Ever since joining the blogosphere about 15 months ago, I've become a reader of many different blogs. There's a ton of good ones out there. And even some great ones. When it comes to the Toronto Maple Leafs, two blogs I regularly visit are Pension Plan Puppets and Cox Bloc. Both are beauties, and both I suggest you visit.
I just finished reading the latest entry by Godd Till on Cox Bloc entitled "Keep Sundin" and, well, you've got to read it. Required reading it is (Yoda!) for any and every Toronto Maple Leafs fan out there. Trust me.
I love to write. I actually think I can put a pretty mean sentence together. But sometimes, someone writes something, and it's just sheer beauty. A masterpiece. That's what Till has just done, and there's nothing I could possibly add to "Keep Sundin." There's no way I could change it, because it has sent a flood of emotions and memories through my body.
Mats Sundin came to Toronto a young, taut, Swedish boy. With full and lustrous blond hair. I must admit that his blue eyes stole my heart the day he was traded here, and I've been, as those who know me best me would attest to, a staunch Sundin supporter since day one. Mats had me at hello. It was 1994; fourteen years ago. Hard to believe.
"Keep Sundin" has brought back all the Sundin memories, both bad and good. The incredible goals. The overtime goals. The playoff goals. His 500th goal. The playoff, overtime goals. The smiles. The frustration. The anger. The day he got the "C" on his shoulder. His 917th point as a Maple Leaf. The playoff victories. The playoff defeats. The tears. The pucks to the face. The emotion. His 1000th point.
I will never forget the night of April 28, 2001, in New Jersey during the playoffs years ago, when the Leafs rallied from a 5-2 deficit they were facing in the third period. Sundin led the way with three points in the final frame, and Toronto tied the game up on a last minute goal from Stumpy Thomas. The emotion on the captain's face was incredibly inspiring. The Leafs would, in heartbreaking fashion, go on to lose the game in overtime.
I will also never forget the look on Sundin's face when the Leafs were defeated in April of 2000, once again in New Jersey, after a performance in an elimination game in which they only managed six shots on goal. Three in the first period, two in the second, and - unfathomably - only one in the third. Bob Cole's words that night will forever haunt me. Every now and then my brother, for no apparent reason, still repeats them: "Six.....shots."
Cox Bloc has kept it about as real as possible with "Keep Sundin." I couldn't do Sundin, and his legacy, any more justice than Till has. Watching Sundin over the years has been a pleasure, and if he doesn't want to leave, why the hell should we trade him? The title, my friends, of the entry says it all: Keep Sundin.
Before I read the post, I was all for trading Mats - my captain, my favourite player, my heart and freakin' soul. The plan was to then cheer for the team he was traded to, and hope he would win a ring as a rental. Thank you, Cox Bloc, for having changed my mind. I don't know what the hell I was thinking.
Sundin for life.
If you haven't already, go and read the damn thing!