Yes, the Maple Leafs finally made the playoffs in a full season. By now you’ve heard enough about droughts, underdogs and about how Washington is going to send them home in four games so my playoff breakdown is going to be a little different. I will be comparing this year’s Maple Leaf Roster to the standard of which we hold all food accountable. A food that can be surprising, disappointing and frustrating all at the same time, the Mighty Sandwich. To be clear I will be asking: What Type of Sandwich each Player will be in the Playoffs, I can’t be any more clear than this and I don’t understand why you’re not seeing the value in this exercise.
Brian Boyle: Italian Sub
It’s big, it’s salty and to be honest I’ve never even really had one but I know a lot of other people like it. I didn’t see the appeal of Boyle until he was firmly in the Leafs line-up and now I can’t see the Fourth Line without him. So he’s great for what he is, but if he’s playing on a different line god help us, just like it’s great if you like Italian Subs but if you go to a restaurant and order that I’m going to look at you funny
Tyler Bozak: Sausage Breakfast Sandwich
People keep complaining about these, they’re unhealthy, they don’t really help you start the day, the bacon one is better, Phil Kessel loved them but that doesn’t mean they’re that good…Those people are all wrong. Sausage Breakfast Sandwiches are good when you surround them with other things: Hashbrowns, Coffee, maybe a Muffin. I don’t expect big things from Bozak in the playoffs, but he’s a dependable vet who people need to stop harping on.
Connor Brown: Tuna Salad
When you go to a sandwich shop is Tuna the first thing that jumps out at you? No, you’re looking at all the fancier more expensive sandwiches. But Tuna is there for you, Tuna is always there for you. You pair it with some fresh bread (PP time) remind yourself it’s good for you (PK time), you’d be surprised how amazing a fresh tuna sandwich can be and I think Connor Brown can still surprise us all in the playoffs.
Eric Fehr: Hot Dog
Is it even a sandwich? I don’t know and like Fehr I don’t want to spend time thinking about it/him.
Zach Hyman: Ham and Cheese
Standard, maybe a little boring, but the Ham and Cheese sandwich knows it’s roll and it does it. Ham and Cheese might not be the tastiest or the fanciest and you’re not going an expensive bistro to order one but you can’t go through life without having a Ham and Cheese sandwich. Hyman doesn’t have flash, he doesn’t have finish but he does his job and he’ll do it in the playoffs.
Nazem Kadri: Buffalo Chicken Wrap
I was not a fan of Buffalo Chicken Wraps initially. I saw the appeal but it just seemed like a regular wrap doused in Hot Sauce. But then two years ago I had a Buffalo Chicken Wrap that changed my life. The hotness wasn’t too much for once, I actually got to experience other flavours rather than just the spice! That’s Kadri’s greatest asset, he has a little kick to him and he should bring it to the playoffs but he has to be careful that it doesn’t overtake him and make him forget the other parts to his game.
Leo Komarov: Jambon-beurre
Whoa whoa, slow down international man of mystery. Another name for this is “The Parisien” or “Ham and Cheese but French” and that’s Komorov for me. Basically ham and cheese but other people seem to think he’s super special. Maybe he can turn it around in the Playoffs and prove me wrong, like when i had Ham and Cheese IN PARIS and it was incredible but somehow I doubt it…
Josh Leivo: Roast Beef
I always forget these are on the menu when I’m deciding what to eat. It’s like the forgotten sandwich until I see someone else with it and go “Oh yeah crap i wanted that.”
Mitchell Marner: Pulled Pork Sandwich
It’s absolutely delicious, you see it on a menu and you want it immediately. You see it on someone else’s plate and you’re like “crap why did I get a Salad, I want something exciting, I want Mitch Marner”. Like Mitch, this sandwich might be one dimensional but I suspect in the Playoffs it won’t matter because it’s just too damn good.
Matt Martin: Sloppy Joe
I mean come on…this one is just too perfect right?
Auston Matthews: The Club.
There is literally no sandwich I’d rather have. It’s the total package, it’s got bacon, mayo, more bacon, chicken, lettuce and tomato so you can feel healthy (aka defensive prowess) Matthews is the Face of The Club and as such has been given the honour of being that sandwich. This is the guy that has to be good for them to do any damage in the Playoffs, there’s no way Matthews under-performs and the Leafs advance.
William Nylander: BLT
It was really hard not to give BLT to JVR with the whole 3-letter nickname thing but I think Willie embodies the BLT more. He’s just amazing, always, sure some people seem to think he’s bad defensively, just like some people tell me bacon isn’t a protein that can anchor a sandwich by itself but those people are stupid. Also if you make me choose between a BLT and a Pulled Pork Sandwich I don’t know what choice I’d make because I love them both so much.
Ben Smith: Cucumber Sandwich
Just no…dear god no. We all know that one person who likes these for some reason, because it’s supposedly “healthy” but seriously if you keep trying to feed me this sandwich I’m going to kill someone. Like the Cucumber Sandwich, Ben Smith should just be kept in a place where I don’t have to see him.
