We're back with our regularly scheduled programming (in a sling, but hey) . . . and so are the Leafs. They're so predictable, last night's 4-3 loss in Ottawa keeping them in ninth place in the conference.
I'm with recent commenter Gary: Why is anyone surprised? The Leafs are right where many neutrals figured they would be. They have handled earlier injuries to alleged main hands Sundin, Lindros and Allison quite well. Tucker and McCabe, though, have been a different story -- take away these two, easily their best players this season, and the wheels have fallen off (Leafs record this season without McCabe: 0-6; without Tucker: 1-6).
As for Pat Quinn, who doesn't deserve to be replaced until the end of the season (that's what Hockey Dirt is saying, too), my only question from last night was why he sent out Belfour again. If ever there was a situation that called for a reliever, this was it. (As for a trade, like that Allison for Leetch one the Star keeps floating, isn't that precisely the kind of deal for an aging part this team used to make, and should stay away from now?)
Oh, and that Carla -- she started this whole "Leafs season as a sci-fi movie" thing, and she's finishing it. Here's her winning entry. I'll shoot a prize off her way just as soon as I figure out what it is, and when I can flap this sore shoulder of mine:
THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT (UK, 1955)(aka THE CREEPING UNKNOWN)
A rocket returns to Earth with only a third of its original astronauts aboard. All that's left of those other two-thirds are empty space suits. The astronaut who has returned is but a shadow of himself--at times catatonic, at other times surly, and slowly metamorphosing into a great huge pile of goo.
Yeah. Sounds like the Leafs season so far, doesn't it?
It sure does.
And finally, this is good news indeed: Vancouver Canucks Op Ed is back, yay.