My dad is a big time Leafs fan. Big time. Despite growing up in Montreal, where it would have made a lot of sense to be a Habs fan (you know, given that the Habs win once in a while), he’s always been a fan of the Leafs. He moved to the Toronto area in the early 70s and has lived there ever since, faithfully cheering for his Leafs through thick and thin. Mostly thin. (Or thick… whichever of those is meant to be the bad times).
Now I – and you may not have known this about me – am a wee bit of a Canucks fan. So last night’s showdown between the Canucks and Leafs took on extra significance for me (beyond just the general hating of the Leafs that all Canucks fan have). The Canucks, being in the Western Conference, and the Leafs, being in the Eastern Conference, only play each other once per season (if that), so whichever team wins, either my dad or I get bragging rights for a year!
Adding additional fuel to the fire, it was Mats Sundin’s first game against the Leafs since leaving Toronto. My dad refers to Sundin as a “double liar” – apparently Sundin, before the start of this season when there was all sorts of speculation about which team he would sign with – said he didn’t want to play only half a season and he didn’t want to be a “rent-a-player1.” And then he signed with Vancouver halfway through this season as a rent-a-player. “Double liar!” my dad says.
And was last night’s game ever a good one! It went to a shootout! And guess who scored the winning goal in the shootout?
And guess who immediately called her dad to ask, “So, how ’bout that game?” Let the yearlong taunting begin!
1A “rent-a-player” is someone who signs on with a team for a short period, the idea being that they just swoop in because the team is doing well and the player can help them in the short term, as opposed to signing a longer term deal and really becoming part of the team.