If history tells us anything, it’s that the Hockey Gods do not like the Toronto Maple Leafs.
One has to simply recall the ‘93 non-call by Fraser to validate this claim.
Oh, the Hockey Gods like to tease us every decade or so, but just like Tantalus in Greek Mythology, the ultimate goal for Leafs fans is ever so slightly out of reach. A sip from the Lords Cup evaporating just before the sweet ambrosia were to touch the waiting mouths of our players.
Our first week in the 2010-11 season, we had two 110 goal scorers and were on pace to win all 82 games. All they had to do was tighten up a few areas of their game and we had the Cup within our feeble sights.
Then our Elysian Fields faded into the pits of Tartarus.
How many times does a player set a record while playing the Leafs?
How many times do longstanding slumps end with a win over the Leafs?
How many times has a player, who couldn't score a second assist in a Somalian PeeWee house league, notched an amazing goal on us to win the game?
How many times have games ended by a bad bounce, bad call, reversed goal or some other unfortunate demise?
How about trading your first-round pick to add a piece to the puzzle before the draft order is even finalized?
That was done in 1991 for Tom Kurvers and in 2009 for Phil Kessel. Neidermeyer will be a first ballot Hall of Famer and Lord only knows what the Hockey Gods have in store for Tyler Seguin.
But remember, they did allow Tyler to score in his first game against the Leafs—so beware for what’s in store!
The Hockey Gods do not like the challenge for the title of "Centre of the Universe."
And whoa to us, when they sleep through a game and the Leafs start getting the bounces.
Case in point with the Florida win. Oh, the Hockey Gods didn't like that! The Lord giveth and the Lord shall taketh away. Orr scores a goal that never should have been allowed and they are punished by not getting a goal in the next eight periods. Eight periods!
The motherly Valentina Vassilyev had less periods between goals in her entire adult life than our current beloved Maple Leafs! (And I invite you to Google her to verify this fact.)
No, there is no question in my mind that the Hockey Gods have it in for our Leafs. And there are no number of bag skates that’ll get them out from this curse.
The sheep of Leaf Nation will continue to play in the teeth of Haros, but let’s hope they can skate like they did in the first four games this year again and lead us once again across the River Styx if only to taste the sweet spring air of a playoff game.
They need to play hard. Dance on the ice like they think no one is watching and no one cares.
Because the Hockey Gods do.