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Streak Has To End Sometime

by Mike Ulmer / Toronto Maple Leafs
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When we were in college, or prison (I admit, I get the two confused after all these years) we were told to extend an arm and touch the person in front of us. It was the eighties, remember, very touchy-feely.

“One of you two won’t be here when it’s time to graduate two years from now,” we were told.

This is graduation day.

Look around. Three weeks ago, Leafs Nation looked like the Eaton Centre on Boxing Day. Now it looks like a curling rink in Estevan.

Lose eight in a row and things get a mite lonely.

Fear not, the laws of Karma are about to smile. I am absolutely pretty sure.

It would be glorious to say, ‘based on what we have seen’…

But what we have seen is eight straight losses, hemorrhaging figures for both special teams and a new blight, a little less certitude in goal.

Some points to consider.

A. The Leafs can’t lose forever. It’s not possible. Really.

B. It’s never darker than before the dawn, unless it’s dusk which can be easily confused with dawn except that they are mutually exclusive which is, you have to admit, kind of weird when you realize how the two are often confused. It’s like messing up black and white. Seriously.

C.  As galling as Saturday’s loss to Vancouver was, the Leafs were beaten by one of the game’s best goalies in Roberto Luongo. The Leafs enjoyed an advantage in chances.  They got beat by a goal that goes in two or three times a year.

D. Scotty Bowman used to say there were two benchmark games in a slump. Start with a game at the beginning where the team shouldn’t have won. That would be the goal off Colton Orr’s skate after he tackled Scott Clemmensen of the Panthers. The fact that the result wasn’t reversed did not merely spark conversation about replay, it made many question their entire value system. The non-call threw the universe radically out of alignment. I’m not making this up; there is some real science behind this.

E. Nice start aside, no one was picking the Leafs for the top third of the league. They are four points behind the final spot in the East. No, they still can’t score but their goals against average is 2.81 which is dead in the middle. They are getting by without their number one defenceman and captain in Dion Phaneuf and the very handy Colby Armstrong. Just sayin’.

F. So by courageously fighting through bad times, the Leafs can garner good mojo for Tuesday’s home date against Nashville. As former NHL president Clarence Campbell delighted in saying: “if Karma lands on you as a butterfly comes upon a petal, the standings will surely smile and enlighten you.”
Or something like that.
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