Monday, December 8, 2008

Blue (Maple Leafs) Monday? We'll See

After spending an entire Sunday recovering from far too much Christmas party merriment, I'll try to clear my head with a few Monday morning thoughts. And as reciting the alphabet backwards is the way to increase concentration, I'll work backwards here as well.

Tonight the Isles are in Toronto to see Brian Burke's Leafs and old friend Jason Blake. Neither team is doing well, and the Leafs are having their own injury problems. This game belongs to either team. I suppose it will be up to luck and desire to see who walks away with the points tonight. So far the Islanders have lost four of five games to the Leafs. Let's see if they can change that percentage tonight.

I did wander over to the Leafs site and found one of their call-ups has a blog, Jaime Sifler details his first road trip as a Leaf instead of a Marlie. What I found quite charming about it is the details of moving up to the NHL from young eyes. It's a dream come true for him. It just underscores the point that playing in the NHL is a privilege not to be taken lightly.

That privilege was spit on by Sean Avery, and on Sunday Point Blank's Chris Botta decided to open his memory bank and divulge an interesting story of Avery's side show in the Coliseum tunnel. From the start, I was told anything I witnessed or heard in the tunnel or locker room hallway area was off limits. The recollection of Avery mouthing off to Garth Snow looking for a fight didn't surprise me one bit. But it did leave me angry and disgusted. As if I needed more ammunition to hate this guy. Would he have mouthed off to Snow if they were in the parking lot with no one else around, and Garth was in jeans and sneakers? Probably not because I can only imagine that Avery would have left that conversation by ambulance. The fact that a few of the 38 comments so far would even think to defend this arrogant idiot also amazes me.

In defending my opinion that the six game suspension was warranted, I did say to certain other (Canadian) reporters that had the comments Avery made been racial or homophobic, would they have look for them to be ignored by the league? So what do we learn? That Avery already used racial slurs against ex-head coach Ted Nolan. The difference: It was on the ice with no cameras documenting.

Also on Sunday the Dallas Stars website added their take on the situation with this article, but they have also removed Avery's name from their roster. All I can say is... GOOD.

Saturday night's game certainly didn't end the way everyone wanted. A 5-1 loss to another struggling team is not what any Islander fan wanted to see. I didn't watch the game because they didn't have the TV on at the party, but I did receive text messages from my fellow Blog Boxers, until they too became disheartened with the score. (I wonder if it was because I didn't wear my colors to the party? hmmm...)

Blake Comeau rang off the post and played with passion we didn't see at the beginning of the season. He knows an opportunity when he sees it. Well, #57, as Coach Gordon said, the job is yours to keep or lose. Gordon doesn't kid around. Personally, I'm happy to see him back. He was very impressive last season and it was even mentioned to me that I may have to replace the "55" on my necklace with a "57."

So far, there is no new number hanging from my charm. I'm still waiting to be impressed.

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