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Is It Sinking In, Yet?


Yes. The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3, last night to move to 3-0 on the season.

I woke up this morning wondering when the "Mania" would begin. You know? The guys who call in to the radio talk shows claiming the Leafs are world-beaters, the increase in Maple Leaf blue crowding your peripheral vision. The guys who began the 2010-2011 NHL season as Ducks, Sabres or (eesh!) Sens' fans returning to their closets to dig out those old Leaf jerseys with Clark, 17 or Gilmour, 93, on the back. Maple Mania. You remember it.

I had thought we might have another game or two, to just enjoy the pleasant feeling of other teams' fans having nothing to say to us, for a change. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Maple Mania is already creeping back.

It started with the good-natured banter of the Leafs being three-and-oh. Later, I heard that the "Phaneuf Era has begun." Whatever that is. Then, a few minutes ago, someone mentioned that Clarke MacArthur is in a dogfight with Derek Roy, of Buffalo, and Alexander Ovechkin, of Washington, for the Maurice Richard Trophy for most goals this season.

Sigh... it was good while it lasted.

From now, until the time of the first Leafs' loss, this is the sort of argument we are going to have to deal with. I'm going to go out on a limb and say this right now: Come game 79, Clarke MacArthur will have fallen out of the race for the Richard Trophy. I await an angry response... No? Oh.

Needless to say, the coming flights of fancy and wild hypotheticals will pale in comparison to the resounding THUD of reality that hits when, inevitably, the Leafs lose their first game and the rats scurry over the railings like they are escaping the sinking Titanic. The deafening cries of how moronic Brian Burke and Ron Wilson are. The reminders that the Leafs lack bonafide centers. Oh, and what did we give up for Phil Kessel, again?

Patience, Leaf fans. And, I mean the REAL fans. Level-headed and fair. Real hockey fans who, just coincidentally, chose the Toronto Maple Leafs as their team ages ago and who have silently (or, not so silently) suffered for so long.

Just enjoy this unexpected bonus of being undefeated after three games. Ignore the urge to predict major success. Revel in this, the unexpected success.

Enjoy it while it lasts.


-bobbyshow

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