I think we can all agree that it’s been an emotional week. In the last seven days, we’ve lost in spectacular fashion to an EBUG, had an uneventful trade deadline that was still somehow extremely tense, played a decently respectable game against the Biggest Baddest Wolves in the NHL, and saw our best defenseman go down after taking a shot to the hand.
For Leafs fans who were already feeling some type of way about how the Leafs have been playing for the last month or hundred years or so (give or take), it’s been a rough stretch. A lot of things that we’ve been hoping would be fixed over the last month either through current players improving their performance or through trades and call-ups just haven’t materialized, and with the trade deadline in the rearview mirror, there’s no chance of at least one of those things happening for the rest of the season. But I’m here with an optimistic message for the future!
The most important thing to remember as a Leafs fan is that as much skill as hockey takes (which is a lot!!), it is also a fundamentally, intrinsically, deeply chaotic sport. Pucks bounce into the net off of player’s asses. They get stuck in a goalie’s pads and the goalie then scores a goal on themselves. Sometimes Zamboni drivers and accountants end up winning hockey games. The Biggest Baddest Wolves in the NHL get swept in the first round. Hockey fans have, collectively, decided to throw a rubber disk on a frozen sheet and invest all of our personal happiness in the men who then run after it with knives stuck to their feet. And even the best of them, the best in the whole world, will occasionally watch helplessly as a puck pinballs off of a stick handle, someone’s elbow, and a skate blade to end up behind a goaltender who is looking in the exact opposite direction with no idea what just happened.
Skill and stamina and strategy aside, as fans the best thing we can do is embrace the chaos and hope for the best. You very literally never know what could happen next.
In the meantime, let’s all take several deep breaths and just remember that the Toronto Maple Leafs did win their most recent game. Please stay tuned for around 10pm tonight for an update on our collective emotional state.
Muzzin is out for four weeks and no one’s responding to our classifieds ad for a cursebreaker:
You can read the transcript of Keefe’s comments on the Muzzin injury on Maple Leafs Hot Stove:
The Athletic weighs in on the Leafs... exciting defense situation as well:
Other Leafs stuff
Souperman might not be quite back yet, but Ilya Mikheyev is officially flexing his first ever sponsorship deal:
The Athletic interviews Frederik Andsersen on his recent rough patch, and what he’s focusing on to get through it:
Shawn McKenzie had a very casual interview with Auston Matthews:
Episode 2 of Nonsensical Questions with special guest Auston Matthews @AM34. I had no clue that Twitter only allows 140 seconds of video because I’m an idiot. I’ll post the second half below. pic.twitter.com/Jlh7LDG52b— Shawn McKenzie (@ShawnMcKenzieSN) February 26, 2020
And all the rest...
ESPN looks at Kim Davis’ efforts to bring diversity to the NHL:
After a surprisingly long period of silence, the speculation is officially starting on who might – or should – pick up Babcock as a coach. First up? The Wild:
And finally, this which is, in fact, true:
Here's a statistic I had to check three times just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating:— Adam Herman (@AdamZHerman) February 26, 2020
The New York Rangers rank 4th in the NHL by regulation wins.