Toronto Maple Leafs Pregame: Make Belief Again!

Doug Johnson, Puck Buddy, files your pregame report. Tweet.

The PreGame: On Wednesday night, we saw flashes of brilliance. Perhaps our squad has turned the corner. We finally figured out the PP. And yet, for the past four weeks, we’ve seen things we haven’t wanted to see. Ugly things. Things we’ve flinched from; things we’ve shielded our juvenile eyes away from. Things a pure heart shouldn’t see: the last gasping moments of the Boudreau era. We think it’s time to banish what was… for what is now.

There comes a moment when we own our time. Tonight we declare: an end to what was.

[Call the Spirits! North, South… East and West…Harken to me now! Hear us!]

Bruce – Juggles – is passed.  And now, like a veil lifted from our eyes, we see again our gallant Capitals squad. God Save the King! We will love you always Coach, but you are now past us. Be well, and fear the Caps.

  • We see our Everywhere utility player Nick Backstrom, the hardest working man in the ice-business. We see our Terrier tenacious Jeff Halpern making goals and making them for others; the true test of loyalty. We see our Captain (Mon Capitan) working the first few games more like a team leader than a leader of the team. We see Carlson stepping into unusual shoes. We see Troy Brower, trying with all his might – though we might need just a little more try. And we see ChimmeROAR, gilt in armor and triumphant on the field of battle. We see you all…
  • All of you: you, Papa Knubs, Viking Laich, Czechtastic Neuvirth and Voukon, Hero Ward, Heartthrob Mojo, Flow Perreault, Alzner. Eakin…all of you, you are hereby freed!

With this spell, We free our Washington Capitals from all hexes! We banish your curse in the name of Dale Hunter! We banish your curse in the name of Rod Langway! We banish your curse in the name of Olaf Kölzig! In the holy name of Craig Laughlin, you are released to be your true selves! C-A-P-S CAPS CAPS CAPS!

The Puck Drop

So yeah, we figured we’ll start with a pagan invocation. Heck, I’ve been a participant in multiple ceremonies, and I can promise the only thing you’re likely to experience is mosquito bites. Still: we are invoking the great spirits. Don’t let your sensitive children look, or let those who have a brain in their head read on, as everything that follows is just words.

What Makes Them Hot

Matt Frattin

1: Kessel Run: At 33 Points (theirs) vs. 29 (ours), Toronto has a serious leaf/lead on us. More than that; the goal numbers say it: the Make-Beliefs have earned 86 Goals for vs. 90 Goals against; the Caps, meanwhile logged a mediocre 83 Goal for vs. 87 Goals for – a near draw with what should be a middling team. But…

2: Kessel Again:We noted earlier the talents of Ron Wilson’s squad.  Ugh. UGH. Phil Kessel is logging so far a 17G 18A plus-1, which feels unholy, if you ask us. A look at his previous five games suggests he’s not one to be contained. Other teams have tried to stop him up to no avail. The solution: don’t stop him up, run him into the boards. Run that bastard! Our advice: Someone Take That Kessel Run!

3: First up Front: Recent Leafs play suggests they come out stronger early than later. Look at Clarkson & Frattson.

What Makes Them Not

1: Road Win. So Coach Hero Hunter has had two wins – one on the road and one at home. There’s nothing that adds to a non-streak like another win. Coach Hunter: we think your team is paying attention. We think you’re working in exactly the right way. And we think Friday is going to be the third W in your NHL cloth.

Luke Schenn

2: Ovie Uber Alles: Every bone of me hates using German – sorry, we remember still what you did to us. Yet, Ovie Wednesday night somehow svengalied the refs, what with his punches to the opponent’s yambags and all, and skated clear. Sasha – our dear Sasha – has been the target of late of priapic refs, smearing him with flopping penalties. But Lo!, has our Sasha-Bear received penalties of late? Nay… or at least, less-nay. We seem to be seeing a return of Alex Ovechkin the Monster maker.  We hope he carries his close associates with him.

The OT

This is simple. Our blessing is upon you. The Capitals shall win, because they know they will.