Tomorrow, our lives come grinding to a halt until mid-June.
The NHL playoffs are here—and even without the Toronto Maple Leafs (more on them in a second), that means there’s going to be meaningful hockey on TV almost every single night for the next two-and-a-half months. (That’s assuming you think it’s possible for sports to be meaningful, obviously; then again, if you didn’t, you probably wouldn’t be reading this.) Back in October we picked the Calgary Flames to win the Stanley Cup—and in honour of the late Charlton Heston, we’re sticking to our guns. They’re probably too inconsistent to hang with the big boys, especially in a stacked Western Conference, but they’re talented enough to give better teams a scare. Plus, with Miikka Kiprusoff in net and with Jarome Iginla fresh off a fifty-goal season, anything’s possible.
One last word on our hometown’s bunch of loveable losers: for the first time in team history (and remember, that stretches back a ways), the Leafs have missed the playoffs in three consecutive years. If you needed any more evidence that major changes are in order, you’ve got it. At least there’s one reason for optimism: the Leafs have secured the seventh overall pick in June’s NHL draft, and assuming they don’t trade it away they’ll have dibs on a highly-touted prospect. Stay tuned for months of rumour-mongering—followed closely by the organization embracing the status quo and then insisting that was the plan all along. God bless Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment!
Photo by jquiz.