Fredericton — Round 1 of the NHL Playoffs is officially in the books, and with only eight teams now left to compete for a chance to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup, eight more disheartened clubs have been sent home packing. Among them are the Toronto Maple Leafs, one of only two Canadian teams to make Playoffs this year, and the former favourite of many impassioned fans across the nation.
With the Winnipeg Jets safely securing their berth in the next round last Friday, the world had turned its sights onto the Maple Leafs, who along with the Boston Bruins were the last teams involved in Round 1.
Game 7, that’s what it all boiled down to. A gritty, hard-fought series, where no combatant was left unscathed, the Leafs really gave it their all (minus Jake Gardiner), though sadly came up short against their century-long Original 6 rival. With a final score of 7-4, many Leafs fans foresaw their fate long before the game was over, and for some, that’s when the tears started.
“I told him he had to suck it up and dry his eyes,” mother-of-a-Leafs-fan Jeanie Culligan told The Manatee. “I’d read an article on the CBC there and I guess we’re supposed to get plumb smacked with the flood here shortly, so that young fella ought to take his frustration out by stacking sandbags around the yard, not by sniffling.” Mrs. Culligan explained that their basement is nearly guaranteed to flood perennially.
Along with the Culligans, who reside in Maugerville, the usual victims of the province are expected to be hit by the floods again, including but not limited to: Fredericton, Quispamsis, Sheffield, Lakeville Corner, Jemseg, and more.
It seems to be a regular occurrence in the province, with most of the tension taken out of the will-it won’t-it conversation regarding the flooding — since it almost always will. This year, though, some experts believe that it could be worse than 2008, or, god forbid, even 1973.
“Oh, yessir, you betcha I ‘member ’73,” said Fredericton resident Eldon Gray with a faraway look in his eyes as he studied the water levels near Morrell Park. “’08, too, both rough years, but fortunately for us the Leafs hadn’t made the Playoffs either time. What we have in the works here now is all the makings for some Biblical level devastation.”
Even as he spoke a tear welled up in his eye and ran down his cheek where until recently a Playoff beard had been growing. “Heed my words, though, young fella,” he continued, “I got a good feeling about next year, I’m thinking we might just go all the way.”
Since lawn-mowing season is still a few weeks away, it’s been suggested by some that Leafs fans ought to start building an ark with all the free time that they now have on their hands, but until their sorrow subsides a degree, don’t expect much other than rising water levels.