This is it. Game 1. Leafs versus Habs. Showtime.
Let the haters snicker and ridicule our devotion. Let the experts predict another season of no post-season play. Me, I haven't been this excited since Miroslav Frycer accidentally elbowed me in the back of the head outside the Eaton Centre.
Five afternoon reads to get you through the next 6 hours:
2. Damien Cox says the Leafs are better, but may still not be playoff worthy. (If I were a bigger man, I would put this guy in a headlock. And then I'd run away really fast.)
3. ESPN interviews Kris Versteeg about life "in the hockey center of the universe."
4. Brian Burke gets high marks from Richard Peddie.
5. National Post asks 15 Burning Questions about the upcoming season.
If you are going to the game, expect travel delays, what with the aforementioned road closures and "Party In The Square." Festivities include a "free pregame tailgate party," a "Leafs Alumni Ball Hockey Game," free face painting and a live concert by the Arkells (scheduled 6 p.m. start).
No tickets to the game? You can try to get a seat inside Real Sports and watch all the action on the coolest indoor screen I’ve ever seen (I’m so excited, I’m now rhyming!). If not, there will also be an outdoor videoboard in Maple Leaf Square (15 York Street, outside Gate 5 of the ACC.)
Official start time for all of this is 4 p.m. and alumni on hand to include Gary Leeman, Pat Boutette, Jack Valiquette and Brad May.
I leave you with a live version of this song:
PHOTO: STEVE RUSSELL/TORONTO STAR