Wednesday, October 24, 2007

White's Folly - Things Could be Worse

A truism - things can always get worse. This applies to your life and mine. Things often could get better as well but things could turn ugly in a moment.
If Ryan Smyth represents the archetypical Canadian hockey player, the gritty heart and soul guy who spends his spare time visiting kids with cancer then Ian White wears the black hat as the archetype of what we can dislike about hockey players - the arrogant punk who drove drunk and then with a suspended license and sneered about it. So good on him for being stupid enough to talk about how the Leafs should easily handle the awful Thrashers. Beautiful.
Interesting panel discussion on TSN last night as to who was in worse shape, the Oilers or the Leafs, and of course the consensus choice was the Leafs. We can complain a lot about the Oilers for good reason. It did not have to be a complete teardown rebuild and of course if that is the plan now then you probably want to hold onto those first round picks and try not to sign aging injury prone one trick ponies to huge contracts.
I have seen half the Oilers' games now (and you know what I have not seen them win - damn maybe I'm the problem!) and every game is the same. Team plays hard. Teams has plenty of beauty scoring chances but fails to score. Team fails to score on PP. Defensive mistake leads to goal by the opposition. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Every single game a moral victory but you know what (whispering) they're not a very good team. How they have been losing is how not very good teams lose.
The best part of this season has been watching Cogliano and Gagner put up nearly a PPG, Brodziak be an effective player and Tom Gilbert look like a guy who may be a bona fide NHL defenceman who can handle some tough minutes. Add in Roy looking solid and Pouliot too and Jacques looking like he may be getting there (by going after Singer last night he impressed MacT and about time an Oiler made such a point) and like Lowetide you may sing the praises of amateur scouting.
And surely Stoll will snap out of it and I haven't given up on Penner and while Hemsky reminds me more and more of Maxim A. (not good) from Buffalo he has to get on that scoresheet in a big way soon, right. And by the way Torres looks terrific. I mean he really looks like he has finally figured it out. Fuck he has been good.
But they have plenty of holes and its going to be at least 45 losses but would you prefer to be the Leafs whose D is full of overpriced veterans who can't be moved (most GA in the league despite both goaltenders playing quite well), where Sundin and Blake have long ago said goodbye to 30 years of age and whose best player (and he has been terrific), Antropov, is almost guaranteed to get injured, because that is what he does. The Leafs have 12 million more in salary commitment for next season then the Oilers already.
Of course according to many Leafs' fans this is the media's fault for not looking at the positive of being 3-4-3 after ten games, eight of which were at home, many which they coughed up badly in the third period.
You see, this is the thing I don't get about Leaf fans. I bitch and complain about the Oilers, sure, but I'll be just a fan. I watched the game last night and enjoyed it. I'm flying to Edmonton in a month to see a game. So I understand the whole mentality of just enjoying your team because that is what you do as a fan. That's great.
But I will also call Lowe on the carpet for the moves he has made though - why? - because I want the Oilers to win the Cup. Half truths and poor moves don't get them any closer. Whatever it takes. I don't have a hate on for Lowe - if they win the Cup in five years then I will gladly eat a serving of crow. Gladly.
Since the Leafs last won the Cup there have been fifteen teams that have won. Heck the Oilers have won five themselves. And since 1967 another eight teams have not won the Cup but at least they have made it to the final.
So for forty years, most of which included the club having a huge financial advantage over nearly every other team in the league, this team has not even made the finals.
And yet Leaf fans call out anyone who points out the Leafs' failing as being overly negative.
I just wonder - I know that the Passion Unites Us All - but when do you start to get a wee bit upset about your beloved Buds never winning?
Oh yes, it could be much worse indeed.


Anonymous said...

It could ALWAYS be worse. What if you were the Atlanta fan?

Anonymous said...

"I know that the Passion Unites Us All - but when do you start to get a wee bit upset about your beloved Buds never winning?"

I believe the Oilers' fans are the most passionate fans in the leage. A fan that's happy to just follow a team is a casual fan; a fan that gets angry and stops watching during bad times is a fairweather fan. But a fan that cares enough about the team to get upset when it loses, yet still stays loyal to the team - that's true passion. It shows a lack of passion to not care if your team loses.

And I agree with the post above mine. Of course it could be worse. You could be a hockey fan born in Chicago.

PPP said...

Geez, I must have missed all of the support that JFJ receives from the fans.

Leafs fans want to see one positive story and suddenly they don't care about how the team does?

The fans know what's wrong with the club they just don't want to read articles by Damien Cox that try to find problems/errors where they don't exist. That's what the discussion in Mirtle's post was about the other day.

Leaf fans certainly don't want to have Edmonton's media which is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the EIG. And we wouldn't want Penner in exchange for our first round picks either. Hopefully Tavares can declare for this draft ;)

Oh and White is an idiot. Why he thinks he has the right to say what he did is beyond me.

Black Dog said...

Agreed on the Edmonton media ppp - in Edmonton it appears neither the media nor the fans are in the mood to call Lowe or EIG on anything.

Here in Toronto though I would disagree - the fans are the ones who keep shelling out, making the Leafs the wealthiest team in the league. Its been that way for years. As for the media - what should they be positive about so far? The goaltending has been good, Sundin and Antropov as well. Other then that its the same old/

Don't you ever get a little upset? I'm not happy about a lot of the moves Lowe has made but the big contracts, the trades for stopgaps at the expense of the future, the BS from Richard Peddie ... doesn't it make your head want to explode?

therealdeal said...

Hey BD, what game you going to?

MikeP said...

BD, how do you tell the difference between a fan who is unwilling to call the EIG on anything, and the fan who continues buying season tickets because he's unwilling to give up on his team?

Just curious.

Black Dog said...

trd - November 24

mikep - well you can be a season tickets' holder and still be a critical fan; I've been pretty critical of EIG and Lowe since June 19th '06 but I'm still flying out to Edmonton and giving some of my dough to EIG

I'm a fan first and foremost but I'm definitely not one of these "My Team Right or Wrong" guys. Too many off those and you get 40 years without a Cup, imo.

I once was a Blackhawks fan - I can take a lot of abuse - but I walked away. I could only take so much. That's the thing - when Oiler fans complain about EIG I can tell you that these guys are small time compared to Wirtz in terms of their "sins"

Anonymous said...

It could be lots worse. Harold Ballard could still be alive and in charge. These are the Good Old Days compared to Fat Bastard's reign.