It's probably a bad sign that we sense a feeling of relief in Toronto this morning that the Leafs don't play again until Boxing Day. The five-day break gives Leaf Nation plenty of time to let the bile from last night's loss to the Thrashers settle and then enjoy Christmas.
It's almost like this team is following a script: A horrible start that all but ends the game, followed by a late flurry that makes the score a bit more respectable. Last night was almost comical, with the Thrashers swarming the Leafs' zone right off the opening faceoff and grabbing a 2-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.
How bad have the Leafs been in the first period this season? They've now been outscored 35-19 in the opening stanza and winger Clarke McArthur said he thinks a cattle prod might be necessary to get the team going.
The "Fire Wilson!" chant and the tossing of waffles (can someone please explain what this "protest" means?) on to the ice for the second time this season in the third period tied a nice bow on a miserable evening.
Mirtle will be at Leafs practice at noon, surveying the smouldering remains of last night's trainwreck. Look for something from him around 2 p.m. Until then, the links:
Mirtle had the unfortunate job last night of trying to figure out exactly what is wrong with this team.
Mirtle also warned us a beating was coming in this post on the blog yesterday.
Pension Plan Puppets wrap the game with a report.
Puck Daddy takes notice of the great waffle controversy.
Toronto Star reporter Paul Hunter on the Leafs showing Nazem Kadri some tough love.
Down Goes Brown has some NHL letters to Santa.
Mary Rogan's powerful story on Brian and Brendan Burke in this month's GQ.