I don't really see why this is, I don't ask for anything outrageous. It's quite okay that you don't wrap a pair of platinum tickets up and place it under the tree with my name on it, but at least you know that I like hockey. I don't expect you to spend your whole paycheck on sending me to the Stanley Cup finals, just half. I'm all for the holiday wish lists, it keeps life simple, and prevents my drawers from being filled with more ugly sweaters, knitted socks, and colouful votives.
Keeping with this thought of simplicity; Maple Leafs, during this Tuesday Top 5 (though written on Wednesday) I present you with this list:
(please read responsibly)
CHRISTMAS PRESENTS THE LEAFS CAN PLACE UNDER MY TREE
#5. A Job for Both Myself and Dangle.
In keeping in the spirit of giving, I'd feel wrong asking for a job simply for myself. Besides, Steve Dangle has been working on his Leafs Fan Reaction videos (http://www.youtube.com/SteveDangle) for three years now. I on the other hand, have been pervently slaving away at promoting your farm team, the AHL's Toronto Marlies. Don't you agree that it's about time you put us up in our own fancy shmancy cubicle, replace some of the tiring talent on LeafsTV, and give some young blood a chance? I promise that we won't answer or own questions, cut the players answers off, pitch horrible segment ideas or stroke our own ego when in public. No? How about an internship?
#4. Provide Jeff Finger the Opportunity to Earn a Plus Rating.I would hate to think that you have under estimated the work ethic and efforts of yet another member of your defense core. Next to Ian White, Finger has the highest save percentage on the team. Jeff's not afraid to drop in front of a monster slapshot, evict an aggrivating forward from the crease or lay a rushing winger out at the blue line. So how about it? Will you try bumping him up out of the 7th position on your depth chart? A little more ice time could make a load of difference.
#3. Mike Komisarek, with a Point.
33 penalty minutes, 22 shots, 21 games and still no points? I get it, you don't want to place him on your powerplay unit (not that it would make much of a difference), but how about giving him the chance to dish the puck around the offensive zone? You're keeping him fluttering around the neutral zone while on attack, and reprimand him for pinching up. It just doesn't seem fair that Gunnarsson was given all the opportunity in the world while Komisark was out, yet you still won't put Mike in a position to garner a point or two.
#2. A Healthy Carl Gunnarsson.
Talk about confidence in their younger players, Carl started playing "Luke Schenn" kind of minutes and eight games, four points, four penalty minutes and a plus four later is playing with "Ian White" ice time. With Carl in the lineup, the Leafs have five top-four blueliners (Kaberle, Komisarek, White and Beauchemin being the other four). It can't hurt on a team that is plagued with defensive inconsistancies.
#1. A 500 Record.
This might be the biggest stretch out of all my requests (job included), but I have to ask. I promise you, it's not as hard as you might think. Of the next 9 games I'm looking for six or seven wins - okay, so it might be harder than I originally planned, but we have to stay optimistic! You can drop one to Boston, one to Washington and a third to Buffalo, but that's it, no more. If a team that went seven games without registering a win can nail a 500 record at Christman, I smell post season. And honestly, isn't that the only thing most Leafs fans ask for at Christmas time?
I put it to you Leafs, here's your list. So I might be asking for a pair of Platinums, but the least you could do is give me a seat in the Reds.
I hope everyone enjoys whichever holiday they celebrate during this wintery season.