It is not just another day in Leaf Land for this here fan. The Leafs are sitting 11 points out of the eighth spot with five teams between them. So the question is: Who will be golfing first, Tiger or the Leafs?
All kidding aside, it's painful to admit these revelations as I consider myself one of the more "optimistic" of Leaf fans. Never in the past have I lost faith in my team during the regular season. I always believed they could make that last push into the postseason. Why is this year different? I will tell you why.
Everybody seems to forget that this was the first year of a RE-BUILDING stage, apparently even Brian Burke. I remember during the offseason, the Leafs had ZERO expectations. Everybody accepted the fact that we were starting the re-build and that the 2009-10 season was going to be ugly. Then on Sept. 9, 2009 (http://www.thestar.com/Sports/Hockey/article/692786 ), Burkie opens his big trap and says (get this), "It's our goal...to make the playoffs."
WTF Burkie! We are not in Anaheim anymore; we all took you seriously when you said that, even though you were probably joking. Ever since Burke made that comment, the expectations for the Leafs went from "re-building" to "cup contenders". Add on an impressive training camp, and the fans believed this team could do it.
Here's a little tip for the future, Burkie: Don't make promises you can't keep. Leaf fans are very naive and we don't have much in our lives, so don't play with our emotions.
Another thing, didn't you learn from Paul Maurice NOT to promise postseason games (http://www.thestar.com/Sports/NHL/article/256597)? I believe he was fired the year after, no?
With that being said, let's talk Phil Kessel. When this trade was first announced, I bought shots for everyone at the bar, that's how excited I was. It didn't matter that we gave up two first round picks and a second round pick, we got Phil motherf***ing Kessel! I dug up an article from Sept. 19, 2009 when the deal first got announced. Let me tell you, I wasn't the only one excited; check out some of these comments:
"Oh jeez, Leafs may have a playoff chance with their young forwards, experienced D-men and now a star player. I'm routing for Burkie's team, love what he's done with the Leafs."
"Yes guy!!!! One step closer to the promised land. Thanks Burkie for building us what we deserve-a good hockey club."
Oh the good old September days; the season is young, fans are filled with optimism, and the Leafs look like they might be pretty good.
Now fast forward to January:
"Is Phil Kessel even playing for the Leafs anymore? He's like a ghost."
"Is Kessel hurt? I didnt see him out there..."
"Brian Burke be a man about it and do something never done before...'FIRE YOURSELF'!"
"This franchise is in one major pathetic state."
WOW, four months can really make some fans bitter.
So here I am, in late January, calling another season without playoffs when I should have done this at the start of the season. Too many whistles and bells made me get my hopes up and believe things would turn out alright this season. In reality I'm just another sorry Leafs fan who believed...:(.