Welcome to the Official Site of Leafs Nation - MapleLeafs.com
MapleLeafs.com proudly sponsored by ROGERS™ Welcome to the Official Site of Leafs Nation - MapleLeafs.com
  • RSS

Leafs On An Amazin' Run

Friday, 02.25.2011 / 11:41 AM ET / Mike Ulmer's Blog
By Mike Ulmer  - Mapleleafs.com commentator
Share with your Friends

Leafs On An Amazin\' Run

RELATED: A Closer Look: Kesel Too Much For Habs |
VIDEO: Game In Six | Wilson | Bozak | Schenn | Reimer | Kessel
DISCUSS IT ON:  Leafspace  |  Twitter  |  Facebook

In New York, the tabloids call the New York Mets The Amazins and while the grammar is shaky, the sentiment is pure.

It goes back to weather-beaten manager Casey Stengel who called the eventual 1969 World Series Champions “My Amazin’ Mets,”

Casey loved the word amazing. He once said of a prospect: "amazing strength, amazing power. He will be great, super even wonderful. Now, if he can only learn to catch a fly ball."

Forty-two years later, the Mets are still the Amazins and while no one would concede even so much as a playoff spot to the Maple Leafs, it is time to consider the most vexing words in sports…what if?

The Leafs are four points out of the playoffs and you can talk all you want about three-point games, the inevitable cool down and the illusionary strong play Leaf teams have turned in at the tail end of the last two seasons.

You can talk about their principal deficiencies, the lack of a number one centre and a puck-moving defenceman who can man the power play. GM Brian Burke has said he will deal with one at most.

But I will tell you something else. They have sheared a 14-point deficit at the All-Star Game to four. They have prospered with a goalie who seems to have no idea that he can’t step into the NHL and be an impact netminder. Phil Kessel, their best player, isn’t just playing like their best player, he is playing like an elite player. Marlies callup Keith Aulie has mauled opposition forwards and Clarke MacArthur has gone from unemployment to a career-high in goals.

Are the Carolina Hurricanes, Buffalo Sabres or Atlanta Thrashers demonstrably better than the Leafs? Parity doesn’t just mean you’re as bad as everyone else. It also means you’re as good.

What if the Toronto Maple Leafs make the playoffs for the first time since 2004, a year that predates the birth of hundreds of thousands of Canadian children?

What if they finish the deal?

Sure they might get pounded in the playoffs, but at least the vast majority of players in the lineup will understand what April hockey is about. That’s worth something too.

Burke’s  job is to balance the here and the now. He’s doing just that.

What if the Maple Leafs make the playoffs?

 It would be Amazin’.

torontomapleleafs.com is the official Web site of the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club. The Maple Leafs and mapleleafs.com are trademarks of MLSE.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 MLSE and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Terms Of Use | Contact Us | Employment Opportunities | Advertise on mapleleafs.com | Privacy Policy | icon AdChoices | NHL.com Terms of Use | Site Map