Sunday, November 14, 2010


Since that dream start of 4 - 0, the Toronto Maple Leafs have gone a disturbing 1 - 7 - 3 in their last eleven games.  Sports media and fans in Toronto are starting to place blame on certain individuals.  Some blame the players, others blame the coach, but neither side can agree on who's to blame.  My feeling is that both the players, and the coach should share the blame for this loosing streak. The players have strayed away from doing the little things that were working.  They are no longer exiting the defensive zone quick and efficiently.  They are not using their team speed, and their hard nosed fore check, has all but disappeared.  Let's not even discuss their power play, because calling it a power play is a disgrace to the term power play.  They have one strategy with the extra man, and it hasn't worked for about 5 years. It's almost like listening to a broken record hearing the phrase "Kaberle to Kessel, back to Kaberle" for about a minute and a half, with no results, because either nobody shoots at the net, or when the do, the shot is either blocked or goes hopelessly wide.  Ultimately, our top guys, Kessel and more so Versteeg, just aren't scoring.

That's not the only problem.  Ron Wilson is also a problem.  Our 4 - 0 start was due to our style of play, so kudos to Wilson for implementing said strategy.  However, the other 29 teams in the NHL aren't village idiots living in the stone age.  Their capable of watching video, and as a result have implemented defensive strategies to counteract our breakout.  It is Ron Wilson's job to come up with alternate strategies to produce offence.  Yet, game in and game out, the Leafs continue to go to a dry well and play the exact same way.  I'm sorry, but that's poor coaching.  What pisses me off, is Ron Wilson's ho hum attitude to loosing.  After a game, when asked about his teams incapability to get shots on goal he says; "well, that's the conundrum we face, getting shots through." Wow! No shit genius!  If that's the case why don't you spend an entire practice on shooting, accuracy, and getting shots through crowded area's? I've come to the conclusion that Ron Wilson doesn't care.  Do you know why he doesn't care? He's in no danger of being fired!  Do you know why he's in no danger of being fired? His best friend is our GM, that's why.  It's that kind of politics, that will keep this franchise in the dumps for years to come. Burke needs to stop giving us the "Ron is a good coach" line.  Where's the proof?  The constant choking of the San Jose Sharks in the second round of the playoffs under his watch? If it wasn't for their friendship, Wilson would have been fired last week!  The bottom line is this, something needs to be done.  Whether it's a call up, trade, or showing Ron Wilson his pink slip.  Leafs Nation is getting sick of this bullshit, and we deserve better! 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Simpler Times...

Simpler times of being a Leafs fan, when the crest on the front, mattered more then the name on the back.

Simpler times, when you were excited to go to a Leafs game, instead of thinking, "oh shit, not another one."

Simpler times, when the Leafs had a legitimate first line of Gilmour, Andreychuk, and Anderson, instead of throwing shit against the wall and hoping it sticks!

The simpler times, when a coach would get fired for having 2 - 3 loosing seasons, instead of having job security, because his best friend is the GM.

Simpler times, when you looked at the standings in March/April to determine playoff positioning, instead of in December, only to realize we've already been mathematically eliminated.

Simpler times, when the #32 was worn by Steve Thomas, who could be counted on for a clutch goal, instead of a wanna be Eminem, who's too busy admiring his Stanley Cup ring.

Simpler times, when the team consisted of multiple scoring threats, instead of relying on only Phil Kessel

Simpler times, when after overtime the phrase "at least we got a point" meant a tie and not a loss.

Simpler times, when watching the Leafs on tv provided memories and dreams, not forgettable moments and nightmares.

Simpler times, when you believed that Santa Claus and making the playoffs were a reality, instead of being just a fantasy.

Simpler times, when Mats Sundin kept our playoff dreams alive by tying a game with six seconds left, rather then allowing the other team to tie a game we had well in hand, with a mere 13 seconds left.

Ahh simpler times, how I miss thee!

Friday, November 5, 2010


Going into Wednesday night's game, I expected the worst.  I thought the game would be a one sided affair, with the Leafs on the wrong end of goal explosion.  I was wrong.  The game was fairly even.  It was a back and forth affair, that needed a shootout for Washington to come away with a 5 - 4 win.  Kulemin gave the Leafs the lead in the first period with some fancy moves, and a beautiful shot.  In the second period, it looked like my fears for the game were coming to pass, as Washington scored three unanswered goals in quick succession, to take a 3 - 1 lead into the third period.  Even worse, was the fact that the Leafs had almost a full penalty kill to contend with at the start of the final frame.  The Maple Leafs successfully took care of the disadvantage, and then took over on offense.  Their style of play that had seemingly gone missing after the first five games was back, and the team was rewarded for their effort.  Three straight goals by Brown, Versteeg, and Bozak put the Leafs in the lead, with half a period to go.  However, a bad penalty call, and a broken play allowed Washington to tie the game, and eventually win it in the shootout.  In a game that I fully expected the Maple Leafs to come up empty, I am more then happy with a point.  Jonas Gustavsson deserves full credit for that point, because his stunning diving stick save in the second period kept the team in striking distance to mount a comeback.  I will be at the Maple Leafs next game versus the Buffalo Sabres.  Personally, I will be looking to see my first regular season win in two years/eleven games.  Will I see that ever elusive win? Find out next time. Same Leaf time, same Leaf channel.  

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Three games have come and gone since my last blog.  In those three games, the Toronto Maple Leafs have incurred three losses and have only managed to score a total of two goals. In games against Boston and the New York Rangers, the Leafs were held off the scoreboard, losing both games by a count of 2 - 0.  In last nights game, the Leafs spotted the Ottawa Senators three straight goals before ending a streak of over 162 minutes without scoring.  The Sens beat the Leafs by a score of 3 - 2.  Clearly, the Maple Leafs are having trouble scoring.  However, it's not due to a lack of trying.  The Maple Leafs have outplayed and outshot the opposition in all of these contests.  Having said that, I do feel the team has strayed away from the strong fore check, and breakout speed, that lead to their strong start.  I'm not hitting the panic button just yet.  We are a .500 hockey team with 11 points in 11 games.  Remember, it took us until December to get five wins last season.  Our defensive depth will be tested tonight versus the Washington Capitals, as the Leafs look to get back into the win column without captain Dion Phaneuf.  Phaneuf will miss 4 - 6 weeks due to a leg laceration.