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Feeling the Love on Valentine's Day

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

Now in his sixth season with Leafs TV
 you can watch Brian Duff hosting pre- and post-game shows for all the breaking news surrounding the Blue and White.

February 14, 2007

(TORONTO) -- Valentine's Day is upon us, and wouldn't it be nice if we all got together and showered our one common love with something it so richly deserves.

Our love is the game - the NHL - and it could probably benefit from being coddled for the next little while.

Show it some respect, some admiration.

Go ahead, treat it like you used to.

You remember those days, don't you?

When you were young and so was Bobby Orr, or Wayne Gretzky.

When you wanted to be just like them, or at least play alongside them (and you said you'd do it for free!) just to have that chance to play on the big stage, to hear the crowd, to play for the Cup.

You weren't concerned about the number of games against divisional rivals, the removal of the centre red line, the salary cap, the shootout or the size of goaltenders equipment.

You loved the game, and deep down you probably still do.

But today you can be overwhelmed, if you so choose, by television, radio, satellite radio, pod casts, and more, all fighting to bring you the hockey headlines and by the very nature of competition (and as a somewhat sad reflection of society) often bring you more negative information than positive as part of the daily (if not hourly) barrage.

I'm not here to say the game is perfect. Of course it isn't. But neither are you and I, and our spouses and significant others don't seem to be continually reminding us of that.

Can you imagine if they did at the rate the NHL gets ripped apart, especially by those of us north of the border that allegedly love the game like no other nation?

Divorce would be the order of the day, every day, and the passion that sparks all relationships would be long since extinguished.

Use this week to re-ignite the fire.

Just look around the league and embrace what it has to offer.

Less than a third of the season to go and eight teams in the Eastern Conference are separated by eight points, three of them currently sitting in non-playoff positions.

Every division title in the West is up for grabs and in both conferences the bottom feeders are already relishing the spoiler role.

With a frantic finish ahead, there are so many compelling team stories waiting to unfold as well.

Whether you're a lover or a fighter, or even a lover of fighters, enjoy what's in front of you.

It still is a great game, one worth putting your heart into.

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