Wednesday, May 05, 2004

The Ronnie Watch - May 4th, 2004: Leafs vs. Flyers, Game Six

Well, I would usually have a game recap link, but well...Ronnie did not play in this, the potential final playoff game of his career. Now whether it was because of injury or Pat Quinn being his usual idiotic self, I don't know, and probably never will. But I do know this: If it was the latter, my biscuits are burned to the point of being hockey pucks. And it's not just because of Quinny-Boy, but also he and his team's league of devotees alias Deluded Fruitcakes Anonymous* and their all of a sudden placing the blame of falling out of the race for Lord Stanley's Prize for the thirty-seventh time on Ronnie Franchise. Yo Leaf Nation, Ronnie came up to your freakin' Center of the Hockey Universe and did the part he was advertised to do: bit player and power player. He did nothing less, he did nothing more. Yeah, Ron did not produce a ton of points...but any hockey loving idiot could look at the part of this season with the Canes and spot that trend. Then again, I shouldn't say "any hockey loving idiot", considering that a good chunk of the Leafs faithful appear to not pay attention to past stats of their team's players.

With all that said...if we are going to place the blame of missing out on the Cup on anyone, why not Bryan McCabe, with his incredibly miserable Game Five against Philly? Or Eddie Belfour, and his not being the shutout king he was against Ottawa? Or Wade Belak, and his just being Wade Belak? If we're going to play the frickin' Blame Game here, let's choose players who have good reason to be blamed. No, Ronnie was not the completely stellar man he was in the Canes' heyday of early-mid 2002, but it's rather hard to be stellar when you are forty-one years old and a mere third line winger who *really* should be on center...further proof that Quinn doesn't think. He obviously never followed Mo's experiment with having Ron on wing, as evidenced by Ronnie's being on wing not once but AT LEAST TWICE under Quinn! And when did Ron get the majority of his points as a Leaf? That's right, in the center/centre position. Not to mention how the power play tonight sucked without Ronnie there to help control it...

In somewhat closing, the man does not deserve to end his great career with such a stinko move by Quinn and the Leafs like that. As I said in a thread @ Metroboards: For The Ron to be scratched in what may possibly be his final playoff game EVER is quite a slap in the face to a guy who left the team he practically symbolizes to help his childhood favorite. In that regard, I cannot help but feel bad for my overall favorite NHLer...and am seriously reconsidering my idea of having Ronnie sign my 75th Anniversary Leafs puck (a souvenir I picked up from the Canadian pavilion at Disney World's World Showcase in Epcot) at the Jimmy V Golf Classic, should he be coming to that in August.

I seriously would not mind the Canes resigning Ronnie to do a Kevin Dineen, and play one or two or three games and then retire. I feel he deserves a much better end to his career than tonight, but it all depends upon Ron, how he feels, and what he wants to do.

* - Not all Leaf fans are deluded fruitcakes...just like Detroit fans, there are a few good Leaf fans out there, like the Leaf fans I've met at Metroboards and Ron Francis himself. As much as Francis has talked in various interviews about growing up watching the Leafs in Soo and all, I again cannot help but feel bad for the dude and his dream. :(