Though Movember is believed to be a month dedicated mainly to raising funds to be used in the search for a cure for colon cancer, I have a feeling the guys view this as a win-win situation. Admit it, we're always looking for a good excuse to feed the Mrs as to why we're growing facial hair; guys weekend, playoffs, movember - whatever we can get away with.
The Leafs were no exception to this fast growing charitably trend. Gustavsson opted for full facial hair while Stajan struggled to grow what little he could. Hagman's (above) clipped and trimmed furry lip possibly encouraged Ian White to trade in the hairy monster under his nose for a more reserved version. Even Colton Orr, the team bruiser, otped to toughen his image with some whiskers.
Amidst the new found feeling of team-togetherness founded under a handlebar shaped banner,emerged a new face to our Toronto hockey club (most likely sporting a bro-stache of it's own). Movember gave birth to a team a lot less willing to roll over and die. A team who believed they could win the game despite being down two goals. The newly found group of super soup-strainers could remember neither their place in the standings nor their personal +/- record.
The stats don't lie, see for yourself. To say October was a struggle would be giving the Leafs the benefit of a large doubt. The truth is the opening month of the season saw Toronto's Leafs fall behind the pack quickly with a horrific 1-7-4 record. Fans were upset, Burke was frustrated and the media was already calling the Kessel trade an abomination - even though Phil had yet to take to the ice.
Movember though, was a different story. The power of the 'stache lifted the Leafs to 6-12-7 after they made it through the month at .500 with a 5-5-3 record.
Movember also saw many of the other good numbers go up and the bad ones go down. The Leafs averaged 2.5 goals in their first 12 outings, only to trump it with a 3.08 over the following 12.
The Mo doesn't just score goals, it can stop pucks as well. October left our Buds with a miserable goals against average of precisely 4. The November stache bash shaped up that GAA to a much improved, but still not perfect, 3.23.
Be honest, it's compelling evidence. It leaves very little room for doubt in the extra abilities the player's crum cather's provide.
So what will happen now that Movember has departed and December has arrived? The players have shown no sign of ending their fuzzy lipped ways. And why should they after starting the month 2-0, out scoring their opponents 9-3 and earning the team's first shutout of the season? Looks like the trash stache is here to stay.