I guess it would be one thing if nobody did say there would be days like these. Problem is, Ron Wilson warned us. Way back when, Ron Wilson said that there would be dark says ahead. I wonder if he envisioned them being this dark. One has to wonder if he thought his would be so bad to continue to have the worst penalty kill in the league with an eye on becoming the worst ever.
It’s funny, (we Toronto Maple Leafs have to laugh), that many pundits picked the buds to finish dead last, last year when they never really threatened to capture that title despite the wishes of many fans. This year, when several of the same Nostradamuses predicted a playoff birth for team Burke, the squad is playing as if it as an anchor tied around it’s neck night in and night out.
Irrespective of what Wilson told 640 today about blowing his stack, the truth is the pressure on Wilson has to be getting rather immense. Face it, his steam stinks. He is about to head off to Vancouver to coach the Olympics, where many people already are snickering at his selection. Coming in with Wilson’s track record won’t help his cause in the US team’s dressing room. So it’s clear that Wilson’s gasket blowing is well understandable.
As I have said in this space many times, as Alex Tran wrote this evening as well, the problem with the Maple Leafs is really quite simple. They are totally devoid of talent. Yes the team has mustered together a win here or a couple, but hey on any given sunday. For the Maple Leafs to actually be successful every single thing must go there way. They quite simply don’t have the horses to compete. The drop off in talent upfront after Phil Kessel is about as wide as the grand canyon. The same can be said after Kaberle on the back end. In net, neither guy has established themselves as a true number one.
So, what we see is what we get. It’s really not all the surprising after all.
I loved the question Brian Burke got during the pre game tonight about his playoff comment in the pre-season. You know it’s really not that complicated an issue. Most fans got it, most media heard enough to try and twist it. For those who don’t get it, here again it is…
Burke, perhaps trying to be a tad too cute said that his goal was to make the playoffs.
What he meant was, you show up every season, every day, every game to win. You don’t prepare to lose. Losing isn’t acceptable. If you set the tone by saying you aren’t trying to make the playoffs then losing become acceptable. How would Burke or Wilson look at their team from day one, or any other day for that matter if they didn’t believe they could win?
That, my friends is totally different as how this has been spun. We expect to compete for a playoff spot suddenly became we will make the playoffs. Semantics ? Perhaps. Maybe Burke should have spelled it out clearer. I suspect that he assumed we were smarter than that. Instead what he said was that he doesn’t want one player on his roster who doesn’t come to win every night, any player who isn’t prepared to fight for a playoff spot should see him and Burke will try to trade him.
It’s really not that hard to decipher, however it has been misplayed over and over.
It’s going to be fun reading and watching as the clock crawls towards March 3. The problem with this team is simple. There just not very good.