The uninteresting, unemotional game was distinguished by a first-period video tribute to former Leaf Wade Belak, if you can believe it. Yessir, those three or four minutes per game, it seems, will never be forgotten by the people who evaluate hockey memories for MLSE. - Damien Cox
Damien Cox doesn't understand fan favorites like Wade Belak because Damien Cox is a fan of a sport where you cheer for one person. Yes, Wade Belak only played three minutes a night. But Wade Belak was comic relief in a crappy season. His goal against Nashville last year was absolutely amazing, as evidenced by the upper bowl at the ACC switching between chants of "BE-LAK" with "WE WANT BE-LAK" for the remainder of the game.
Surely Hal Gill had that same effect, right Damien? Do you actually watch the Leafs, or do you do your reporting based on written recaps of the game? "Video tribute to... Wade Belak... * shuffles papers * only played three minutes a game? What the heck? If Roger Federer only played three minutes a game he wouldn't be honored at [Editor's note: my ignorance of tennis prevents me from completing this joke. I would have done some research but tennis is boring. This sets up an interesting dichotomy where I'm a hockey fan who doesn't know anything about tennis. I'm the Damien Cox of tennis reporting, somebody get me a tennis column and tickets to Wimbledon. Obviously I'll do a terrible job on purpose and insist that tennis fans are all stupid for liking tennis, thanks in advance.]"
In Damien Cox's comments, this surprisingly intelligent lad has a shocking idea:
If the Leafs finish poorly, they will get a high draft pick! I don't know if all of you follow this plan, so let me explain it to you in great detail, first off by losing games, the Leafs will not pass other teams in the standings. If they lose enough games, they might be the worst team in the league! Now you might think this is bad, but being the worst means you have the best shot at the first draft pick, and the first draft pick means you get a pretty good player!!!
We developed a global network for communication to better mankind. We created computers that can access this network for anyone to share information far and wide, and "thedster" used all of the knowledge at his fingertips to explain the process of "tanking" a short year and a half after it became the second most used phrase in any coverage of the Leafs. Thanks, thedster, keep up the good work.
The Leafs managed only 17 shots on rookie goalie Pekka Rinne and it seemed afterward that a winter gloom has settled over the club. The fans started to boo loudly with two minutes left last night, but surely they understood all along that this is what this season was bound to become.
The NHL is entertainment. If I went to a play where the actors didn't give any effort, I would boo and throw my opera glasses at them even as people around me whispered about my boorish manner.
People weren't booing because they expect wins, people were booing because they expect a good effort. The old college try. Maybe the blue and white fail, maybe they succeed, either way fans just want to know they gave it everything. That's all anyone asks for.