Friday, November 13, 2009

The Curse of Thirteen


I'm not one for conspiracy theories. I'm pretty sure September 11th was ordered by terrorists, not the US government. I don't think 2Pac is going to show up alive next Tuesday and collaborate with Elvis. I don't believe in the Illuminati, Santa Claus, or Jason Blake's soul. But I have to admit: there's something oddly fascinating about them. I don't take much stock in any of them but I like to read about them and some members of the hockey community have been piecing one together about our Leafs. Allow me to summarize.


Mats Sundin is considered by many to be the greatest Maple Leaf of all time (false - Alyn McCauley is). He's our all time leader in points and the last face of our franchise. Say what you want about the Canucks ordeal, but he was Captain Clutch and gave us a lot of memories. However, what number did he choose to wear? Not the famous goalscorers #9. Not the typical centre number #19. He chose the enigmatic #13.


Here's where it starts. Yes, our all team leading goalscorer (who should have rightfully lifted a Cup as a Leaf) wore #13. He did not return to the Leafs to centre Phil Kessel, instead he retired with 987 points as a Maple Leaf. 13 shy of 1000.


He did not get to lift that Cup, and he and the Leafs have been waiting since '67. 6+7=13


Yes, we won our last cup in 67. Since then, we have been stuck at 13 Stanley Cups.


Ian White, despite shaving 13 times a day, continues to look like a small hampster died on his upper lip.


The draft has also been plagued with bad luck. Jiri Tlusty, touted as a true sniper, has yet to come anywhere near his potential and can't seem to make it happen in the big leagues. Leafs management considered themselves lucky that he had slipped that far in the draft and have a chance to select him: 13th overall.


It doesn't stop there. The Leafs swapped their 1st rounder for plagued goaltender Vesa Toskala. That pick, 13th overall, could have landed the Leafs Max Pacioretty, Angelo Esposito, or Oscar Moller.


So, is this why we've had every bad bounce, the Kerry Fraser incident, phantom penalties, and late season exits? Probably not. But who knows.


L&L

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