Happy New Year to one and all!!
What a fascinating 12 months it’s been in Toronto from a sports perspective. The ups and downs of the Blue Jays and the Maple Leafs vs. the waited (and yet to happen ) collapse of the Raptors. It seems that the ebbs and flows of a season are much more alarming from a fan perspective in the GTA then in other sports markets I’ve lived in.
A quick look at the Leafs season is the classic example. At multiple times the team has been on the ropes with the torches lit and the hounds ready to pounce. The team has found a way to climb back to respectability and weathered the storm.
So, as I watch the most recent tailspin by the Buds, I am hardly alarmed as it appears that I’ve seen this movie before.
Kudos to James Mirtle for his piece tonight which I think calls the Leafs Spade a spade:
“Beyond the coach and what’s obviously a possession-bereft style of play, what ails the Leafs remains the same as the day Mats Sundin left in 2008.
They don’t have a No. 1 centre.
They also lack a No. 1 defenceman.
And repeatedly asking Kessel and Phaneuf to be more than they are – to be something, in fact, they never were – without those pieces is as foolish as anything that’s gone on around the organization in the past decade.”
It’s so true.
At no point have the Leafs really addressed their needs.
“The issue is not only the coach. The issue is the Leafs built their team around Kessel, Phaneuf and not much else because they were the impact players that former GM Brian Burke was able to get without going through the draft or free agency, routes he deemed too slow or too costly.
They were available because they had flaws; unsurprisingly, they still have them.
And you can blame those who have ignored that for too long for part of the Leafs’ downfall.”
It was with interest that I saw some MSMers predicting that a Leaf coaching change is on the horizon. While it would be a good start, the problems with the Leafs are far greater than just the coach don’t you think??????
I was saddened to learn of the passing of Stuart Scott of ESPN. I watched him a ton while living in the USA and I was a fan. I am curious, given that you will watch TSN or Sportsnet for your hockey coverage, if ESPN Sportscenter were also available here on an every day basis you watch it along with or instead of the other networks?????
Maybe because it’s in my backyard, but is anyone else less interested in the World Juniors this year????? I really haven’t been overly interested in tuning in.