By: Chris Dagonas
On Wednesday Night, Same Page Team members Chris Dagonas, Paul Andreacchi and Ian Clark gathered at Casa Andreacchi to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of their playoff series. It was a tense night, filled with joy, rage, hope, sodium, anxiety, beer, and ultimately, disappointment. For your reading pleasure, we present a vague minute-by-minute account of the proceedings.
7:00 PM – I arrive, bringing my tablet with me to take notes/check my fantasy baseball team. Paul has beers on ice. Usual seating arrangements are assumed. Paul on the couch, me on the Lazy Boy.
7:10 PM – PFC. Scotty Newlands belts out the national anthems in his serious, military-style fashion. The crowd helps him out by warbling some of the tougher notes. The tension can be cut with the edge of a Triscuit.
7:15 PM – Puck drop, and the Leafs start on a positive note by winning the face-off. Is this an omen?
7:18 PM – GGGGOOOOAAAALLLL!!! Joffrey Lupul snipes one past Tuukka Rask, Leafs take a 1-0 lead. Beers and Triscuits are opened and passed around.
7:25 PM – Ian arrives, hears about Leafs lead, promptly removes shirt and socks, enjoys traditional playoff hockey dinner of jerked chicken sandwich.
8:00 PM (roughly) – GGGGOOOOAAAALLLL!!!! Cody Franson floats one through every player on the ice, plus several ushers, and into the net. 2-0 Leafs. The beer is flowing like wine, and we’re tossing Triscuits into the air like miniature graduation caps.
8:05 PM – First intermission. We sweep Triscuit crumbs off the floor and eagerly anticipate Don Cherry’s observations. Plaid suit, check. Senseless ranting, check. Awkward pauses expertly filled by Ron MacLean’s skill as a TV host, check. Coach’s Corner, never change.
8:07 PM – A lengthy debate on the merits of “Fast and Furious 6”. It is decided that we will attend a screening and yell about the lack of bicycle transportation depicted.
8:20 PM – Second period begins, Boston scores one, we turn to Leafs TV for live coverage of Maple Leaf Square. All that remains are two janitors and a homeless guy.
8:21 PM – All the people from Maple Leaf Square have migrated to various rooftop patios to drown their sorrows. We do love our patios.
8:34 PM – A Clay Davis “shhhheeeeeiiittt” comment (in response to a barrage of shots from the Bruins) has erupted into a verbal war over the best scenes from “The Wire”. My candidate: Snoop buys a Hilti. Other contenders: D’Angelo explains chess, D’Angelo is curious as to the whereabouts of Wallace, Randy loses faith in the Baltimore Police Department.
8:37 PM – David Krejci scores a goal. This is going to become a repetitive line. The mood has gone from grand buffet celebratory eating and drinking to shameful binge eating and drinking. We crack open another beer and box of Triscuits, and I swear I see a tear fall from Paul’s eyes. 2-2 game.
8:45 PM – OK, we now hate each other and ourselves. Krejci scores again, Boston takes a 3-2 lead, we are making sounds similar to the helium being released from a blimp. We’re fighting over socks.
8:47 PM – GGGGOOOOAAAALLLL!!!! Clarke MacArthur has recaptured our hearts and taken us to the highest peaks of fandom. “Toronto is great”; “We really do have a chance to win it all”; “I’ll book my tickets for the Stanley Cup finals now!” and other such ridiculous things are said.
8:48 PM – All fans have returned to Maple Leaf Square now. Hundreds of unpaid bar tabs on various rooftop patios have thrown Toronto’s economy into a tailspin.
8:50 PM – Second period ends, I try to take Paul’s seat. Paul puts me into a sharpshooter that would make Bret “The Hitman” Hart proud. I try to grab a rope, but realizing I’m not in a wrestling ring, tap out.
9:10 PM – Third period has started, hearts in mouths. Triscuits and beers also in mouths.
9:23 PM – Mark Fraser blocks a shot with his forehead, leaves game. CBC for some reason decides to show his blood on the ice. Fraser and Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ bond over their mutual injuries and discover they now have telekinetic powers.
9:28 PM – A quick look at the Jays game – Ugh, never mind.
9:37 PM – James Reimer’s fiancée April and Elisha Cuthbert (Dion Phaneuf’s fiancée) are in the Air Canada Centre, one row apart. We respectfully and tastefully comment on their beauty. That is all.
9:40 PM – Third period ends. This game is going to overtime. Miami Heat-Chicago Bulls update: Heat ahead by 30 million.
9:44 PM – A short digression on whether free will can ever truly exist. Naw, just kidding, Paul farts and we discuss the smell.
10:00 PM – Overtime begins with us on the edge of our seats. Toronto starts fast, Rask makes plenty of saves. Remember when he was part of the Leafs organization? John Ferguson Jr remembers.
10:25 PM – Krejci again. Boston wins 4-3. Boston takes 3-1 series lead. This image of April Reimer and Elisha Cuthbert steals my heart [Ed. Note: They seem like good friends]. Toronto fans leave Maple Leaf Square in a disgusted, confused, drunken haze. Ian and I leave Paul’s house in same.
Just your average night at Paul’s. And for Leafs fans, of course, just another night of high expectations and cruel disappointment. We are on the brink of elimination, but you better believe that we will be in the same spot at the same time on Friday night, cheering them on again, until the bitter, salty end.