Toronto Maple Leafs Coverage

By TSM:

The nice thing about being on the west coast is that when you wake up, it’s 3 hours later on the east coast, it gets quiet around 8pm as the east coast starts to go to bed and HNIC starts at 4pm on Saturdays. It’s also nice that games start much earlier here, again around 4, or 4:30 and if your a desk jockey you can either watch on a website or better yet follow on twitter.

The bad part is that when your team sucks on any particular night you have to deal with the suffering for hours longer. At least on the east coast, they lose, it’s around 10pm and you can go to bed in 1-2 hours. Not so on the west coast.

Tonight seemed to be the culmination of the shitty season the Maple Leafs are in; a team that looks like it has no interest or capability to play the sport in which they are paid.

Can you imagine the humiliation you feel when your own fans are chanting, or taunting that you be fired as head coach. Seriously, does it get any worse than that at all? How do you not feel badly for Ron Wilson given that alone?

Eric Smith asked the question tonight on twitter, Leafs, Blue Jays, Raptors, what’s the order of teams that make the playoffs next? Well, do we have to pick one? Honestly, do you have faith in any of the above? It’ like the current state of the US election. I’d vote for no one! Not one team has done anything to suggest they are on the path to the post season.

As for the Leafs, you just know how this ends. They will lose enough to be out of the playoffs, and then just when you think they’re going to reward us with a lotter pick they will win some totally meaningless games to break our hearts yet again. Bet on it. Forget 1967, I want 1985 when we drafted first!

Couple of interesting thoughts tonight. 1, for those who missed it, Greg Brady boldly predicted that should the Leafs perform as ineptly as they have the last couple of nights again Ron Wilson won’t be the head coach Saturday night.(which was boldly seconded by Michael Grange) 2. He also predicted that Randy Carlyle is the next coach of the Maple Leafs.

The best print article I’ve read on the leafs of late comes via Bruce Arthur of the National Post here:

“And now, with a team in crisis and a tumbleweed-filled trade deadline, the coach is declared safe, and it’s the trade deadline’s fault. Oh, save us. Blaming the media is a tired, reflexive tactic for this organization. It’s a sideshow. In the month of February, with the dreaded pressures of the trade deadline coming to bear across the country, how did teams react? Leaving aside the Canucks, who are in a separate category from the rest of Canada, the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets maintained their playoff bubble status by earning 15 points apiece; Ottawa recorded 16 points; Edmonton garnered 13. Even Montreal, where the flames have consumed most of the franchise, had 11.”

A couple of good blogs to read too:

First from Brady himself here:

“So Ron Wilson will get the heave-ho soon enough, and I admit, it isn’t working out here, but at no point has he ever been given a roster which has been in the upper half of the NHL in terms of talent, and for that alone, he should bear little responsibility for the lack of playoff games at the ACC. Making the playoffs any of the previous three seasons would have been a staggering overachievement. I’d also point out his much-maligned San Jose Sharks days are well in the rearview mirror when he had to fight off powers like Detroit and Colorado and Dallas, and one-year wonders like Calgary in 2004 and Edmonton in 2006. Since Wilson was fired four years ago, Sharks coach Todd McLellan has gotten San Jose no closer to the Stanley Cup Finals than Wilson got them, and the Sharks have crashed embarrassingly so in the last two Western Conference Finals, even after acquiring a Stanley Cup-winning goaltender in Antii Niemi, a luxury Wilson never had in San Jose, making do with middle-of-the-roaders like Evgeni Nabokov and (gulp!) Vesa Toskala.”

and with Puck Daddy here:

“Burke’s not going to do anything, of course, because every logically appropriate moment to fire Wilson has passed without a trigger pulled. (Including when Wilson was bulletproof due to his Olympic commitment.)
But if the Leafs don’t make the playoffs, Wilson should be fired; and one expects he will be fired. With efforts like this against the Panthers, the calls to expedite that decision will increase — but is it too late?”

Well even if the they are out of it the end should be worth watching no?

TSM

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Daniel
Daniel
February 29, 2012 2:39 am

“Eric Smith asked the question tonight on twitter, Leafs, Blue Jays, Raptors, what’s the order of teams that make the playoffs next?”

I’ll say Leafs in 2013 (because I think Burke will get creative this offseason to save his job… and also because the East isn’t very good and 8/15 teams get in.)

I’ll say Jays also in 2013. If their young players and prospects have as much promise as they seem to at the moment, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to make a move on the second Wildcard by then – even if they don’t open up their wallets too much (but that would definitely help).

Raptors? Eee. How about the get a lottery pick this offseason, develop him and their most recent pick next year, and then make the playoffs in 2014.

Yeah, I’m probably being a bit optimistic. (although predicting the Jays will make the playoffs around 2013 is probably pretty common around MLB, considering their system). Fortunes will turn at some point guys.

Daniel
Daniel
February 29, 2012 2:40 am

Realistically, the Raptors might be 2015.

Ami Angelwings
February 29, 2012 3:13 am

Basketball is the sport that it’s easiest to turn around in a big hurry if you get the right draft picks, so it’s most likely the Raptors. Barring unforeseen collapsed by the Yankees and Red Sox (and Rays, but every year is the year they’re finally supposed to fall off the table and they haven’t, so I don’t feel confident predicting when their demise is), the Jays don’t look likely to make the playoffs in the next couple of years and honestly, it’s starting to look like the only reason the Leafs even hung around a playoff spot this year is because Burke lucked out on Lupul (who was a throw in) and Lupul and Kessel developed the chemistry that allowed both to fulfill their potentials (without Lupul, I doubt Kessel is having this year he’s having, and that scares me).

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
February 29, 2012 8:20 am

if Burke waits until the end of the season to fire Wilson, will that be to protect him from further embarrassment, and to avoid the appearance that he is giving in to the players/fans/media?

if so, Burke should be fired too. His ego, personal wars with the media, personal relationship with the coach, and self-imposed CBA are all interfering with the running of the team.

is there an argument in favour of keeping Burke, given his failings?

Robert
Robert
February 29, 2012 8:46 am

Maybe Wilson hasn’t been given the players to produce a winner, but there’s one thing a coach can do – teach the players he has to play with discipline, and that’s something we haven’t seen with this team in years. Watching them play in their own zone is like watching the Keystone Cops. They spend a significant part of the game chasing the other team around. And on offence, no one goes to the net. Other teams will collapse five guys around the goalie in a circle because they know no one will come too close. I guess Wilson can’t be blamed for the goaltending – the best tandem since Bester and Wregget – and we know how that turned out.

Steve Skeet
Steve Skeet
February 29, 2012 4:51 pm

Isn’t it obvious? The American experiment has failed miseribly in Toronto. The only reason why Burke didn’t make a trade was because there were no Americans to be had. It’s time Leaf ownership to fire Burke and Wilson. Bring back the good ol’ Canadian boys!

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