Editor's Note: The 2007-2008 season is upon us and all of the teams enter tonight with a clean slate (except for the Ducks and Kings who got a head start in London). Part of my goal on this site is to highlight some of the great writing available about God's Team (God clearly plays things fairly). With that goal in mind here is a season preview by MF37 of the Bitter Leaf Fan.
PPP asked me to write up a preview of the Leafs’ year ahead.
Can’t say I see great things in store for Leafs Nation, but then again with the state of this organization if Nostradamus hooked up with Dionne Warwick's Psychic Friends and Jo Jo Savard, the most powerfully psychic minds the world has ever seen would be stumped about the starting goaltending and why no significant changes were made in player personnel. (If they did hook-up, this would have the makings of the greatest TV pilot ever - especially if they ran an illegal Sports Book and were being pursued by a beautful but ruthlessly intelligent Vice Cop, played by a young Margaret Colin. Get the guy who did the littlest hobo theme in Spanish on-board and I'd be all over it - like Nik Antropov on the IR).
But back to hockey.
For the first time in a long time I don’t feel very emotionally attached to this club.
Two full seasons after the lockout and it’s still a team without a clear identity (unless you consider a goofy amount of IR time, bad trades, a plethora of one-year deals for ageing vets and a collection of middling prospects who seem to be developing into solid third-liners an identity).
Given my emotional distance and the amount of unknowns surrounding this team, instead of a line by line, player by player breakdown I offer you this: a random collection of facts about a team that I have cheered for since Mike Palmateer was a rookie.
Leafs by the Numbers
- The upcoming anniversary for the Toronto Maple Leafs (Toronto Arenas founded in 1918)
- Stanley Cups won by the Leafs (13 if you count victories by the Arenas)
- Number of Years since the Leafs last won the Stanley Cup
- Most playoff rounds the Leafs have ever won in a single-season
- Most consecutive seasons the Leafs have missed the post-season
- Number of consecutive seasons the Leafs have missed the playoffs under JFJ
- Number of first round picks dealt by the club since 1996
- Record for most goals scored as a Leaf, held by Darryl Sittler – Mats Sundin currently has 388
- Record for most points scored as a Leaf, held by Darryl Sittler – Mats Sundin currently has 909
- Jason Blake’s jersey number (previously worn by Leafs greats Drake Berehowsky, Ric Jackman, Danny Markov, Larry Murphy and Andy Wozniewski – that’s some damn fine company)
3.10: Average number of goals per game scored by the Leafs (8th overall in 2006-07)
3.21: Average number of goals per game surrendered by the Leafs (21st overall in 2006-07)
- Number of games won by the Leafs in 2006-07 when they were trailing after the first period
- Number of games lost by the Leafs in 2006-07 when they were leading after two periods
6 for 14: Leafs’ all-time record in the shoot-out
- Percentage of regular season games the Leafs play against teams in the North East Division
.453: Toronto’s winning percentage, since the lock-out, versus teams in the North East Division
.484: Paul Maurice’s career winning percentage as a coach prior to joining the Leafs
- Estimated number of points it will take for an Eastern Conference team to qualify for the post-season
- The average number of points earned by the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference since the lock-out
90.5: The average number of points the Leafs have earned since the lock-out
$405: Cost of one platinum ticket to a Leafs Home Game
103.2%: Average attendance at Leafs Home Games
15 to 1: Odds Vegas has given the Leafs of winning the Cup
- Number of players returning from last year’s 23 man roster