There was a time in my life when a Leafs vs. Habs game was the highlight of my Saturday night. The utter hatred I had for les habitant pea soup suckers was immense. I despised them with a passion. I would be captivated by entire game, hoping for a Leafs victory so I could rub in the face of all the non “beleafers” most notably my father and my uncle Marce.
Never during my days as a Leaf fan have the Leafs been defending Stanley Cup champions or a league juggernaut, but no matter where they stood in the standings a Leafs vs. Habs match up held a special significance to me. Whether it be my age or the current plight of Toronto Maple Leaf squad, I have seemed to have lost interest in who wins or loses. I’m not even sure I can count the Habs as a hated rival any longer. I seem to hold the Ottawa Senators in much more disgust than rouge, blanc et bleu.
It’s somewhat amusing to me that the only reason I am likely to tune into tonight’s game is to watch a couple of ridiculously light weight Belarusians square off in what should prove to be an anti climatic end to their rivalry. Mikhail “Grab Bag” Grabovski is presumed to be squaring off against Sergei “Spot me a few vowels” Koistitsyn. It’s apparent from their last match-up that they don’t necessarily like each others company.
Other than this likely tussle or fash washing contest (which it will probably turn into), the game is likely to go in Montreal favour. The utter thought of the Leafs losing would have driven me to drink (I have a weak constitution) in years gone by. However again, times are a changing and another loss would certainly aid the Leafs in their current quest. A quest that doesn’t see them end their now 42 year drought of lifting Lord Stanley, their current quest is to secure a top draft pick. How the times are a changing.