I like Survival as a concept. A plot device. I like survival stories, whether the books of Farley Mowat or watching some shark attack extravaganza on the Shark channel. (I've only ever watched Survivor because of the drinking game my friends made of it.) I believe survival, whether figurative or literal is as much as right of passage as losing one's wir-yin-ity. No pun but it's a hump one must get over or learn to take. I take it so seriously that I also place far too much stock in the answers people give whenever I've asked them the Which 5 CD's Would You Want If You Were Stranded On A Desert Island question? (Hand on a stack of bibles I once dumped a girl solely because she began the answer to that question with the words Bell Biv Devoe. (The fact that I may have stayed the night first may or may not have been because of the inclusion shockingly of I, Assassin by Gary Numan at #4)).
Loving the Leafs as I do, as we do, I believe that sense of survival, of being a survivor serves us well. To love this team as we do is all about survival. It seems insane to me that there could possibly be someone who hated this team with as much venom, as much vitriol as I hate the team that shan't be named (you all know who I mean ... you are going to make me say they're name, aren't you?
but there are. And admitting to them that you/I love this team as much as you/we do is all about survival. You know as well as I do some people's reaction when you mention that you are a Leafs fan. (Particularly fans of that aforementioned team) The fact is that it really is us vs them. People have laughed in my face for loving the Leafs and thrown punches at my face because I love the Leafs and you know what...so fucking what people hate the Leafs? People also eat horse tranquilizers like Pez and think Daniel Alfredson is a good captain. I once saw people do something in Italy that I still can't talk about but I bet you at this very minute, somebody somewhere is making love to a dog, so that's how much that shit means.
I have stared and stared at my computer screen compiling line combos and defensive pairings and finding that I am actually feeling something akin to excitement for the upcoming season. Obviously the problem is at center where we have 3 potential #2's. And does anyone else think we need another natural right winger? I will tell you a few things I do like. I like Antropov being coached by Wilson. As I believe last year was only the beginning of his coming out. I'm not sure why people still underestimate Nik Antropov, especially Leaf fans. But everybody knows, you ask any GM in the league who the most underrated player in the league is and they'll tell you Antropov. Let me explain why I love the thought of Nik Antropov being coached by Ron Wilson. Firstly Wilson is a proven winner who actually holds his players accountable, which is also why I like Wilson and Grabovski (but more on that in a moment). He plays strong, defense first hockey and apparently is great with younger players. The older it gets the better this decision seems.
I think of a guy like Grabovski. (Let me paraphrase what I've read on various Habs blogs about him. Firstly let me say that Habs fans are almost unbearably awful people.
While there was no real consensus about Grabovski I did read words like dynamic and and unlimited offensive potential, which is always good. He has good speed but most concurred that he wasn't going to be a 2 way player but maybe a legit point per game guy. Most knocks about him were about being out of position. Missed opportunities because of blistering foot speed isn't the worst thing I can think of. That can be tamed, just look at Martin St. Louis.
Admittedly without Mats we are 32 goals and 46 assists short of last year, but really, with this new system and
Niklas Hagman scored 27 goals last season, Tlusty, Kulemin...the fact that Toskala is El Presidente from the first game. Poni, Strahlman, stay at home defense. Finger, Frogen, tradebait, August 15th, uh oh...I suddenly feel like I just ate too much sugar. Mayers/Moore/Hollweg. Steen and Stajan are already good defensively and now with Wilson.
In about 5 seconds I am going to get up and start spaz dancing.