Thursday, April 22, 2004

It seems this time that the outplayed team in an NHL hockey series has won and advanced to the next round of playoff action. Outshooting the Toronto Maple Leafs by almost 12 total shots overall, The Ottawa Senators are now on the golf course, wondering where it all went wrong. The Leafs gained immaculate strength in game seven from two back-to-back almost identical goals from Joe Nieuwendyk in the first period. Blasting down the left side, the dyker's knuckleball wrist shots seemed to baffle Ottawa goalie Patrick Lalime, so much so that he was taken out after the first period of play.
Down three goals to none, the Sens tried to battle back with an early second period blast from Chara, the monster 6'9 defenseman, who rifled a goal past the otherwise invincible Eddie 'the eagle' Belfour. Regaining some confidence, trailing 3 to 1, the Sens gained another chance with a powerplay opportunity soon after Chara's goal in the 2nd. But after that high point goal from Chara, nothing seemed to help the Sens get back on the winning track. In fact, everything they did seemed to hurt them more than help them. Blowing a few more powerplay opportunities, and just not being able to break The Eagle's invisible plane around his crease, the dillapidated Sens weren't able to make any more dents in the Leafs machine.
One thing is certain from this strange and mysterious game 7, and that is that even as Don Cherry himself said 'The Leafs were outplayed in every aspect of tonight's game and if they're not careful, it's gonna be a short series against Philly'. Well put, Don. Leaf fans, for the most part, seem to be unable to recognize their team's weak points and mostly think that every skater on the Leafs squad is as good, if not better, than Wayne Gretzky in his prime, and every goalie on their squad is Patrick Roy about ten or fifteen years ago. This just isn't reality. For Leaf fans, the saying 'this is our year' which surfaces from the lips of cheerers every year the Leafs make the playoffs, has shown to be untruth for about...oh, about 40 years now.
One thing I can say about Leaf fans, though, is that they are faithful and loyal. Two 30 year old factory worker Leaf-fans from Toronto would beat the piss out of a 6 year old school girl if she was wearing a Sens jersey, and that says something I think. I'm...not sure what it says...but it definitely is something. So cheer on Leafers because the truth is your 45+ year old team is gonna need some 'extra support' for the next round when they meet up with a team who is much younger, skates much faster, and scores alot more goals than most teams have so far in the playoffs. Go Leafs GO!

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