A Tradition of, Um, Something
The Maple Leafs are gone. Long gone. The Rock is now out, and we all say farewell to Jim Veltman. The Battalion and Majors were long ago eliminated in the OHL playdowns.
Tonight, the Raptors face elimination from the first round of the NBA playoffs for the second year in a row. The Marlies, meanwhile, have followed up a first place regular season finish with troubles in the first round of the AHL playoffs, with Game 7 against the San Antonio Rampage at Ricoh Coliseum tonight.
By tomorrow, then, the Raptors and Marlies could both be gone from post-season play. Ah yes, just another week in the City of Champions.
Geez, with the Blue Jays struggling, all we have to look towards for a message of success would be Toronto FC, and isn't that a change of pace?
With the Raptors — this is a team that has clearly gone backwards, or at best sideways — the fallout from this season will be intriguing to watch. If MLSE applies the same approach to the basketball team as it does to hockey, the most unaggressive path will be taken, particularly with Raptors fans having responded very favourably at the gate this season.
If tickets are being bought, you know the MLSE suits won't feel any compunction to chase a championship.
The Marlies, meanwhile, are an unusual story in that they are supposed to be the feeder team to the Leafs, but their strong regular season tells a deceiving story about the talent on that club. Strangely, one of the few bona fide prospects they do have, goalie Justin Pogge, has been shut down in the playoffs, with Scott Clemmensen getting all the starts.
So let's get this straight. They're playing a San Antonio team that they finished 15 points ahead of during the regular season, but are now life-and-death to beat after losing on home ice Sunday.
They've given up 18 goals in six games — not good, not terrible. Head coach Greg Gilbert says he doesn't believe Pogge is "ready" for playoff action, but it seems this would have been the perfect time to see what the kid can do given that the Marlies, as a team and with Clemmensen in net, are struggling just to get out of the first round anyways.
Oh, what's that? Right. This is another MLSE enterprise. It's not supposed to make sense.
Just another week in the City of Champions ...