For as long as I can remember, which isn’t that long, the Leafs have not been very good. The word ‘Elite’ has hardly been used when speaking about the Toronto Maple Leafs for much of my life. Constant second guessing, having my hope and optimism ripped out of my chest and comically found new lows is what I am used to with Leafs.
This year has been different. We keep approaching the team as if they’re the old Leafs when they very clearly are not. I’ll say it a bit differently ‘This Toronto Maple Leafs team is different than any other we encountered.’
We are always desperate to find a talking point as to why the Leafs are doing terribly. We are still looking to see where is that loose screw that will ultimately cause the collapse of the season, like a cheap table from Ikea.
The truth is, this team is going to be okay.
See while we are used to having a team loaded with drama, hatred, laziness and bad management, we never learned what good seasons look like for other teams.
Let’s look at the 2016 Pittsburgh Penguins, early in that season it seemed they were doomed. The Kessel deal was starting to be torn apart; they put together a five-game losing streak and chemistry were nowhere to be found. Then, like most elite teams they figured it out. The coaching got the lines right, and the team worked through their issues. The would inevitably go on to win the cup but that’s not the point, the point is if you came to a Pens fan on December 23, 2015, the day after a 5-2 defeat to the Blue Jackets and told ’em ‘you’re gonna win the cup.’ They’d believe you because they would look at their line up and have faith they’ll figure it out.
With Leafs fans, it’s almost comical to see the reactions post wins and post losses. When we win, we are overly excited, and when we lose, we contemplate getting rid of one of the best coaches in the league.
I think it’s time we pump the brakes. I think it’s time we realize there’s a reason a season is 82 games. Right now, Babcock has time to experiment; we have a solid place in the standings, a good young team, and options.
While I hate seeing Polak in over Carrick, maybe Babcock sees something I don’t. Just this year Babcock has proven us wrong.
While I hated watching Marner get tossed down the lineup, I look now and see him re-emerging. Guess Babcock had a plan.
What I’m trying to say here is relax. We are so used to being a bad team; we forgot what it’s like to have a good team. Good teams have coaches that take risks to figure out lines in playoff matchups.
Good teams lose games.
Good teams have rough patches.
Good teams’ fans have faith.
Let’s all put down our GM and Coach hats and try to enjoy the season. Let’s stop being overly critical and see how this plays out. Reminder we have a good team, a functional management group and a good reason to smile because Auston Matthews is a Leaf.
Now it’s been a while since I blogged, so sorry for the rambling but just felt it needed to be said.