Alex Steen, your time has come to show us what you can do with top billing. The King of Kings is out of the game tonight so the 3rd year NHLer, the third liner per The Omen, will be stepping into the massive skates of his countryman on the first line. On the one hand, your reaction probably involves throwing whatever is not tied down and within arm's length at the wall. You're probably thinking of the 18 points that the Captain has in his last 9 games or the way he can manhandle a weak defensive team like the Sabres whose backline has been decimated by injuries. Those are all valid worries.
On the other hand, remember your Leafs' history. In 2002 with the skipper out for the senators' series as a way of evening things up the Leafs still prevailed in seven games behind the monumental performance of one Mr. Alyn McCauley. Who? Exactly. Kevyn Adams, Lonny Bohonos, and the aforementioned McCauley all represent players that provided the Leafs with timely contributions when things looked the most dire. If this injury lasts more than a game or two then who will add their name to the list? Will it be the rookie Tlusty? The previously discarded Dominic Moore? Or maybe the forgotten Mark Bell who will make his return after surgery on his orbital bone.
The Sabres are coming off a 7-1 win over the Hurricanes last night so if they are anything like the Leafs they have just used up all of their weekend's allotment of goals and effort. Please let them be like the Leafs! Get your SPG guesses in the comments and here are some articles to read before you sit down to watch the buds continue this crazy adventure. Hopefully.
Steve marvels at the potential of seeing the Leafs' future trying to carry the team across the finish line and I have to agree, at the very least this give the team a look at what a post-Mats forward group can do.
- Toronto Mike wonders if Mats' dad has anything against Leaf fans (other than that blasphemous last line) but he's looking in the wrong book of the Bible. He wants the Book of Job which relates the story of Satan's test of Job's virtue. Specifically, he wants Job 17:11-13
11 My days are past,
My purposes are broken off,
Even the thoughts of my heart.
12 They change the night into day;
‘The light is near,’ they say, in the face of darkness.
13 If I wait for the grave as my house,
If I make my bed in the darkness,
In the face of the darkness of three Springs without playoff hockey the light is near for the Leafs. If they can reach for it they can bring a little more light into 41 years of hockey darkness. Tonight is another big step forwards for the buds.
Go Leafs Go!
[6:23PM Update] I am headed out the door to the ACC but I have updated the standings on the right after Boston's win in overtime. It was not the best result for the buds but the target is set: 6 points back with 10 games to go. Let's do it boys.