Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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The Bet

I am bringing my sign the the Vancouver #Canucks vs. Toronto Maple Leafs game tomorrowphoto © 2009 Chris Breikss | more info (via: Wylio)

On Thursday, I got a very expected email from my dad. For, you see, tonight my beloved Vancouver Canucks play the my father’s Toronto Maple Leafs. Every year when our two teams play each other, we have a bet. The loser has to buy a lottery ticket, but if said lottery ticket wins, we split the winnings. So it’s a $5 bet or a $50 million bet, depending.

Now, the last few years my beloved Canucks have soundly beaten the despised and incorrectly spelled Maple Leafs. But I was curious to see exactly what the track record of Canucks v. Leafs was. Thankfully, the Internets provides all.  According to some guy’s Telus-hosted website:

  • The Leafs have not beat the Canucks since the 2003-04 season
  • The Canucks won the first game they ever played against the Leafs
  • The Canucks record against the Leafs is 56 wins, 50 losses, 21 ties

I fully expect my dad will be buying our lottery ticket.

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Canucks v. Leafs

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.

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Canucks Sign Mats Sundin

Only 27,852 days after he last played a game, Mats Sundin has signed with the Canucks.  Just like me, he decided to move from the freezing cold that is the GTA to the warm loveliness that is Vancouver1

My dad is a life long Leafs fan2, so he’s been quite interested in where old Mats would finally end up.  And the possibility that he3 might sign with the Canucks, along with the fact that we already have the Sedin twins, provides my dad with no end of amusement. In pretty much every phone conversation I’ve had with him this year, my dad has done his impression of a play-by-play guy for a Canucks game with Mats on the team. It goes something like this:

“It’s Sedin to Sundin, back to Sedin over to Sedin… no wait, that was Sundin.. to Sedin, he shoots…  rebound picked up by Sundin and he scores!!!!!!!!”

So glad I’m not a Canucks play-by-play guy right now!

1Our current subzero temperatures are an anomoly, Mats, I promise!
2Which is almost unforgivable, really. But at least he’s not a Flames fan.
3“He” being Mats, not my dad. My dad was actually property of the Montreal Canadiens in his youth. Seriously.