The 2014-15 NHL regular season has begun.
And for Toronto Maple Leafs fans, there's reason for optimism. Not unlike the Vancouver Canucks, they have a new man in charge in Brendan Shanahan.
The Leafs also made a widely praised move when they hired analytics guru Kyle Dubas as assistant GM. It's a sea change at an organization that shunned analytics under a previous manager.
Still, there are reasons to be concerned. The Leafs played strongly through the first and third quarters of last season but bombed down the stretch, with fewer goals scored and the worst shooting percentage they saw all season.
That said, here are 29 signs that you're a diehard Leafs supporter.
You debate what's more valuable: Leafs tickets or a new car.
(They're the most expensive team in professional sports.)
— Miller Genuine Draft (@millzybabyy) October 2, 2014
You still wonder why it's not spelled, "Maple Leaves."
You love them so much you'll watch paint dry.
You hear Harold Ballard's name and you tremble.
He taught you that money does not always make a great team.
(The Leafs were only above .500 five times under his watch.)
You recall how he feuded with Dave Keon...
And Darryl Sittler...
And how Sittler ripped that "C" off his sweater when he couldn't take Ballard's crap anymore.
(Ballard compared it to burning the Canadian flag.)
You were heartbroken when Wendel was traded.
But you're glad it brought this guy to town...
And you were overjoyed when Wendel came back.
You're no stranger to tough guys. Like Darcy Tucker...
And, of course, Tie Domi.
You cycle through more goalies than you can count.
(Clockwise from left: Andrew Raycroft, Vesa Toskala, Jonas Gustavsson, Jonathan Bernier, James Reimer, Jean-Sebastien Giguere)
They mock you when you get rid of them...
(Damn you, Raycroft.)
And they do this when they're on your team.
You remember Doug Gilmour in cow tights...
And if you didn't have this poster, one of your friends did.
You're still not over this non-call...
And you can never forgive this guy for blowing it.
You endure taunts from other teams' fans...
But you have something they don't.
In fact, you have 13 of them.
And though you're often ashamed...
You never, EVER give up.
Because they've always been your team.
And you can't abandon them now.
GO LEAFS GO!
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