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A Few Gifts To Give Out

by Mike Ulmer / Toronto Maple Leafs
There are plenty of blue and white hockey stockings tacked to plenty of chimneys, but this has not been a nice hockey season for the Maple Leafs. In fact, much of it has been very naughty indeed.

After a terrific start that brought four wins to begin the season, the Leafs have struggled mightily.

They sit a dozen points out of a playoff spot. Santa Claus may travel the world through some kind of advanced time-space continuum, but even he can’t change the standings.

With that in mind, some gifts…

For Sidney Crosby: The one skill he does not yet possess: the ability to grow a mustache.

For Nazem Kadri: A goal. Okay, first an entry into the lineup, then a goal.

For Jonas Gustavsson:
Confidence. After thriving as one of the team’s good news stories, Gustavsson’s goals against and save percentage have swollen to 3.10 and .894 respectively.

A time machine I: To recover what was lost after the club’s strong start. It took the Leafs four games to score their first 16 goals and 11 games to score the next 16.

Sweeping emergency power: To place an immediate moratorium on the manufacturing and distributing of any egg-based frozen breakfast treat.

A time machine II: To speed the progress of front-line Marlies prospects Jerry D’Amigo, Marcel Mueller, Jussi Rynnas, James ReimerJuraj Mikus and Christian Hanson.

A reality pill:
For anyone shocked by the language of former Leaf Bruce Boudreau. The Caps coach was caught using some very familiar language on a documentary leading up to the league’s Winter Classic Game.  A cussing hockey coach is as surprising as a grinning green Grinch.

A time machine III: Wonder if former Devils coach John MacLean would have scratched Ilya Kovalchuk had he known he had only 189 days to fix the listing New Jersey Devils. Cheer up Leafs fans, many of you wanted to sign this stiff.

Four periods: The Leafs were 29th in first period scoring and 27th in goals scored during the middle stanza. Eighteenth was better in the third period but what this team clearly needs to right itself is four quarters.

A big plate of frog’s legs: The Leafs are 13th in the East and 28th overall. That leaves them plenty of teams to leapfrog.

To all of you whose religious beliefs and traditions are too numerous to name, and to all of you with no beliefs at all, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and have a nice day.
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