In the preseason so far, we have seen first-hand the fruits of the tree of truculence. Battered and bruised players - Flyers, Bruins and even the occasional Penguin - lay at the feet of our onslaught of belligerence. But oh, what is this, my friends? We have WON three of four games this preseason! And all in fine, exciting form, with the possible exception of our brutal shutout victory over a listless Flyers squad. Whence came these angels in blue, who race alongside our demons? Here is Exelby, Waster of Faces, but here too is Stalberg, the Winged Messenger who delivers nothing but great plays. Here too are Kadri the Sick-Dangler, and Bozak the Goal Hammer, and all manner of players who not only grin darkly in the face of adversity, but burst through it like the light through the dying wisps of night on a crisp Autumn morning. And now, A great cry has gone up from Toronto and passed from the lips of our GM Burke to the ears of every faithful man, woman and child of the Nation: Kessel has come. Schenn is still Our Luke and Saviour, but this Kessel may just be the angel who comes bearing the flaming hockey stick of the GM's Will.
These wins, though preseason, are most glorious, and the truculence therein is our message to the league: The Toronto Maple Leafs will not be bent, nor broken, like wakes upon the beaches of their opponents. We are the Tidal Wave, the Force of Nature. And speaking of Force, what better reading to hear this day than one from one of the angriest SOBs ever to lace up for the Blue and White. This, my friends, is a reading from the Book of the Prophet, Domi. Though but a mortal and a humble fellow in his time with the Blue and White, Domi was truculence. No, I don't mean he was truculent. He WAS truculence. A prophet by design or by happenstance, he rode a wave of intensity which rightly earned him great favour and fond memorial in Toronto. As we read here today, we see that he also foretold of the changes after the Lockout, of the fall and rise of truculence in the NHL. Many will say, "Domi is no prophet, he fought a fan. He nailed Belinda Stronach." But I ask you, people; what can one man do when he is charged with the care and preservation of so much concentrated whoop-ass? I'd probably sock some Philly chump and screw a political figure too.
A reading from the Book of the Prophet, Domi.
5:01 I will sing for the ones I punched
a song about their league:
The ones I punched had a league
in North America.
5:02 They dug it up and cleared it of goons
and planted it with the choicest talent.
They built a watchtower in it
and cut out a lot of holding as well.
Then they looked for a crop of new fans,
but it yielded only small growth.
5:03 "Now you dwellers in Canada and men of the states,
judge between me and my league.
5:04 What more could have been done for my league
than they have done for it?
When I looked for new fans,
why did it yield only a few?
5:05 Now I will tell you
what I am going to do to my league:
I will take away its politeness,
and it will be gritty;
I will break down its elegance,
and it will be brutal.
5:06 I will make it a slugfest,
neither refined nor cultivated, except for certain moustaches,
and Brieres and Thorntons will yet grow there.
I will command the haymakers
to rain on it."
5:07 The league of the GM Almighty
is the house of Clark,
and the men of Bay Street
are the garden of his delight.
And he looked for truculence, and saw bloodshed;
for righteousness, and heard cries of distress.
5:08 Woe to you who add skill to skill
and join finesse to finesse
till no space is left for grit and power
and you live in fear in the league.
5:09 The GM Almighty has declared in my hearing:
"Surely the great teams will become desolate,
the jock straps left without occupants.
5:10 A prolific team will produce only a small speedy offense,
and homers will think it can win on its own."
5:11 Woe to those who rise early in the first period
to run after their dump ins,
who stay up near the Leafs' blue line
till they are inflamed with bruises.
5:12 They have dangles and dekes at their banquets, and so do we,
snipers and puck movers and sweet passers, and so do we,
but they have no regard for the deeds of Burke,
no respect for the working over from his hands.
5:13 Therefore my opponents will go into the regular season
for lack of understanding;
their men of rank will die of bodychecks
and their masses will be parched with thirst for success.
5:14 Therefore the hungry team enlarges its appetite
and opens its defense without limit;
into it will descend our fists and goals
from all our brawlers and scorers.
5:15 So opponents will be brought low
and the league humbled,
the eyes of the arrogant had better be up, and not watching that pretty pass.
5:16 But the GM Almighty will be exalted by his truculence,
and the holy Clark will show himself holy by his righteousness at special events.
5:17 Then teams will falter as in their own weakness;
boo birds will feed among the ruins of the ridiculous contracts.
5:18 Woe to those who draw a team along with cords of frailty,
and superstar mentality, as with cart ropes,
5:19 to those who say, "Let's go Murray,
let him hasten his work
so we may see the finals again,
Let us approach,
let the plan of the leader of the Sens come,
so we may know it. It's coming, right? Right?"
5:20 Woe to those who call truculence goonish
and goons righteous,
who put superstars above the team,
and and the team below superstars,
who scorn rebuild for patch jobs
and team effort for a few more seconds of ice time.
5:21 Woe to those whose agents are wise in their own eyes
and clever in their own sight.
5:22 Woe to those who are heroes at slew foots
and champions at butt ends,
5:23 who acquit the guilty for an instigator,
but deny justice to the well and truculent.
5:24 Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw
and as blades sink down in bad ice,
so their teams will decay
and their talent blow away like dust;
for they have rejected the law of the GM Almighty
and spurned the word of the Burke.
5:25 Therefore the enforcer's anger burns against his opponents;
his fist is raised and he strikes them down.
The mountains shake,
and the broken bodies are like refuse in the path of the Zamboni.
Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
his hand is still upraised.
He is called Orr, he is called Exelby.
He is called every name in blue and white,
For the truculence runs through them all.
5:26 He lifts up a banner for the distant members of Leafs Nation,
he raises his arms for those at the ends of the earth.
Here they come,
swiftly and speedily!
5:27 Not one of them grows tired or disinterested,
not one slumbers or sleeps;
not a jaw is left shut,
not an eye from the screen is taken.
5:28 Their fists are hard,
all their plays are ready;
their shots are like thunder,
their skates like a whirlwind.
5:29 Their roar is like that of the polar bear,
they roar like young lions;
they growl as they seize the puck
and carry it off with no one to rescue.
5:30 In that day they will roar over it
like the roaring of the sea.
And if one looks at the ice,
he will see blue and white, truculence and talent;
and hope will leave the heart of every man opposing them.
In Nomine Clarki, et Schennis, et Spiritus Burki, Amen.