Nikita Soshnikov: Monte Cristo
I put a lot of thought into this one. See if Hyman is Ham and Cheese then Sosh is Monte Cristo because it’s LIKE Ham and Cheese but gives you a little more. Also i read somewhere you can put Russian Dressing on it (Disclaimer: I have never read this)
James van Riemsdyk: French Dip
1-dimensional? Check. Great value for what you get? Check, but what makes JVR the French Dip is that he transforms once he is dipped in the Playoffs. Look up his stats, re-watch that Boston Series, JVR is a playoff monster. Also, French Dips are usually tall.
Connor Carrick: Pastrami on Rye
Classic under-rated sandwich, sure it’s not the best sandwich you’ve ever had in your life but you can do FAR worse. Carrick hasn’t emerged has a top-4 d-man but I actually think this playoff run could be a good opportunity for him to shine, he did it in the AHL last year and he’s at least been a steady guy on the back-end when healthy.
Jake Gardiner: Chicken Parm
I love “Chicky-chicky-parm-parm’s” but a lot of other people think they’re over rated and I get why. They can be screwed up really easily, if you miss a simple step like breading the chicken or choose the wrong cheese you’re dead in the water and Jake seems to be great but every so often he makes those simple mistakes. Also he never fights or hits so he’s sort of like a chicken.
Matt Hunwick: Veggie Sandwich
I’m not a fan. I get what the appeal is, it’s safe, it’s healthy, its…90% water? It’s pretty hard to screw up but really I just want something more. I’m sure Hunwick will be his safe self in the Playoffs but I don’t think that’s going to be enough to really satisfy. Next
Alexey Marchenko: Fruit Sandwich
People keep telling me this is a real thing that real people like and I just can’t believe them. I mean I guess it’s healthy but it just seems weird to me. Marchenko is that guy for me, I don’t see the appeal, seems like a guy who just can’t get his footing and I don’t really care enough to try to understand why other people like him. Maybe he makes it into the lineup but I’d rather not see him on my plate.
Martin Marincin: PB&J
There’s not a lot to say about the PB&J Sandwich. It’s good, but I always eat them and think, man I wish I had a more exciting sandwich. Sure it’s not going to set your mouth on fire or give you indigestion but I mean I want a little intrigue in my meals. Marincin might be thrust into a position where the Leafs depend on him and I hope like PB&J he stats steady, consistent and not at all surprising.
Roman Polak: Grilled Cheese
A sandwich which has been forged in fire. It’s simple ingredients sure, just cheese and bread but add in a little spicy ketchup or classic aged sharp cheddar and that might really hurt you and man that’s a dangerous but delicious sandwich we’re talking about. I don’t think I could live without Grilled Cheese and I don’t think the Leafs can succeed without Roman Polak doing his thing.
Morgan Rielly: Meatball Parmesan
People are always telling me Meatball Parm’s aren’t even THAT good and Chicken Parm’s are way better. While sometimes a Chicken Parm can be better than a Meatball, I’ll take a Meatball Parm 9/10 times. Because it’s hard to screw up a Meatball Parm, Chicken Parm’s are too risky. (I can’t make this metaphor anymore obvious)
Nikita Zaitsev: Smoked Meat Sandwich
It’s got a little “kick” to it depending on where you get them. It’s a fairly what-you-see-is-what-you-get sandwich, not a whole of surprises but it’s got enough flavour to keep me interested. It’d be lovely if we got to see another side of Zaitzev in the playoffs, (maybe a version that scores goals?) but I doubt it’s in there. Hopefully we can eat this sandwich because it looks like it might be off the menu before the series even begins.
Frederik Andersen: Lobster Roll
I had no idea what to think the first time I had a Lobster Roll. I thought, “jeez this looks expensive” but my God, it’s amazing. I can’t express how much Lobster Rolls defied my expectations. Freddy has a chance to prove to everyone that his name belongs up there with the great goalies in the league. If he backstops the Leafs to a series victory than I think this Lobster Roll has done everything you could ask of it. Also his hair is orange which is close to lobster red.
Curtis McElhinney: Steak and Cheese
Okay I’m not talking about a fresh steak and cheese which is always amazing. I’m talking about that piece of steak you have in your fridge so you cut it up throw it on a bun and micro wave it. Sure it’ll do in a pinch but it’s not your go-to. I hope the Leafs don’t have to go to him in the Playoffs.
And that’s it. This started out as a stupid joke and then I couldn’t stop coming up with them. I’m excited to watch them tomorrow against the Caps, I don’t think anyone is giving them a legit shot, myself included but I’ve been wrong before. This year’s playoffs has an opportunity for Canada to get the cup back and I’m very much hopping the Leafs bring it back in their Centennial Season because my God that story would be incredible. Whoever you’re cheering for good luck and have fun, unless its the Caps in which case I hope you cry.