My name is Sean, and I’m a Toronto Maple Leafs fan.
This will no doubt come as a shock to anyone who’s been reading my stuff over the years. As a respectable sportswriter, I have carefully hidden any team allegiances I may have so as not to appear biased. Especially observant readers might have picked up on some subtle hints, like the way I force at least one Leaf reference into everything I write, or that my Twitter avatar is a Maple Leaf punching a guy in the face, or that I named my first-born son “Dougie," or that I can’t write a single word without first watching the Wendel Clark “All Heart” video a dozen times to get pumped up. But for the rest of you, this is probably a shock. The secrecy is over.
Also over: Toronto’s playoff drought. On Saturday night in front of a raucous Ottawa crowd, the Leafs beat the Senators 4-1 and finally got that precious “x” next to their name in the standings. They’re in. The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to the playoffs.
My editors asked if I’d like to write a few words about that. [The opening bars of “Hero of the Day” begin to play in the background.] Yes, yes I think I would.
Here are 20 things you need to know about the playoff-bound Maple Leafs.