It’s been a strange week for Leaf Nation.
On Tuesday, Toronto was embarrassed 7-1 (on home ice, no less) by the Carolina Hurricanes—and by Wednesday, the media was gleefully sounding the death knell for this year’s edition of the Maple Leafs. On Wednesday night’s edition of Off the Record, the panel spent ten minutes analyzing what was going wrong with the Leafs’ year, which by then was exactly four games old. The team had three points, the same number last year’s Stanley Cup champions, the Anaheim Ducks, had collected in one more game, but that didn’t curb talk of a full-blown crisis after one awful game.
The following night, the Leafs reacted with a stunning 8-1 win over the New York Islanders in a game that featured, among other things, captain Mats Sundin becoming the highest-scoring player in team history (and, in a nice gesture, being named the game’s first, second and third star). Everything that went wrong on Tuesday went very, very right on Thursday; even beleaguered goaltender Andrew Raycroft, relegated to back-up status with the arrival of Vesa Toskala, enjoyed a share of the plaudits. We’re hoping this week’s games don’t effectively crystallize how the 2007/08 season will play out for Toronto; we’ve got a feeling, however, that it’s going to be an interesting year.
As Samuel L. Jackson’s character put it in Jurassic Park: “Hold on to your butts.”
Photo by 33k from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.