The recent article "Mats Sundin and the number 13" posted by The bike lady, is indeed interesting. (please read)
However, my mathematical friend stopped short of revealing how significant this number is to the history of the Toronto Maple Leafs and their ultimate demise this season. I hope that you will find these facts and figures both amusing and enlightening even if your aren't a "Triskaidekaphile" (a fan of the number 13), which by the way, I no longer am referring of course to the player.
Toronto first became a professional team in 1913 calling themselves the Toronto Blue Shirts.
The Leafs prefer not to retire players numbers but instead induct them into their hall of honoured members. The Leafs currently have 13 members in this fraternity.
The Leafs have won a total of 13 Stanley cups in their history. The last one in 1967. 6+7=13. Incidentally, the average age of that team was 31. Does anyone have a mirror?
Speaking of 31, Mats just scored his 31st goal of the season in this, the 13th final game of the year for his team. Make no mistake, that was the 13th last game for the Leafs this season and there will be no chance of any playoff appearence.
The number 13 is generally considered unlucky in most of the world. Mats will disagree and so might his band of blue and white Einstiens. However, with Mats in his 13th season with the Leafs and never making it to the finals, I might tend to disagree with him.
The Leafs currently are sitting in 13th place in the Eastern Conference. To just get even with the Flyers they would have to win 4 games and the Flyer lose 9 to match points. 9+4= 13.
One more win and the Leafs will be 13 points away from their best chance at the first round pick overall in next years draft.
Peter Forsberg is Mats Countryman and the guy he is most closely measured against in popularity and success and talent. Forsberg just signed with a new team and has already won several Stanley cubs but looks like he wants more. He has positioned himself to do so. Mats had a chance to position himself also, but chose to waive it, or not waive it, if you prefer. By the way, there are 13 letters in Peter Forsberg. No, you don't have to count them, trust me.
The reality is that number 13 will continue to be unlucky for the Leafs and Sundin. He may not be back next year and in some ways I hope he will not. I liked the Leafs chances of a winning future a lot more with Mats waiving his no trade clause and giving this franchise a jump start to right itself. So indeed his 13th season as a Leaf will be a memorable one for the Leafs Nation, albeit perhaps not the way he would prefer to be remembered.
Oh, well in spite of Mats spiteful and inspired play of himself and his teammates of late, this recent exersize in futility when nothing matters, will come to a conclusion and sink in with the dressing room, when Mats and his team look at the standings later this week. Say for example, on March the 13th.
The numbers don't lie and for the 13th time, it's over and out!