Thursday, April 13, 2006

A Tale of Two Swedish Captains

As my beloved Maple Leafs stumble to the wire, about to come up empty in the quest for the cup for the 39th consecutive season, I am at least compensated by viewing Mats in all his glory.

I joke about the fact that were daughter's gender not female she would have been named Mats Sundin but the truth is that although he has not lead us to the promised land Mats has been a truly great captain. He never ducks a question, stands tall, leads by example and appears to be the unquestioned leader of his team. On more than one occasion I have heard him state the obvious in interviews "we weren't good enough tonight" and it always seems evident that he is taking personal responsibility for the Leafs shortcomings, which must create huge therapy bills.

The Leafs went into the tank in January/February when Brian McCabe was hurt and the puzzle pieces fell apart however since March 1st they provide an interesting contrast to the local squad. In the 20 games each team has played since March 1st the laughable Leafs have earned 25 points while basically playing for pride, whereas the "Parade route runs down Georgia" Canucks may have wasted a playoff opportunity by picking up 17 points.

As to the two Swedish Captains - Naslund has towed the "Happy Valley" party line well in interviews and picked up 4 goals and 15 points overall as opposed to Mats who has managed 16 goals and 29 points.

So since neither team has any chance of winning the cup this year I'll take solace in having the better Swedish captain - and don't bother mentioning that guy in Ottawa - this is a tale of two cities not three.

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