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Boston, MA • United States • 37 Years Old • Male
OK, a little euphoria was certainly in order after some of those impressive wins in comeback fashion and everyone realized that the Leafs weren't going to be the total doormat that people expected. Schenn was a pleasant surprise, Hagman/Grabovski/Kulemin showed speed and flair, and it became clear that the Leafs were going to be a TTPA ("A tough team to play against."

But TTPA doesn't necessarily mean you'll be .500 or better. I'm sure the Canes and Bruins to a man would all agree that the Leafs were very tough to play against in the last three games. The results for the Buds? One point out of a possible six. Thanks for the grit.

And all the media talking heads are now going out of their way to tell you how there's no quit in the Leafs. And there isn't. And that is laudable. But laudable doesn't get you points in the standings. And the reason why we've seen so many examples of the Leafs not quitting is because they've gone down by two or three goals early in far too many games. But that's an irrelevant trend, according to Coach Wilson.

So we might now be seeing the real Leafs - not a total disaster as expected, but still kind of underwhelming nonetheless.

And so five games ago, when they were a couple of games over .500 and euphoric over the victories over the Rangers and Devils, the Leafs Nation mood was "Who needs Mats?" But now, 14 games into the season, I think we've seen that this young team, while talented in spots and playing an energizing style of hockey at times, will be erratic and frustratingly prone to mistakes. And while the youth movement is absolutely the right way to go, it needs the right veteran presence to keep them from learning to lose. Rob Blake (don't get me started) can't do that. Ditto for Mayers. It's not in Kaberle's DNA, as fine a guy as he is.

So yes, it is now time to bring back Mats. He has been gone just long enough. The beauty of it is, this team in a short time has created an identity and has its own personality and it is not Mats' dressing room anymore. He can now come back and it won't be just like it was. With Tucker, McCabe, Raycroft and Wellwood gone, the bulk of that old, content-to-lose culture is gone too.

Time to put out the Welcome Mats.
Filed Under:   Maple Leafs  
November 10, 2008 3:54 PM ET | Delete
Rob Blake? You mean Jason Blake? You do watch the same Leafs as me right?
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