- I think I'm enjoying the Brad May era. You?
- You know those cartoons you see around New Year's, where the weak and hobbled old man representing the forgotten past gives way to the energetic baby who represents the possibilities of the future? Didn't this week kind of feel like that, with the Battle of Ontario playing the old man and the renewed Leafs/Habs rivalry playing the little baby?
- Kudos to Mayers for taking care of business, and to May for reinforcing the point. He even seemed to have fired up Grabovski, who managed a draw in his fight. Yes, it was against a linesman, but we're taking baby-steps here.
- And let's be honest, Grabovski-Kostitsyn would have made Semin-Staal look like Clark-McSorley
- In all seriousness, anyone questioning the May deal is missing the point. It's not about helping the team win games. It's not even about winning fights. It's about the fact that this team had a terrible dressing room for three years, where losing was fine and excuses ruled. Fletcher rolled a grenade into the room, and it got better -- for a while. Based on Wilson's comments after the Florida game, they're heading back to their old ways.
You can not develop young players in an environment where losing is acceptable. If May can remind the younger guys how to work hard and compete, he's worth a sixth-round pick and more.
And if all of that sounds like an indictment of the current veteran core of the team, well, it probably is.
- By the way, where is it written that May can't come in, play regular minutes for eight weeks, remind the young guys what a professional looks like... and then be dealt at the deadline? And if he looks anything like he did against the Habs over the new two months, don't you think the Leafs can get more than a sixth for him from a contender?
- Seriously, what did Grabovski do that has the entire Habs team hating him so much? Is he just that much of an obnoxious prick off the ice (and face it, he kind of has that vibe), or is there a bigger story here? Did he Leeman somebody's wife? Was he one of those guys who can't have a normal conversation without quoting a Simpsons episode? Did he just walk around holding a knife and pineapple at all times and creep everybody out? What?
- We only got the French broadcast here in Ottawa, so I was a little confused when I saw Felix and Wendel being honored before the game. For a second, I thought the league had finally got around to reversing the Fraser/Gretzky non-call and the Leafs were being awarded the 1993 Stanley Cup retroactively.
- Hey, do you think the Habs front office invited Dave Keon to the ceremony, just to twist the knife into MLSE? And couldn't you imagine him thinking about going?
- Unrelated note: word is just in that the Sens had to take cabs to the airport after tonight's loss to the Bruins, since their team bus has Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza stuck under it.
- Finally, let's play a round of "write Damien Cox's Friday column for him":
"Knuckle-dragging Leafs fans begging for fisticuffs got their wish on Thursday as the Brad May era kicked off with two fights, surely pleasing Brian Burke. But the thuggish Leafs were blown out by the speedy and talented conference-leading Habs. There's absolutely no logical connection between those two statements, but I will still attempt to passive-aggressively imply one!"
Am I close?
Thursday, January 8, 2009