Sharks circle Leafs fans

By JODY VANCE -- 24 Hours Toronto

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

There is no sugar coating how un-fun it is to be the odd-fan-out-looking-in come playoff time. Now that Round 2 has begun, Leafs fans are looking for a team to get behind.

Supporting the Ottawa Senators is out of the question. There's been too much mud slinging, and dirty hits for rival fans to find middle ground in the playoffs.

It's not just Toronto fans who are sour to the idea of a united provincial front.

For the few Toronto faithful who might be looking to hop on the Senators bandwagon, you may need to provide proof that you don't have a 416 or 905 area code to ride that ride.

The other Canadian option is the Edmonton Oilers, but with five Stanley Cup banners hanging in the City of Champions, they don't need the Toronto shade of blue in their building.

Besides, the echo of "Go Leafs Go" at Rexall Place when the Leafs visit has been anything but a relationship builder.

Perhaps getting behind "good Canadian kids" on U.S.-based teams is the best course of action.

The first to come to mind are Martin Brodeur, Joe Sakic or Rob Blake, but with a handful of Cups between them, they don't need another.

Jose Theodore adds to argument for Colorado support, but he is still thought of as a Hab, so he's out.

My pick for the jilted Leafs fan is Joe Thornton.

Thornton was traded away from the mismanaged Bruins only to go on to lead the league in scoring.

He's from Ontario and his line-mate Jonathon Cheechoo is from Moose Factory, Ont.

Rooting for San Jose is a win-win, really, as you can take "pride" in a bad deal by the Bruins and cheer on a couple of good Ontario kids on a team located geographically so far away that it's almost as if they play in a different league.

Most of all, it's fun to say "Cheechoo scores!"

Jody Vance is a longtime television sportscaster and personality living in Toronto. Her column appears Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours.


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