are saying that this opening 20 game stretch is our Waterloo.


-Hockey Central at noon is reporting that there is a chance Mike VR could be shut down for the season due to that wonky knee. Brutal. Guess we wont be trading a d-man any time soon.

-Also reporting that Burkie came into the room at practice. No word on what was said, but we can surely speculate.


Kleric said...

So, what did we get out of the McCabe deal again ...

I am glad that someone else has kept their head during the last two weeks. I do not mind losing as long as a good or great effort is made by the team. No the team is not as bad as they are playing, but at least give me something to watch without wanting to pull off a teddy bears head in rage.

I disagree with you on Stajan. I think he is a pretty good team mentality guy, but is inconsistent in his level of play. He played well the first 3 games, and sucked goats arse for the rest of them.

Blake is the one who needs to learn the team mentality, and how to score again.
(Man that guy irks me...)

Jaredoflondon said...

we got rid of a boat anchor contract

BlueBuds said...

and a guy that can not only score on your own net but do it with such authority...I miss seeing the net take him out

dennis said...

Good post--I am also not panicking. I read a LOT about the Leafs, and not too many people have pointed this out: the team is deflated (I think) almost *exclusively* from goaltending. With Toskala out of the way from, as one blogger called it, 'twine flu' (best Blake move of the year), and Joey Mac have a decent game (no chance, really on two of the goals--not expecting a screen from White and a helmet goal from the big K.) I think MacDonald will do even better Sat. Then comes Jonas, with a small period of adjustment will likely be the real deal. With the imminent improved goaltending, and the coach and the big cheese re-iterating having a little fun and relaxing a bit, I am certain we will see huge improvements in the rest of this month and next month. Perhaps a mild temporary set-back when Kessel joins as everyone will take their foot off of the gas thinking he will single-handedly take over (remember when Sundin came back from injury, we always did *worse* for a while?); again, a minor re-adjustment period will surely happen again, but really, look at the team! Penguins struggled out of the gate last season (I know, the coach) but it happens, and I obviously know we are no Penguins, but every team stuggles here and there.

I know we seem to have a lot of second line forwards when compared to the depth chart in other teams, but our defense is talented (soon to get their shit together), Jonas will likely be good (he is serious about his work, and he is seriously talented). Even if our hopes of some of our forwards having a career year don't pan out, we can still win a lot of games by a small margin with great defence and great goal-tending.

So, this is my first post, and I may be off, but I am sitting tight for a while to see how this all shakes down.

GBDonaldson said...

No, I agree with you totally. The twine-flu has infected the entire team. We don't have bad D, we don't have bad forwards, but they play out of their element when they fear that every wrister from the blue line has a chance of going in