Uncle Henry, don’t be dumb,
Liquor up your youngest son!
For he represents the royal army’s
Chances in the war.
Say hello to him for me
Ask him if his dog predicts
That the Maple Leafs are gonna beat Detroit
For the Stanley Cup!
…with apologies to Mike (a Red Wings fan that I like despite this obvious character flaw).
No, the above passage from the fine Rheostatics song “Uncle Henry/Cephalus Worm” does not represent my season preview in the form of song; I don’t really think the Leafs are going to be among the teams in the building when Lord Stanley’s mug gets handed out sometime in June of 2010. I am, however, much more excited about this year’s version of the Leafs than I have been in a long, long time.
They are much improved on the blueline and will have an elite talent joining the otherwise balanced scoring attack up front in November (Phil Kessel). I am still hopeful that Vesa Toskala can regain some semblance of his previous form, horrible pre-season notwithstanding. I am as excited as the next guy about The Monster, but I’m not ready to anoint him as the Calder Trophy winner in the NHL based on three (non-consecutive) periods of shutout pre-season hockey. Certainly this save gives Leafs fans something they haven’t felt in relation to the goaltending position in a few years – hope – but let’s not forget that the shooter Johan Ryno isn’t likely to collect an Art Ross trophy anytime soon either.
Anyway, my point isn’t to so much to provide analysis or insight at the moment. Rather, I am attempting to live up to the motto inscribed atop this blog: “trying to measure a moment”. The name of this moment, for Leafs fans, is “optimism”.
So why not? Uncle Henry, don’t be dumb, liquor up your youngest son…a fine sentiment, certainly one befitting the gang from PPP gathering at the Loose Moose to celebrate the season’s commencement tomorrow night.