A Blue and White Drought

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A Blue and White Drought Empty A Blue and White Drought

Post by Brucetiki on Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:31 pm

Recently the Toronto Maple Leafs played infront of a record NHL crowd of 105491 in the NHL’s annual Winter Classic against Detroit. As what has become part and parcel of the build up to the NHL’s annual showpiece event, HBO spend the 4 weeks leading up to the classic filming pretty much every move of the respective clubs for their 24/7 series.

The series also provides a brilliant background about the respective clubs, and the more I learnt about the Maple Leafs, the more they reminded me of a club much closer to home, South Adelaide, which I will detail below:

First, both clubs are original clubs of their respective competition. Toronto started in the NHL’s first year of 1917, and form part of the ‘Original Six’ – the six clubs that formed the foundation of the NHL, and were part of the competition from 1942 and 1967, with each of the six clubs still in the competition as their original name today. South Adelaide have been in the SANFL (or it’s earlier incarnates) since 1877, and like Toronto, remain in the competition today as their original name.

Both clubs have similar colours. They both done the colours of blue and white, though Toronto’s is royal blue and white as opposed to South’s navy blue and white.

The Maple Leafs and the Panthers also had the bulk of their success in their competition early days. While Toronto may be the second most successful team in the NHL (behind fellow Original Six member the Montreal Canadiens), the bulk of their success was before the NHL expanded from six teams in 1967. The bulk of South Adelaide’s success was also in the SANFL’s early days, with 8 of theirpremierships occurring in the 19th Century.

On a side note, they have a similar numberof premierships/championships as well – Toronto are 13-time Stanley Cup Champions, while South are 11-time SANFL Premiers.

With each club having it’s success in theircompetition early days, both clubs are also in very long premiership/championshipdrought. South won the last of their Premierships in 1964, while Toronto last tasted Stanley Cup success in1966-67. Both clubs also have the longest premiership/championship drought in their respective competitions.

On top of their respective droughts for the top prize, their post-season appearances are also quite scant in recent years. Toronto made the Stanley Cup playoffs last season for the first time since 2003-04, failing to reach the playoffs between the two NHL lockouts of 2004/05 and 2012. South have barely seen any finals actionsince the advent of the Adelaide Football Club, only making the finals four times since 1991 (1991, 1992, 2006, 2011).

So you can see that there are a lot of similarities between one of the iconic NHL sides and one of our local SANFL sides. Be it history, lack of success, and even their colours, there are a lot of similarities between the Maple Leafs and the Panthers.

It will be interesting to see which sidewill be the first to break off the title of the longest premiership drought for their respective competition – the improving Maple Leafs or the spluttering Panthers.

There is, however, one difference between the two sides. Despite their mediocre performances since the 1960’s, Toronto still embraces their Maple Leafs, while South have struggled to capture the imagination of their southern suburbs base since moving to Noarlunga in 1995.

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Brucetiki
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A Blue and White Drought Empty Re: A Blue and White Drought

Post by Lee on Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:30 pm

Great article, BT.

I first felt the passion of Ice Hockey when I was in Vancouver once.  I didn't know a game was on while I was having dinner, until I thought an earthquake had struck, with an enormous noise from the next room.

I think the Canucks had scored!!

I started watching and got to like it a lot.

For interest, Toronto's name is my favourite sporting nickname.  Leaf, leaves. Leaves doesn't sound right, so let's use a non-word, Leafs  Very Happy 

Wonderful, love it.

I always barrack for the Canadian teams, but they don't seem to have won for a long time?
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A Blue and White Drought Empty Re: A Blue and White Drought

Post by Brucetiki on Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:59 pm

1993 was the last time a Canadian side won the Stanley Cup (Montreal defeated Los Angeles 4-1).

Last Canadian side to reach the Stanley Cup final was Vancouver in 2011, and we all know how that ended...

A Blue and White Drought A-second-photograph-taken-007

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Join date : 2012-01-24
Posts : 2876
Location : Wentworth Detention Centre
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