It has been quite a few weeks, what with the Olympic break, and then just the lack of inspiration to be found in a Leafs team destined for golf in April - but what kind of Irishman wouldn't celebrate an Irish themed blog on today of all days!
As if the mere existence of the day wasn't enough, perhaps you may still require a reason to drink. A justification, if you will. As far as I'm concerned, one can drink for three reasons: to drown our sorrows, to celebrate our victories... or because we're thirsty. On today of all day's, there's always a reason to celebrate. And if you're a Leafs fan, though these reasons are hard to come by lately, they're there. I know I'll be celebrating today, and for each green beer that goes down, I'll be thinking of one of the following reasons to be cheerful.
Nikolai Kulemin - Spoken of far and wide throughout the Barilkosphere, this man has been hailed as our subtle saviour (well maybe not that much, but damn he's been good). One may have thought that the discussion regarding this man's awesomeness would have gotten tiresome, but Lord knows I still smile every time I hear of it. 6 game point streak: means if you're a Leafs fan, 6 green beers to celebrate.
Bozak and Kessel - On the same line as Kulemin, the lines are blurred as far as determining which one makes the other look better, but we have what feels like a real first line for the first time all season. Cheers one for each of the kids.
Wilson - Not often considered to be a reason for cheering this season, as some of us even called for his head when we dropped our first 8 games, but something has to be said for the way he's getting what should be an AHL team to play pretty well since the trade deadline. There's borderline sloppy play at times, and God knows what the hell is going on with the powerplay, but we're getting points. Plus, he took an inexperienced Team USA to the finals. It's still tough to see if he will be the guy to carry us back to contention, but he gives us some reason to hope. Have at least one beer for the men behind the bench.
Gustavsson - To be entirely honest, he's not done nearly as well as some of us hoped he would at the beginning of the season, but he still helped us wallop the Snes. That deserves at least one beer.
Speaking of which....
Beating the Snes! - Those bastards. A 4 game winning streak against them earns 4 drinks today. Plus one for each time you'd like to see Neil and Alfredsson receive a similar fate as Carkner has this season.
6 points - That's all that separates us from getting out of the bottom three. There's only 12 games remaining, and Carolina has been hot lately, but it's not impossible. I can already anticipate the collective sigh of relief if we climb out of the bottom 3 from Leafs Nation. Kessel was 5th overall, so if we give up the 4th pick, it's not nearly as big a deal. We'll need some good luck to get this done, so 6 beers to be drank by Leafs fans for each point we need to climb up the standings (if you're really thirsty, only 8 points separate us from getting out of the bottom 5, so drink up).
Burke - The Irishman in charge. He's had a rough year with his team underperforming dramatically, trumped entirely by the loss of a family member, but he's trucked on and tried to take the good out of the loss of Brendan. Now a symbol of gay rights, plus a blockbuster trading fiend, have a few drinks in honour of Burke, who - despite getting us off to a rough start - still gives Leafs fans a reason to hope.
So if my math serves me correctly (and it rarely does), we're all drinking a shitload tonight. Goes without saying, but find a sober ride home and no matter what you end up doing, a sincere happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone.
GO LEAFS GO!