Greetings from chaotic Jaipur, "The City of Victory." Lord only knows Toronto will never be bestowed such a prestigious title.
I'm killing time; waiting to board a 10:30 pm overnight train to Udaipur. I thought, with NHL action having returned, it would be as good a time as any to take a peak at the standings. I haven't had a look since I skipped town back on February 2nd, the night the Dion Phaneuf era began.
It wasn't a pretty sight. As I'm sure you know. With 19 games left on the schedule, and only 50 points to show for their first 63 games, the season is over; lost. Even if, somehow, Ron Wilson's Maple Leafs managed to run the table and finish 19-0, they'd fall short of the 90-point playoff mark. Eighty-eight points is as good as it can get. And we all know, with an AHL roster, the Leafs won't come anywhere near that mark.
To make matters worse, once again, our Toronto Maple Leafs are the NHL's worst team on home ice.
It seems I picked a good time to take this trip. It has saved me from watching a lot of God-awful hockey. I'm clearly not missing much.
Although I certainly will miss Alexei Ponikarovsky. I'm not sure why Brian Burke refused to give a 29-year-old player who has improved every season, and will set a career-high in goals this season, a four-year contract, and frankly I'm tired of trying to figure out how the Toronto general manager's brain works. If, as the Leafs plummet to the bottom of the standings, which is destined to happen now that Boston owns Toronto's first-round pick, Burke continues to defend the Phil Kessel trade, and continues to say "I'd do it again," he is, without a doubt, full of shit.
I wish Burke would tell the truth. I wish he'd come out and say that he made a mistake; that he thought the Leafs would be a much, much better team this season. Hell, I've made that mistake every campaign since the lockout ended. It happens.
Pray. Clearly, it's all that's left to do. Luckily for me, there's a temple on just about every corner around these parts.
Enjoy the Battle of Ontario tonight. There are only a handful of Leafs victories left this season; here's hoping they come against the Ottawas and Montreals. I'm off to have a Kingfisher. After finally perusing the standings, I'm definitely going to need two. Cheers.