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A Bold Prediction From An Eternal Optimist

by Mike Ulmer / Toronto Maple Leafs
RELATED STORIES:  Reimer Assigned To Marlies | Leafs Fall To Canucks
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The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to win their next game.

Guaranteed. Money in the bank. I’d bet a kid. Go ahead, pick one.

This is my official position and it will remain my official position until it comes true. This concept is the underpinning of a wildfire bestseller called The Power of Now which points to a well-known sign in a British pub that reads Free Beer Tomorrow.

I do not make this prediction lightly, but I will make it constantly until the Maple Leafs win and if that seems extreme well it’s still easier than pole sitting which is widely acknowledged to be the next step now that an interventionist state has outlawed animal sacrifices on the flimsy notion that when you start with animals you always work your way up to people.

But I digress.

Here then are the 10 reasons the Leafs will beat the Anaheim Ducks tonight.

1. The Moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars. Hey, if the Fifth Dimension can get a hit out of that line, who am I to mock astrology? Ron Wilson is a Gemini. Today’s horoscope reads “you are irritable and rather edgy. You can’t seem to ignore problems or let them pass.” Translation, warm up the Marlies Express and what is interesting is the size of the delegation isn’t determined by how many players can be sent down but how many worthwhile replacements can be brought up. If a number of players from Lee Stempniak to Mikhail Grabovski or Viktor Stalberg don’t want to be humming the Green Acres theme, they are going to be on their horses tonight. Plus, today is Pat Sajak’s birthday and that has to be worth something, right?

2. Honestly, how much worse can it get? Sooner or later a puck is going to hit Mike Komisarek and not ricochet into the net. Inevitably, the defencemen are going to be tired of Ian White standing out as the best man on the blueline.

3. You know how people pick out new clothes and diet before going back to their high school reunion. As far as Ducks’ fans are concerned, Francois Beauchemin is a really good player. I see Beauchemin playing an inspired game in front of his longtime fans. He might want to play in Anaheim down the road.

4. By now the oft-discussed link between penalties and power play goals against has to have permeated the hard plastic layer of the helmet, past the impressive padding, foam and manmade synthetic materials and into the craniums of the players in the same way that a constant tide will wear away even the most rugged rock.

5. Bobby Ryan has one goal. He’s through. Same with Ryan Getzlaf, Ray Whitney and Saku Koivu. It’s a disgrace, really.

6. The Ducks have called up left winger Matt Belesky. I knew a guy named Bileski. Not the same spelling of course but the point is, he was a lousy hockey player.

7. These guys have got to live somewhere when they come off this road trip.

8. This is the beginning of the Jonas Gustavsson era. I see him pitching a shutout and sealing the 2-0 win by assisting on one goal and scoring into the empty net. Those two points will tie him with Jason Blake and account for much good-natured ribbing which will break the tension so evident in the early season. As the players shuffle out into the Anaheim night, they will do so with broad smiles just like in the last scene from any Star Trek episode when Bones, Kirk and Spock match wits and produce a nice parting guffaw. You read it here first.

9. Did I mention I was going to keep writing these things until the Leafs win? I don’t think anyone wants to see how far I am prepared to take this.

10. If the season is really lost by before December, there will be a culling that it will actually make you feel sorry for guys who play hockey for a living. Brian Burke shares two crucial attributes with my glorious wife and daughters. None of them suffer in silence. None of them suffer alone.
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