It's been a scary beginning of the season for the Toronto Maple Leafs to say the least.
Their record is something out of a nightmare. They now have a monster in the crease, and plenty of people in the Air Canada Center have been saying "boo." Yes, it's beginning to feel a lot like Halloween in Leaf Nation.
Dressing up for this sacred holiday is always great fun, and sometimes a costume can tell you a lot about a person.
Take Leafs fans, for example, who lately have been appearing at home games with the always fashionable paper bags covering their face to hide their distraught looks after the dreadful record to start the new season.
The costumes of the Leafs bagged believers tell you all you need to know about the fans, but what about the players on this team of terror? No doubt they have a few good ideas of their own, but a costume says a lot about a person.
Here are some great suggestions of devilish disguises the players should wear to the Maple Leafs Halloween Bash 2009.
The young defenseman has become the next victim of the classic sophomore jinx that can affect even the best players in their second year.
As Luke Schenn has struggled through his first three weeks of the season, there is one thing that has become a common theme in his play. He is sure in a giving mood right now.
Since this is the case, it is only fitting that he show up to the party dressed as the Maple Leafs mascot, Carlton the Bear, who is guilty of free give-a-ways consistently.
As each game passes, Schenn gives more and more pucks away to the opposition in his own end, and it looks like the end is nowhere in sight.
If he’s going to be in such a giving mood, he might as well throw on the white bear outfit and toss in a back flip, or the always entertaining jump through a fire-lit hoop.
Replace his stick with t-shirt cannon, load up some of the latest Leafs attire, and let them fly to the adoring fans above.
The longtime Leafs teddy bear better watch out if the second-year defender keeps it up, he might be looking for other work in the ACC.
Next through the doors of the Leafs Halloween bash is Mike Komisarek, one of the new additions to the team who is going through his fair share of struggles as well.
His costume may confuse at first, but soon those around will realize just who he is trying to be come Hallows Eve.
The red shirt may suggest that he’s come as a member of his old team, the Montreal Canadiens, but that’s not it at all.
Along with a black hat and pants, golf bag slung on his back, and Nike ‘swooshes’ spread out accordingly, this Leafs blue liner will come as none other than the billionaire himself, Tiger Woods, on the final day of a tournament.
Due to each man’s unbelievable ability to register the best minus score in the heat of competition, it is only fitting that Komisarek play best golfer in the world for a night.
And if he continues to subtract from his already plummeting plus/minus, you can expect the Leafs coaching staff to put a putter in his hands, and send him on his way.
This speedy forward’s costume will take some serious work and creativity to pull off, but if done right it could stand out as one of the best at the gathering.
Jason Blake needs to come dressed fully, from head to toe, as a convertible of his choice. That’s right, he needs to arrive dressed as a car. The reasoning is quite simple.
Like a convertible in Toronto, Blake is fast and flashy, but very expensive and a terrible underperformer during hockey season.
Yes, he occasionally will have a great game and add his name to the score sheet. For the amount the Leafs are paying him annually, however, he ought to be bulging the twine at a much higher pace than he currently is.
And like that flamboyant ride you’re unable to drive in the snow, Blake has Leaf fans frequently wondering what the point of him being here was.
Yet another Leafs blue liner who’s had a frequent case of the "oopsies." Francois Beauchemin’s costume might have some cringing, but will no doubt get a laugh from his teammates.
You know that aunt of yours that lives far away and you hardly ever see, but when you do she just can’t help but pinch your cheeks, even when you’re far too old and it’s completely unnecessary? Well, Beauchemin and your aunt happen to have a lot in common.
He too has the disturbing habit of pinching, even when it’s completely unnecessary.
Therefore he needs to arrive dressed in an old dress and pantyhose while carrying a cigarette and talking in a raspy voice. Yes, that aunt.
Until he learns not to, he can remain in this costume since he all too often sees an opportunity to make a play, and then lets that opportunity pass before deciding to slide in ever so slowly to the opposition’s zone, lose the battle, and look back to witness the two-on-one taking place towards his own net.
And the fans, just like the little boy greeting his aunt, can usually see the pinch coming. Unfortunately, the only option one has is to cringe and wait for the pain to subside.
Not much negative to say about his play this season, as he’s been a pleasant surprise—one of the few—on the team this season. His costume is inspired because of an impressive skill the budding defender has, and it will surprise no one when a cheer erupts from the crowd when he enters the room.
