The Entry Draft is 7 days away and Free Agency opens 9 days later. There are sure to be more painful times in the offing for the Leafs on both of these days whether it's a horrible draft day trade or a horrible draft day non-trade or a UFA signing or a non-UFA signing. Basically, it'll be status quo for the Leafs.
Of course, that's not to say that there aren't moments that we can look back on and smile when remembering them. The four deep playoff runs - while totally meaningless and in no way an indicator of the team's quality during that period - are gold mines of iconic moments.
After the jump, I'll share my top three and you guys can then let me know which ones you hold near and dear to your heart.
3. Wendel Clark Scores To Send Game Six To Overtime
There's a lot of great stuff in this clip other than the goal. The massive hook by the Leafs that would get called now (that's old time hockey kids!), Felix rushing out his net to start the counterattack, Dougie making the kind of pass on a 3-on-2 that would get a Euro lynched, and Kelly Hrudey looking totally lost (while not in the broadcast studio).
That Clark wrister was devastating and one of the big reasons I have a horrible slap shot now. Had to spend all of my time getting that wrister down pat. Plus, this one spawned a pretty great DGB post back when he still wrote about the Leafs. Still, there are a couple better.
2. Mats Sundin Ends Game One Of Sweep With A Howitzer - April 13, 2001
This one stands so huge in my mind in large because three buddies, my dad, and I got decked out in blue and white (including face paint) drove down to Ottawa, were on HNIC, almost fought two sad Senators fans (like crying sad not pathetic sad or we'd have been facing nearly a dozen fans at the Corel Centre), and generally whooped it up.
The game itself was nerve-wracking as we watch the Senators miss a bucket load of gilt-edged chances thanks to CuJo's heroics before Sundin took off down the left wing. One great thing I remember is that after the ping, which was audible from the other end of the ice, there was a wave of sound and blue and white sweaters that streaked towards us as the realization that the Leafs had won the game.
If I had to pick one game that made me a rabid Leafs fan it would be no contest: this one. Sure, my dad had to wake me up after Dougie tied the game up late in the third (fuck you, I was 10...and 3/4 I would surely have added) but I was refreshed and ready to go in overtime. And when Rouse (who somehow made HNIC's Stanley Cup winners favourite players list) found Nic the stick at the side of the net...well, I may not have had any water bottles to spray everywhere but I think I did a passable work with what I had including bolting up the stairs and leaping on my parents' bed to wake my mom up (of course she was watching despite always predicting doom).
So there you have it. Let's hear your thoughts and your favourites.