Both Kidkawartha (via Twitter) and MattBlack (via the Pension Plan Puppets FTB links roundup) recommended to all Leaf fans a reading of the comments in the Silver Seven Sens game thread. It is sage and wise advice, gratefully accepted and immediately productive this morning of several out-loud guffaws hereabouts. The game thread is a written record of the comments made by those inhabiting the Senators-themed blog thread dedicated to the Senators/Leafs game on Saturday night. The Senators, of course, came into the night with high expectations. Rested and rolling (they had Friday night off and were on an 11-game win streak), they and their fans looked forward to making some sort of a claim to bragging rights in this year’s version of the Battle of Ontario. By comparison, in the previous day or so, the Leafs had travelled to and from Newark, had there put in 57 solid minutes of work before coughing up 3 goals in as many minutes to lose 4-3 in heartbreaking fashion, and had received news of the passing of their General Manager’s son.
Happily for all fans of the Blue and White, it was the Leafs who showed up ready for the most recent installment of the Battle of Ontario. They ran the Senators out of the building, quickly and efficiently, much to the despair of Senators fans everywhere.
Following along with the game’s progress in the aforementioned game thread is an exercise in comparative anthropology: whereas ordinary human beings experience “reality”, we are able to learn that Senators fans enjoy a rich and imaginative fantasy world of their own invention. In this charming, but barely recognizable version of the world :
- Despite the fact that Roberto Luongo is superior in every statistical category, Cam Ward should be on the Canadian Olympic Team instead;
- Nick Kypreos is preferable as a hockey journalist…when compared to any other human being;
- It is uncertain who the “most overrated” band of all time is, but we know that the honour belongs to one of either Led Zeppelin or the Beatles; and
- The “running” of J.S. Giguere by Daniel “Clownpants” Alfredsson was a great job.
After that, with the Senators thoroughly failing to provide any sort of sustained resistance to a Leaf victory, things got decidedly more fatalistic and profane. They also got less entertaining, except in a “Senators fans, your tears of shame are delicious” sort of way. Which, come to think of it, I enjoyed very much thank you.
By the end of the second period, with the Leafs up 4-0 and the Senators hiding in plain sight, live in HD and to the obvious delight of a raucous Air Canada Centre crowd, one Senators fan assessed the situation as follows:
I quit. This is bull. This game can go fuck itself.
More or less symbolizing the pervasive emotional distress inflicted upon Senators fans by the end of the game was this tweet from DHSpeedwagon. In addition to publicly wrestling with alcohol-induced impure thoughts about CTV newscaster Sandy Rinaldo following the ignominious trouncing of his Ottawa side, DHS advised us that:
For anyone worried about me Mrs. Speedwagon has hid all the knives and taken away my shoelaces. My wine rack is bearing the brunt.
By way of contrast, here in Juniorvania, I watched the game with Spouse. Her commentary, some of which I relayed by way of Twitter, was much more perceptive than that of the Senators fans assembled in the game day thread, but no less entertaining:
- On Daniel Alfredsson: (with suitably scrunched-up expression on her face) “I don’t like him”;
- On the Senators first attempt with the man advantage: “This is a shitty powerplay so far. They’ve done fuck all”. The historical record will show that she was absolutely correct about this;
- On Jason Spezza: “He seems a little goofy.” In the interest of fair and accurate reporting, I should point out that Spezza was not especially disliked by her, being thought to be generally a pleasant enough young fellow, even after this video of Spezza laughing was brought to her attention (via Twitter by KidKawartha);
- On the Senators supporting cast of aging and ineffective shit-disturbers: “I’m not that fond of that Neil fellow either”;
- Daniel Alfredsson, reconsidered: “I just don’t like him. There’s something off about him.”
There followed a discussion in our living room about whether it was appropriate for me to be broadcasting Spouse’s observations without prior consultation on the issue. I assured her that the merriment I and others were deriving was most assuredly not at her expense. After nevertheless briefly being subject to a wide-ranging gag order, I was able to secure her consent to continue sharing; that concession was obtained by resorting to the age-old favourite of petulant and spoiled children everywhere: the guilt trip. I told her that my Leaf-fan Tweeples would be disappointed not to be able to share her experience of watching the game. She reluctantly relented, though she seemed a little less quick to opine upon the game from that point forward. She did, however, offer the following:
- On the occasion of an excellent shorthanded chance by Leaf rookie Christian Hanson: “Hey what happened, I thought Ottawa had a powerplay?”
- On CBC play-by-play man Bob Cole: “I like this announcer guy. He sounds about a thousand years old”;
- On Glenn Healy’s reckless and irresponsible usage of the term “shutout” midway through the second period: she was incensed.
I have to confess that soon after this, I became distracted by an unsettling notion that I have seen Senators coach Cory Clouston somewhere before. Spouse became somewhat distracted herself, though she (like Down Goes Brown) was more intent on learning the identity of the bearded fellow that sits behind the Leaf bench at the ACC. More on that in a moment, but while I pondered the question of Clouston’s twin, I neglected to report the following additional Spousal pronouncements (retrieved from memory alone):
- Daniel Alfredsson, reconsidered once again: “There’s something….clowny about him. He’s like Sideshow Bob. He might be very nice in person, but there’s something just not right about him at all”;
- On Ottawa Senators fans and their impression of Daniel Alfredsson: “Do they like him? Why?”
In addition, Spouse referred to Matt Carkner as the “man with the brain injury” throughout the game (after he was punched into another dimension by Colton Orr). Late in the game, she watched as Chris Campoli (who had tipped one into his own net late in the first period) carry the puck up the ice into the Leafs’ zone, then simply glide to a halt hesitantly and stand there as the Ottawa attack fizzled without a shot. When he was promptly stripped of the puck and the Leafs headed back up ice, Spouse said simply, “Oh, dear. That man has had a really bad game.”
He wasn’t alone among the lads from the NCR, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.
As for Cory Clouston’s doppleganger: no doubt about it, it’s Gary from “Team America World Police.”
A terrific effort from all the Leafs. I was particularly impressed (for the third game in a row) by the effort from the Sjostrom/Wallin/Kulemin line. I never thought I’d type “impressed” and “Wallin” in the same sentence this year, but there you have it. With two timely goals scored via slapshot in an opportunistic fashion, not to mention a solid defensive effort, Luke Schenn also made me look like a genius, which I always appreciate.