Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Leafers having a bad day

McCabe is back in the Toronto lineup, so you know what that means...

The Boo Birds are back!

Well, McCabe has actually been back for a few games after sitting out a few weeks with a groin injury, but I'm betting that his play last night at the ACC got the Boo Birds going.

Rewind back to October 15th, Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres. Overtime. Bryan McCabe tries to clear the puck, but he ends up shooting it behind Raycroft and into his own net. Cue the Boo Birds.

November 13th, Toronto Maple Leafs and Montréal Canadiens. Overtime. Bryan McCabe's giveaway leads to a breakaway. Komisarek scores on Raycroft. Cue the Boo Birds (again).

The guy just can't seem to catch a break, can he?

Well, it doesn't help that he's one of the highest paid defencemen in the NHL, plays on a very high profile team in front of unforgiving fans, and these unfortunate mistakes seem to be not-so-rare.


Given all of this, I came up with three easy ways for Bryan McCabe to (partially) redeem himself in the big T.O. Listen up Bryan...

Step one: get rid of the fu manchu. It seemed to work for Talbot (at least for the first bit of the season), but it ain't working for you. Looks creepy, and no one wants a creepy guy on their team.

Step two: take a lot less cash the next time you negotiate a contract. Insist on it, and have someone leak this tidbit to the press. Look like you're not sure of what to say and try to deny it, but when they keep pressing, confirm the truth. Give them the shy and humble face and say that the team is number one and, in a salary cap world, sometimes a pay cut is in order so that the team can get some big-name/big-talent guys. The fans and the media will appreciate long as they never know that you were the one who leaked the info. If they find out, ask for a trade for a far away land where there is no hockey media. Like Florida.

Step three: give Lidstrom a call and ask him to give you a few pointers. Or, better yet, ask Niedermayer to drop by Toronto and so you can get some one-on-one extra help. Again, don't let the media/fans find out, because you will never hear the end of it. Should they find out, run to Florida with your stick between your legs.

Got it? Good.


Fans have been calling for a big-time trade since, well, forever but sorry pals, that's just not going to happen. I figure that doing anything to improve the Maple Leafs seems to be way down on the 'to do' list of MLSE since they can't seem to stop fans from supporting the team - as evidenced by the club being named the League's most valuable franchise - despite not winning the Cup since the days of the Original Six. The MLSE big-wigs have so much control over everything that happens with the team that I honestly believe that a 2-year-old child has more autonomy than JFJ. That's not a dig at JFJ's managing abilities, because I think he could do a lot with the team if Big Brother was hands off. As it stands, we don't know what JFJ can do as a GM.


In other Leafs' news, rookie Jiri Tlusty was left to explain himself when nude photos of him were uploaded to the Internet. I feel bad for the kid - this is not the way you want to introduce yourself to the Toronto media.

What caught my eye in the TSN article were Wade Belak's comments:

"It's tough in this city to censorize anything. I've been known to take out the trash naked from time to time. (Ed. Note: whoa, buddy, wayyy too much info. You'll have the stalkerazzi hanging outside your house now, waiting for the next Leafs "scandal", and that is not something we need to be exposed to. No pun intended.) Now with all these allegations with Jiri I don't know if I'm going to feel safer out there."

"It's obviously the price of being a young guy, coming in and playing for a month, having some success and having someone try to knock you down and embarrass you. We've lent our support to him and it's not a big deal, everyone's been caught with their pants down." (Ed. Note: Hey, speak for yourself, Belak.)

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