Ugh, Toronto. What a joke of a franchise. Sure, they gave us
Tyler Seguin Dougie Hamilton and Tuukka Rask, and just last year gave us one of the best comeback wins I've ever seen in sports, but still. Screw 'em. The problem with Toronto is not that they're a threat, though. The problem with Toronto is that they have fans everywhere. A blue and white plague spreads across the continent (truly, the world). Literally everywhere. If you find hockey fans in any far end of the earth, you're likely to find a leafs fan.
And then you can remind them that it was 2-1 when Cody Franson scored, assisted by Ottawa Senator Clarke Macarthur and Washington Capital Mikhail Grabovski.
Seriously it's everywhere, though. You get sick of seeing another damn Gilmour, Clark, Sittler, whoever jersey when you're walking around. Or one of those ubiquitous blue hats. I guess I don't blame them not having any pride in the current squad. The Jerk Captain Dion Phaneuf (the only player to my knowledge to star in an Olympic ad without participating in them) is, well, normally rated for a Toronto Maple Leaf. Which is to say, over-rated. Sure, Leaf fans love him because he's the closest thing they've got to a legitimate top defenseman. Or at least, one that the coach will play as such. And I've got to hand it to him for making Dallas Game 2 the second-most famous thing about Sean Avery's storied tenure with the Stars. And heck, they may even claim that he beat Nathan Horton in a fight.
And then you can remind them that it was 3-1 when Phil Kessel scored his first-ever non-powerplay goal against the Bruins, assisted by Nazem Kadri and James Van Reimsdyk.
Luckily, Tyler Bozak will play with best bud Phil Kessel when the season starts again. I don't even really have to go into how poorly the team is managed. For that sort of commentary, nobody does it better than Leafs fans. And they do. Just take a walk over to PensionPlanPuppets.com sometime when a player is holding out for a decent contract or the coach is playing lines poorly. So pretty much all the time. But they know that. The Leafs being run poorly is a wound that long-since has scarred over. Plus, we always like crappy teams in the division. Leaf fans will tell you that their team is way better than it is, even if a Potato could do better. They'll tell you that they finally have a real goalie.
And then you can remind them that it was 4-1 when Nazem Kadri scored on the rush.
After the crying subsides, let's look at that "real goalie" situation. Is Reimer bad? No. Well, unless he's recently been concussed by a blue blanc et rouge midget. Then he's bad, but nobody is at their best then. I should start using this excuse more when I turn out poor content. But yes, goalies. Reimer is a good goalie, gotta give him that. Bernier fought Ryan Miller, though, so I think he'll be seeing opening night starter duties and hopefully the lion's share of playing time. I mean, this is the team that thought Gustafsson was the answer when Toskala didn't work out.
In all of this, I've really been searching for something to truly hate the Leafs for, but it's hard to find one. Heck, the one thing that I think I am most mad at them about is firing Brian Burke. He had bluster like nobody else. Glad they got rid of him before he could continue improving the team. Glad they aren't going to sniff the Stanley Cup Finals for another couple years. (p.s. Thanks to Kerry Frasier and Wayne Gretzky for keeping that streak alive).
They'll tell you that the Leafs have a long and storied history, and they'll gloss over the time when a bunch of kids got molested in Maple Leaf Gardens and when Harrold Ballard sold the championship banners and other wonderful moments in Leafs history. They might pretend to be mad at Eddie Shore for ending Ace Bailey's career. They're probably wearing a green St. Pats jersey in that case, though. And not a Sundin one. Last time I visited the ACC (note: not Maple Leaf Gardens) I ended up at "60s night." They brought back a bunch of old players to celebrate the last time they won the cup. The Leafs fan will tell you that they were the first to win 3 in a row.
And then you can ask them how the game ended. If all they do is cry, here's a video to help remember:
In conclusion, there are too damn many Leafs Fans. I'm sure they'll check in in the comments, though history shows that they'll be more active in crapping on Ottawa with us than boasting about their own team.