That's what Matt Stajan's nickname should be, Rudyard Kipling, though in the creative world of hockey nicknames (editors rarely let journalists come up with them anymore, so classics like The Golden Jet or The Rocket are few and far between) it just won't happen.
So we're left with such amazingly brilliant creative monikers as "Mess" for Mark Messier or the usual adding of an "ie" or "y" to a first name or surname. Like "Burkie" or "This-ie" or "That-ie."
Anyway, since I am an editor, I'm nicknaming Stajan (whose Leaf nickname just has to be Matty or Staj or Staj-y or Staj-ie) -- Rudyard Kipling.
You know Rudyard. He penned the poem If. And, of course, the Jungle Books. I had to recite If after a school play way back when. Grade 6, if memory serves. So I'll always remember it. And, of course, I nailed it. Under a spotlight, too.
So, why do I assign this nickname to Stajan? Well, here's his analysis of the Toronto Maple Leafs' season-opening 4-3 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.
"IF we bring that effort every night and limit our mistakes, we're going to win a lot of hockey games. . . IF we can shore up our penalty kill . . . we tied the special team battle but IF we can do that (shore up the penalty kill), we win the hockey game without going into overtime."
If you don't believe me, here's the Toronto Star game story.
Yeah, well, you didn't do all that so the game did go into overtime and you lost.
And you're losing, at this writing on Saturday night, 3-0 already in the first period to the Washington Capitals.
So IF the Leafs - and yes I realize they're a work in progress - would start playing, dunno, in the American Hockey League, they might have a chance.
"IF only we played a better first period," I'm predicting Matt (Rudyard Kipling) Stajan will say later tonight, "we would have won."