Game 18: Come here and give me a hug
Two in a row! Two in a row! Two in a row!
I attempted to start this chant in my bedroom last night but then my wife told me to knock it off. And to remove my blue wig and shut up already about Montreal.
Hang on. I need to finish a letter I started writing after the win:
Dear Ron Wilson:
You deserve a lot of credit for putting Versteeg on the blue line during power plays. Three goals in two games? The guy is on fire back there. Sheer genius. And that Kadri kid is making some sweet passes. Now please make sure everyone is ready for Saturday. Please. A win in Montreal and that whole losing streak is forgiven.
P.S. What exactly do you have against smiling?
Wow. Talk about an emotional pendulum.
A week ago, I was thinking about moving to Belize to live under an assumed identity. This morning, it's like, "Yeah, that's right. I'm a Leafs fan. What's it to you?"
Was that the most entertaining Leafs game of all-time? No. It wasn't even the most entertaining Leafs game of this week. Did I nod off for a few minutes somewhere between Dion Phaneuf's laconic visit to the broadcast booth and Wendel Clark's cringe-inducing commercial for Gold Seal tuna? Maybe.
But you know what? Last night's win felt like something we haven't experienced yet during this topsy-turvy season. It felt routine.
The Goose stopped 29 of 30 shots? Yeah, that's what Goose does. The Leafs scored on the power play? Yeah, yeah, that's just how they roll. Grabovski, Kulemin and MacArthur teamed up for a goal? Yeah, those crazy guys are always doing that.
Now, granted, much of this ho-hum victory can be attributed to the shockingly inept performance of the visitors. Did the 2010 Devils get drunk one night, climb into a time machine and accidentally switch places with the 1982 Devils?
Sweet mother of God, Lou Lamoriello should get a hair transplant just so he has something to pull out in the weeks ahead.
Also, can someone explain Ilya Kovalchuk's contract to me?
They're paying him $100 million? What's the breakdown? Does he get like $143,098 to skate around in circles? Or $346,980 whenever he misses the net? Or maybe $265,958 each time he takes a dramatic swig of water on the bench while blinking rapidly?
A win is a win. The Leafs now have two in their past two games. Momentum. Confidence. The ship seems to be out of stormy waters. And if you look closely, on the upper deck, you will see the youngest team in the NHL standing near the railing and grinning this morning.
Get ready, Montreal. It's on.
PHOTO: FRANK GUNN/CANADIAN PRESS