Dear Andrew Raycroft,
I must admit, I love that picture. It’s actually my new desktop background. It looks like you’ve been shot. If only I could be so lucky.
I kid, I kid. Calm down. I hate you, but that doesn’t mean I wish a drive-by shooting upon you. I’m not a psycho, man.
So, tonight, we finally meet again. I won’t lie; I’ve had this game circled on my calendar for some time.
As of this morning, I’m not sure if you’ll actually be between the pipes tonight. It would be a shame if you’re on the bench, but I wouldn’t be surprised. You don’t exactly come across as the most motivated cat, and that’s one of your biggest problems. If I were you, I’d be on my knees begging to play tonight. I’d be desperate to prove to Leafs management, and prove to fans just like me, that you are not an epic failure of a goalie.
You know, Andrew, I don’t hate many former Leafs. In fact, you’re probably the only one. And I’ve often wondered why.
I think, deep down, it goes back to the end of the 2006/2007 season. You were pulled from the final, most important, game of the regular season, and the Leafs ended up missing the playoffs. Yet you had the nerve to tell everyone you were happy with your season. Happy with your 2.99 GAA and .894 save percentage.
I’ve never forgiven you for that. I likely never will.
You’re a Belleville, Ontario boy, and were playing goal for the mother fucking Toronto Maple Leafs. You were living the dream. You should have taken it more seriously. You should have wanted it more. You should have been pissed off about missing the post-season.
You know, I feel a great sense of irony as I write this, because Vesa Toskala has turned into the goaltending equivalent of a dirty slut; he’s turned into you. His numbers, frightening as they are, are actually worse than yours from 06/07. He looks apathetic in the crease, and every bad goal that goes past him is, well, just another bad goal that goes past him. It pains me how much he reminds me of you.
I’ve lost a lot of faith in Vesa this season. I don’t think he’s the goalie I thought he was. But tonight isn’t about Vesa. It’s about you. The Leafs can lose every game the rest of the way out, but I’ll be happy as long as they win - as long as they beat you - tonight.
It’s not even about revenge. It’s about giving a damn. You never did. You bastard.
And my offer from weeks ago still stands: if you finish the season with better numbers than Toskala, that’s it, I’m done, I’ll never speak ill of you again.
You know, there haven’t been a lot of games to get up for so far in this difficult and trying season, but tonight’s one of them. I’ll be rooting for my Leafs like it’s a playoff game tonight.
Here’s hoping you’re in the crease, and that the red goal light behind you shatters from overuse. Good luck. May the shitty goalie who least resembles a slut with an open five-hole win.
Go to hell, eyebleaf
by Eyebleaf…Honestly, nothing hurts quite like f***ing up in fantasy hockey. It haunts you. A small piece of me dies each time I hear the name “Dennis Wideman.”
Earlier this season, I dropped Wideman—the steady Boston Bruins’ defenseman—from my fantasy hockey team.
It gets worse.
I dropped him for San Jose Sharks’ d-man Christian Ehrhoff.
I drafted Wideman. I felt like he was going to improve on his 36 point 2007-2008 season and benefit from playing on a decent Boston team. Well, he certainly has.
I can’t say that I thought the Bruins would be this good. And while I was high on Wideman, I didn’t think he’d be this good, either. But that doesn’t make it any easier. He used to be mine. I let him go. Now I’m paying the price—sitting quietly by my window and thinking about him.
In 45 games this season, Wideman has 31 points (9 goals, 22 assists) and is a whopping +26. Twenty of those points have come on the power play.
To make sure that I was reminded of how much of an idiot I was, Wideman scored the other night against the Toronto Maple Sucks. It was a power play goal—of course.
And Ehrhoff? I dropped his ass. After starting the season with 16 points in twenty games, he’s tallied a goal and two assists since Nov. 22—F**k Christian Ehrhoff.
I’m sitting in fourth place in my pool. There’s a substantial amount of money to be won. Had I kept Wideman, I’d probably be in second or close to it. Had I kept Wideman, and had Tomas Plekanec not morphed into a useless piece of Montreal Canadiens’ shit, I might even be a challenger for first.
You live and learn, I guess. At least I now know what John Ferguson Jr. feels like.
Still, I need a drink.
by Eyebleaf… It’s true; I drafted Jason Blake in my fantasy hockey league way back in September.
You know why?
Because I believed in the little guy.
And he rewarded my faith in him the other night.
Yes, he most certainly did.
If Blake’s five-point performance (a hat trick and two assists) wasn’t his way of telling former Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice to go fuck himself, I’m not sure how else he can get the point across.
The two never really got along last season, and Blake now has 13 goals, only two fewer than he bagged in 82 games under Maurice’s tutelage.
So, I wonder what the Blake haters are going to have to say today. Probably that 17 percent of No. 55’s 29 points on the season came last night.
But you know what? I don’t give a shit. And you know why? Because the Leafs needed every one of those five points.
Hate him all you want, and complain about his salary until you’re blue in the face. Be my guest. The hating, whether it’s directed at Blake, or Mats Sundin, or Tomas Kaberle, kind of gets me off these days.
The numbers don’t lie, and Blake is on pace for a 25-goal and 56-point season. And at $4 million a year in today’s NHL, that’s exactly the type of performance you’re going to get.
Jason Blake is paid accordingly. Yeah, I said it.
If you’re one of the people who gave Matt Stajan props for responding to a trip to the press box early on in the season, you owe Blake some of the same loving. He was in Ron Wilson’s doghouse for a while, but has responded as well as anyone could have expected, and good for him.
Blake, if nothing else, has proven that he’s a battler. And I can respect that.
For those of you who watched the game on the tube last night, yes, that is exactly how the Leafs drew it up. A blown four-nothing lead, you know, to get the tanking advocates all hot and bothered, and a five-point performance from one Jason Blake.
Hate Blake if you must. It’s your constitutional right. But you can’t deny that his performance yesterday was worthy of one tremendous fist pump
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Dear Mikhail Grabovski,
What’s good, my hot-headed, young Belarusian friend? Enjoying your time on the sidelines? I didn’t think so.
Now, I’m writing this not to get all preachy on you. You don’t need to be told to never put your hands on an official again. I trust that you’re a smart cat, and that you’ve learned your lesson.
What I am going to tell you is that the Leafs need you out there. Did you watch that garbage the other night? It was brutal
. Seventeen shots? F***. Off. And Saturday night wasn’t much better, 42 shots be damned.
There’s zero offensive creation without you, Grabs. Let’s be honest, there isn’t much to begin with, but with you up in the press box things are about as quiet on the ice as inside Elliot Spitzer’s bedroom. You know, since he got busted for palling around with that crazy expensive hookers.
You really should read the news, Mikhail. Or get Poni to translate it for you or something.
Now don’t get me wrong, I know the tank is on, but you and your teammates have proven that you’re not about to solve that whole “goals against” problem anytime soon. So, if you’re going to lose, I’d rather you at least score some goals in the process.
You’ve just got to be in the lineup for that to happen. So no more suspensions, my friend.
And I know, Sergei Kostitsyn is a b****. He’ll get his. Don’t worry about him. Like I said, lesson learned.
I’ll be honest: Deep down, I like that you’re crazy. But I need you to harness that energy. I need you on the ice.
See you on Friday, player.