Ok folks. There has been a lot of (likely prophetic) doomsaying and (completely justified) renunciations of fanship in the last few days. Let's look on the bright side, shall we?!:
(1) An early season collapse is better than a collapse in the last fifteen games of the season, when I have visions of a playoff berth dancing in my head. Better to get the blistering disappointment out of the way now.
(2) The Leafs actually have more wins than regulations losses right now! And yes it's only one more win than regulation loss, and yes none of this actually matters because the fact that the Leafs were 6-1-1 before they laid down a massive skid mark means less than nothing, but HEY! As it presently stands, we're above .500 (if you don't count overtime losses, which everyone does).
(3) The last time that the Leafs allowed 9 goals was in 1991. Could have been 1990. And THAT would have been embarrassing.
(4) I'm going to the game tonight, and there is a greater-than-good chance that I will be kicked out, which will be entertaining for everyone except me.
Here are some things to watch for at tonight's match-up against the Lightning:
Hockeydame to be kicked out of game
See above. I can get rowdy, and not for the reasons you might be thinking (i.e. there will be no throwing of anything on the ice, of either the jersey or waffle variety). Although I rationally understand that someone who has paid a month's worth of rent on a hockey ticket has the right to voice their discontent through booing, "fire _____!" chants, jeering of easy saves on a 9 goal blowout, etc., I think its poor form. And with a few sippy-cup beers in me, I will let everyone around me know what I think about their booing, which will not end well.
The first 10 minutes
It's a rule of mine to never leave a game early, but I'm guessing that I'll know within the first 10 minutes tonight whether or not I should. The Leafs have been truly awful about giving their opponents early momentum with a weak goal on the back of porous defensive play. With the prevailing "sky is falling" attitude around the city right now, an early goal will lose the crowd and, likely, lose the game.
Stamkos is a beast when he plays in Toronto. So if you're one of those fans that just enjoys watching good play, even at the expense of your hockey club's record, you will likely enjoy watching Stamkos put on yet another show for his local friends and family who will come out to watch him.
If you listen very closely, you will probably hear the faint sounds of morse code from inside whatever freezer the MLSE has locked Steve Simmons in.
A pink slip in Carlyle's pocket
Time is running out to right the ship, and a loss tonight could be the nail in the coffin for good ol' Randy.