What do you do if you can’t make the Stanley Cup playoffs, year after year? If your last playoff game was against Jeremy Roenick… when he was still a Flyer? Or if your last deep playoff run was with a goalie – Curtis Joseph – who left and then came back and is one loss away from being the record holder for the most losses ever?
The answer is pretty easy when you’re a Toronto Maple Leaf: injure key players on post-season bound rivals. Hey, if you can’t get there yourself, why let someone else?
Harsh, but true.
In March, I noted why the Montreal Canadiens are in trouble come summer time. And now, their season is in serious jeopardy and those summer troubles could come sooner than later. The Canadiens smoked the Leafs 6-2 on Saturday night, however, the win was costly: both Andrei Markov and Mathieu Schneider left the game with serious injuries.
TSN.ca is reporting Schneider will require season ending shoulder surgery and Markov will be out for at least three weeks with a knee injury. Whoa. .. two integral pieces of the Montreal Canadiens injured from a lousy Leafs game. Sound familiar, Sens fans?
April 3rd, 2008; Ottawa vs Toronto. The Ottawa Senators = making the playoffs. The Toronto Maple Leafs = missing the playoffs. Leafs forward Mark Bell takes a run at Daniel Alfredsson, injuring Alfie and forcing him to miss the rest of the regular season plus the two games against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs (Alfredsson was not 100% healthy, despite a return in game three). Mike Fisher was also sidelined for the remainder of season in the same game, courtesy of who else, Mark Bell, in what was a meaningless game for Bell and the Leafs.
Revisiting Saturday night; Toronto vs Montreal. The Montreal Canadiens = probably making the playoffs. The Toronto Maple Leafs = missing the playoffs, again. I literally copied & pasted that line. Ahhh, too easy…
Fortunately for Habs fans, Mark Bell is pretty much the most forgettable Leaf ever and wasn’t in Saturday’s game, however, forwards Brad May and Mikhail Grabovski were in the lineup and did in fact finish their hits on Schneider and Markov. Come to think about it, that may be a first for Grabovski and Habs fans will probably agree.
Anyways, I’m not saying Saturday’s hits were dirty – both hits were pretty solid, actually. But is it really a coincidence the Leafs injure key players on rival (Canadian) teams just days before the playoffs start in meaningless Toronto games, two years in a row?
Maybe it points to something Leaf fans have probably noticed over the last few years: if the Toronto Maple Leafs played that hard all season, perhaps they’d be the ones looking forward to post-season play.
Stay classy, injured Leafs victims.