Leafs games on Saturday nights have always been the most exciting for Toronto’s fans. There is an inexplicable feeling of anticipation in the air. Despite the woeful outcomes thus far, Leafs Nation is always optimistic.
Pre-game rituals begin well in advance as the face-painters, flag wavers, and sign makers crawl out of the woodwork. The bars will be packed with eager fans as television sets are tuned into the sounds of Jim Hughson, Ron Mclean, and the rest of the CBC faithful.
But before you head out the door, you might want to make sure your face paint is washable...
After careful consideration of the NHL schedule, it appears that your Toronto Maple Leafs will be doing anything and everything BUT playing a regular season game on Saturday night.
The absence of a Saturday Leafs game appears to be the first since 1996. This figure does not include All-Star Breaks, Olympic hockey, and Saturday Christmases.
On the bright side, Leafs fans can tune in to watch the Habs against the Capitals. Hey, did Ovechkin just not injure Luke “The Holy Grail” Schenn for a month? With that toothy grin playing against the “GQ-esque” Kostitsyn brothers, how can we NOT look away?
The members of Leafs Nation need to focus on the positives. Instead of conforming to old rituals, perhaps it is time we turned off our televisions, kept the beer in the fridge, and tried something a little different.
Conversation is a lost art, and since we Leafs fans are self-proclaimed geniuses, why not stir up the pot with some rousing sports banter?
But, say you are at a loss for words. No fear my friends; I have come up with some conversation starters that will get any good hockey fan going…
"If Kyle Wellwood and Peter Zezel had a hotdog eating contest, could a winner be declared before they ran out of hotdogs?"
"How come Pierre McGuire never talks about Ken Hitchcock’s 'Big Body Presence'?"
"In addition to 470 career penalty minutes, George Parros has a degree in Economics from Princeton University. What the 'puck' have you done lately?"
"If Zdeno Chara falls on the ice during practice, and nobody is there to see him, does he still make a sound?"
"If his last name is really NOnis, then how can he be Burke’s ‘yes' man?"
"Does Sean Avery’s therapist get paid by the hour, or the sloppy second?"
"Joe Sakic broke three fingers during a snow-blowing accident. Why could he just not pay Tom Renney to blow hot air all over his driveway?"
Suppose hockey talk does not inspire you. Well, I have a few questions from the wide world of sports, too.
"If Jamario Moon blocked Sun Yue, could fans call it a ‘Lunar Eclipse’?"
"With the recent Fox fiasco, do the Vikings turn to Visanthe Shiancoe for 'fourth and long' situations?"
"Does it bother anybody that Chris Bosh actually looks like a Raptor?"
"Could someone with an even more generic name beat out Jimmie Johnson for the 2009 NASCAR crown?"
"Kimbo Slice studied criminal justice at the University of Miami. How do you pass up the possibility of being called Judge Slice?"
"Plaxico Burress is worth at least $10 million. It costs approximately $15 to buy a holster. Apparently playing football means not worrying about silly math problems."
If that does not get the party started, nothing will. But there is always the option of skipping the party for the movie theatre. Hollywood’s latest blockbuster comes out Dec. 12: The Day the Earth Stood Still.
The movie chronicles the triumphs and tragedies of a Leafs fan (Keanu Reeves) during game six of the 2002 Eastern Conference finals. I did not actually read the reviews, but I am pretty sure I nailed it.
Take my advice, Leafs Nation, there is plenty to do on a Saturday when your team is not playing. Just ask the folks down in Phoenix. They get by just fine.
As for myself, I plan on taking none of my own advice. Rogers just came out with a free preview of NHL Centre Ice. Game on!