Ottawa Senators (16-11-4)
That Team Whose National Coverage Gets Shoved Down Your Throat (11-14-7)
Isn't it a tad early for Leafs fans to be jumping aboard the playoff bandwagon this season?
Nah, it's a great time to be a Leafs fan.
Brian Burke dealt away what could have been two lottery picks and a 2nd rounder for Phil Kessel. (As an aside, Phil Kessel's a great player. But even with Kessel, the Leafs may finish in a lottery position.) Dealing the picks wouldn't even be a concern if the organization was brimming with prospects. However, their golden boy, Luke Schenn is currently rotting away in the pressbox and Nazem Kadri is the only blue chipper in the system. Even if Jonas Gustavsson's future is clouded with doubt as he has already undergone his second corrective heart surgery in less than four months.
Had Toronto maintained their losing ways, it would have been conceivable to see Tomas Kaberle dealt away for a package involving prospects but because of his NTC and with the way their team is flirting with playoff contention, that doesn't look like it will be happening in the foreseeable future either.
But hey, they're in 14th place in the Eastern Conference and are teasing their fans with relevancy. Congratulations. Who knew that the allure of eighth place in the East and the inevitable first round sweep really enticing enough to overlook the future of the franchise? Apparently Brian Burke's predecessors were bad enough for fans to instill blind trust in whatever Burke says or does.
You would think that after years of ineptitude and falling just short of the postseason, that they've been conditioned for the inevitable disappointment of finishing as a nine to eleven seed. Or maybe it's just Leafs fans believe that it's their divine right to be on every HNIC broadcast since they've had their nuts suckled by every national sports media outlet for years.
Anyways, here's my prediction that ran in this morning's Citizen Prediction Panel...
Senators 4, Leafs 2Even though Toronto's 14th in the Eastern Conference, I'll give credit where credit is due. They have strung together some victories recently and have teased their fans with some relevancy. And I for one could not be happier. As much fun as it would be to rib Leafs fans for losing out on a lottery pick, it's sometimes easy to forget that Boston's also a division rival of Ottawa's and I would hate for them to be afforded that same luxury. Since Gustavsson is still recovering from his second ablation surgery and because Ottawa's highly paid offensive talents are finally starting to show some life, I'll pick the Senators. Besides, Alfie always seems to respond well to the incessant booing at the ACC.
Campoli remains a healthy scratch and Elliott will be back in nets.
Update: 4pm ET
Here's an interesting article penned by Bruce Firestone regarding why Leafs fans boo Alfredsson. My only qualm with the article is that Bruce should add a #6 to his list. They're assholes.
Puck Daddy Float Contest
The good folks over at Puck Daddy had an idea for a contest in which readers created Photoshopped float concepts for a Winter Classic Parade. We submitted a Flyers float entry (to view it click here) that features:
- John Stevens and Broad Street hanging from the gallows.
- the float being pulled by Emery's hummer which is in turn pulling Brian Boucher on a sinking ship.
- Chris Pronger wearing Mike Richards' captaincy
- Mike Richards and a porn star
- Pierre McGuire being flanked by Team Canada hopefuls Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne
- Ray Emery being flanked by Peter Laviolette who mentioned that he thinks that Ray was deserving of the third goalie role on Canada's Olympic entry.
- A Matt Bradley tombstone
- And the Liberty Bell redesigned using Chris Pronger's front teeth. Notice that the crack in the redesigned bell still exists.