Thursday, March 12th, 2020 will always be a weird day for Toronto Maple Leafs fans.
The Toronto Maple Leafs were set to face the Nashville Predators at home but before the game started, the National Hockey League decided to stop the season due to the coronavirus.
It’s crazy to think that it’s been almost four months since hockey stopped.
When the season was halted, many hoped we’d back playing by mid-June, or early-July at the latest.
Although many countries have been able to control the virus, that can’t be said about the United States where 24 NHL teams call home.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, even went as far as saying that the U.S. is in a “free fall.”
Will You Care About the Maple Leafs More or Less?
As we discuss cases and understand that the coronavirus isn’t going anywhere, when hockey eventually returns next month (let’s see if that actually happens), are you going to care more or less about hockey?
The past four months have been weird without sports.
As someone who lives and breathes sports, either as a die-hard fan or working in the industry, my life always revolved around sports.
Without sports, specifically Toronto Maple Leafs games during winter months, life didn’t feel right.
But at the same time, nothing felt right.
A typical day meant commuting to work then racing home to watch a game at night. Instead, your home was now your office, your kid’s school and vacation home.
Since it’s now summer, the Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t supposed to be playing hockey right now anyway, so at this current state, everything feels a little more normal.
That doesn’t mean we can shift our lives back to our old routines by going to sporting events, concerts or bars, but at least we can go outside with a small group of people and social distance.
We’re slowly getting to a point of the longest time without hockey since World War 1, and I’m not sure if I care as much as I used to about the sport coming back.
I understand that the NHL is a business and the longer it goes without playing, the more money it’s going to lose, but I also just want the sport to be played safely. I don’t want the NHL to rush into things and then have Auston Matthews or Connor McDavid test positive during a playoff game.
If the NHL returns when it’s scheduled to, I just can’t see a world where one superstar doesn’t test positive and misses a big game.
There’s nothing I love more than watching a Toronto Maple Leafs game, but I’d like them to do it safely.
Everyone needs social interaction and a source of entertainment, but get involved in a show on Netflix instead for the meantime.
So to answer my original question: “Will I care more or less about the Maple Leafs?”
I think at this current stage, I will care less because I’ll always be thinking about the bad-side of hockey and be worrying about which player is going to get infected next? Watching the Leafs again will be great, but if they win or lose won’t matter as much, because we can’t even watch it in-person and celebrate with all of our friends and family.
However, the second hockey returns and Auston Matthews goes bar-down to win a playoff game against Columbus, that may change.
Regardless, wear a mask, social distance and be safe. If you’re missing hockey so much, just go on YouTube and watch this. It’ll at least bring back some great hockey moments for the meantime, until we can watch live hockey once again.