Sunday January 28 2007 6 PM
While trying to sleep and sweat my way out of a vicious throat infection (how vicious? Swallowing razor blades would hurt less. But a good sign- about an hour ago I coughed up projectile phlegm that got me thinking about a new Olympic sport; Winter Olympics, of course) I kept waking up in the middle of the night screaming “Mats Naslund, where are you???”
Getting consistently embarrassed on HNIC will do that to an old hockey fan. For the second time this year in Toronto on a Saturday night (and coming off that rididulous no-show in Ottawa on Hockey Day in Canada) the Canadiens decided to leave their game in the hallways at the Harbour Castle. Facing a Leafs team that’s sliding in the standings, minus Darcy Tucker, minus Michael Peca, minus Kyle Wellwood and with mediocre goaltending, the Canadiens barely worked up a sweat in another emotion-less, intensity-less, does-anybody-around-here-even-care-the-whole-country-is-watching, performance that might be the most worrisome of the season.
True they lost earlier in the year on a Saturday night (5-1) but bounced back. Even the back to back recent horror non-show losses to Ottawa and Vancouver were answered by impressive wins in Atlanta and at home against Buffalo. Now what?
To start with they’ll play the hottest team in the league-Ottawa-three times in the next 13 days. No surprise the Senators, with Jason Spezza back, have overtaken the Habs in the standings. The defending Cup champion Hurricanes, in town a week from Tuesday, now trail Montreal by just one point with two games in hand.
Bob Gainey doesn’t need a front page poll to get him to act. He saw for himself Saturday night in Toronto that this time needs a spark. Steve Begin will help. But Peter Forsberg or Craig Conroy or Mats Sundin or some other proven NHLer who wants to win would help even more. If this keeps up for another game or two, I’d even consider calling Naslund.
All Time Favorite Leafs Team:
RW-Darcy Tucker (yeah I know, but he's on my team)
Go ahead, laugh a little: http://www.slobberbomb.com/video_clips/conan_obrien_1864_baseball.php