It's true; I drafted Jason Blake in my fantasy hockey league way back in September. You know why? Because I believed in the little guy. And he rewarded my faith in him last night. Yes, he most certainly did.
If Blake's five-point performance (a hat-trick and two assists) wasn't his way of telling former Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice to go fuck himself, I'm not sure how else he can get the point across. The two never really got along last season, and Blake now has 13 goals, only two less than he bagged in 82 games under Maurice's tutelage.
So, I wonder what the Blake haters are going to have to say today. Probably that 17% of #55's 29 points on the season came last night. But you know what? I don't give a shit. And you know why? Because the Leafs needed every one of those five points.
Hate him all you want, and complain about his salary until you're blue in the face. Be my guest. The hating, whether it's directed at Blake, or Mats Sundin, or Tomas Kaberle, kind of gets me off these days. The numbers don't lie, and Blake is on pace for a 25-goal and 56-point season. And at $4 million a year in today's NHL, that's exactly the type of performance you're going to get.
Jason Blake is paid accordingly. Yeah, I said it.
If you're one of the people who gave Matt Stajan props for responding to a trip to the press box early on in the season, you owe Blake some of the same loving. He was in Ron Wilson's dog house for a while, but has responded as well as anyone could have expected, and good for him. Blake, if nothing else, has proven that he's a battler. And I can respect that.
For those of you who watched the game on the tube last night, yes, that is exactly how the Leafs drew it up. A blown four-nothing lead, you know, to get the tanking advocates all hot and bothered, and a five-point performance from one Jason Blake.
Hate Blake if you must. It's your constitutional right. But you can't deny that his performance yesterday was worthy of one tremendous fist pump.