Since Ian White has facial hair that rivals that of the Geico caveman, it would only be natural that he shows up dressed in a retro Leafs jersey, old-fashioned helmet, and a massive grin on his face.
Oh, and we can’t forget the gigantic moustache bustling out from under his nose.
That’s right, for one night this defenseman will throw back to the old days and come to the party dressed as the one and only Lanny McDonald. The preparation wouldn’t be difficult for White either, who is rumored to be able to grow a full-blown moustache in mere hours.
He could even sling a Stanley Cup over his head in jubilation, but to be historically correct, he’d have to be wearing a Calgary Flames jersey. That costume may not be as appreciated.
Not much of a change for White, though, since he and the Leafs legend not only share the ability to grow a beautiful duster, but they even wear the same number.
Some things are just meant to be.
The 23-year-old Russian is a quiet, soft-spoken player who prefers to let his play do the talking rather than his mouth. Not the type of person you’d expect to go all out on a Halloween costume, but he might surprise some on this night.
I may be the only person on this fine planet who thinks this way, but there is only one natural costume Nikolai Kulemin can possibly wear. You guessed it, dressed as a member of the Jamaican Bobsled Team from the classic 1993 film Cool Runnings.
Now, before you question my sanity, let me explain why this would make perfect sense. His name is pronounced Kool-Uh-Mon, and as citizens of North America we are used to hearing that name in a North-American accent.
If you slightly change the tone in your voice when you pronounce it, however, you’ll notice something quite enjoyable.
If you simply speak in the lowest possible tone you can dive down to, while articulating Nikolai’s last name, you’ll see where the Jamaican idea comes from.
Say it with me now, deepest voice you got.
See what I mean?
And if you don’t, and I’m merely insane, then picture the silent sniper walking into the room, donning green and yellow tights, with a helmet in hand, reciting popular quotes from the hit film. It would get a laugh.
The veteran winger born in Scarborough, Ontario, 33 years ago finally got a chance to play for his hometown team this season, and win or lose, you’ve got to imagine he’s enjoying every second of it.
He probably won’t enjoy the night of the Oct. 31 though. The veteran winger will carefully put together his giant sign reading, “Finally, Wayne comes to Toronto!” to proudly display at the Toronto event, but won’t ever show up.
You see, Wayne Primeau has had some injury problems in his career, mainly concussions, or in NHL playoff talk, "upper-body injuries." Between him and his brother, Keith, they’ve had their fair share of bumps to the head.
If concussions were goals, then these two combined would lead the league this season...until March.
So needless to say, because of the repeated head trauma this poor man has faced in his career, he will forget where his destination is that night, and spend it on his couch, rocking back-and-forth, sucking his thumb.
Vesa Toskala will have the easiest costume to make compared to the rest of his teammates, because all he will have to wear is his goalie equipment.
The only change would be replacing his mask for a baseball cap, and bringing a bench to the party to sit on off to the side.
Thanks to his ghastly play early on, and the emergence of Jonas Gustavsson, Toskala will be wearing that baseball cap on the bench an awful lot this season, as the backup net minder.
There you have it, a night filled with ghouls, ghosts, and awkward karaoke moments for the Toronto Maple Leafs. From the costumes alone, it sounds like it’s going to be a rocking good time this Halloween after the Leafs take on the Montreal Canadiens Saturday night.
Oh, and of course we can’t forget about the candy, which will be handed out at the front door by GM Brian Burke himself, dressed in his usual suit and tie.
Fun is not a word in the man’s vocabulary, and getting a smile out of him on the joyous night will be hard enough, let alone getting him into a costume.
But you can bet that when the media scrum comes a knocking, begging for details on the night’s events, Burke will step out and address them like he always does.
He will completely avoid the question and mumble something about truculence, pugnacity, or the Sedin twins.
In what has been a terrifying October for the Toronto Maple Leafs, you can bet that the entire team will be overjoyed on Halloween night.
Not only because they’ll get to see Ron Wilson do the limbo, but because as the night turns to morning, and the month turns to November, the team can forget about their poor play in the first month of the season, and look forward to the improved ones to come.
It’s been a scary season so far, but the collective hope of Leaf Nation is that after the night is done and the costumes have been put away, the only fear that is felt around this team from now on is by the opposing team as they look down the ice and stare into the eyes of a real monster.