It’s no secret that I don’t like the Leafs. Every season, when the NHL schedule comes out, I immediately circle the nights of the Leafs games.
I’m not sure when my irrational hate for them started. Maybe it was after the Canucks beat them in 1994 en route to the Stanley Cup Finals. Maybe it was the year before that when I considered myself as much a Habs fan as a Canucks fan. Or maybe the hate came after being force fed Leafs games every freaking Saturday night on Hockey Night in Canada.
I’ll admit though that I haven’t minded the Leafs on HNIC as much this season. Mostly, because the Leafs have looked lousy on Saturday nights. After beating the Habs on October 9th, they have a dismal 2-5-1 record on Saturdays; those 5 losses include 3 shutouts. I don’t blame them – I’m usually hungover on Saturdays myself.
At 12-15-4, the Leafs sit in 13th in the Eastern Conference and 28th overall in the NHL. Lottery, here they come again. I mean, Tyler Seguin and Sean Couturier would be a nice foundation down the middle.
Mind you, the Canucks haven’t been much better on Saturdays this season. At 2-2-1, they’ve lost more games than they’ve won. One of those losses was the thoroughly embarrassing 7-1 spanking at Rogers Arena at the hands of Corey Crawford and the Chicago Blackhawks. But then again, one of their wins was against the Leafs in Toronto.
The Canucks have designated tonight’s game – which, incidentally, starts at 4 PM because Leafs fans apparently can’t watch their beloved team after dinner – as Fan Appreciation Night. After the game, the Canucks will be giving the jerseys off the players’ backs and giving out a small gift to fans on their way home.
You know what would make me feel really appreciated though?
If the Canucks beat the Leafs. Bad.