I have reserved the url for the future. Thanks Anon.
I have reserved the url for the future. Thanks Anon.
I totally understand. The Leafs can be frustrating, and I won’t hold it against anyone for not wanting the Leafs on their Dash at this moment in time. I’m glad you’re back though!
Try ourleafs.blogspot.com. The game is at 8pm.
Toronto allowed goals on the first two shots it faced against the Panthers on Tuesday night and never recovered. The Leafs, who haven’t qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2004, now find themselves four points behind the eighth-place Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference race. Toronto finished its four-game homestand with a record of 0-3-1.
“You do get exasperated and you get frustrated,” coach Ron Wilson said. “But tomorrow’s a new day, the sun will probably come up and we’ve got to pull up our bootstraps and get going.”
But if we could barely keep up with an injured Panthers team…..the Blackhawks are going to sodomize us tonight.
I guess I should just put Chelsea Dagger on repeat to get my self prepared for tonight.
I’m looking for another person to help out with this blog. We used to have four people (me included) but it’s dwindled down to just myself and Taline I believe. If you’re interested just shoot me a message here.
Tell me about yourself. I don’t need a full time commitment, just someone who is willing to pop in once in a while and help keep the blog updated to prevent massive lulls in activity.
It doesn’t matter that Brian Burke didn’t make a big move at the NHL trade deadline, because almost nobody made a big move at the NHL trade deadline. If you want to criticize the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, then the NHL’s Cold War deadline is not the place to start. Or to finish, either.
But there is plenty to criticize, to be sure. As this season has skidded onto yet another ledge, next to yet another early April abyss, this organization has become an exercise in excuses, in misdirection, and in incoherence. It’s not over, of course — there is still time for this group to pull up the nose of the plane and make the playoffs.
If they do not, however, the script has already been written. Ron Wilson has hammered his goaltending over and over again, right up until the point that Burke couldn’t find a replacement worth buying at the trade deadline, at which point confidence was magically restored. At that point, Wilson took to the podium before Tuesday’s showdown with Florida and with a note of triumphalism in his voice said, “All these rumours the last couple weeks have shown that they were nothing but rumours, so all of our team is going to get a weight off their shoulders, I think, and start moving forward.”
Um, the rumours? Burke was the one who said on TSN Radio last week that he was looking for a goaltender, which came after Jonas Gustavsson allowed Toronto’s worst goal of the year, which to that point was one hell of a contest. And Wilson was the one strapping explosives to Gustavsson and Reimer day after day. You want a confidence shaker, it’s not Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie.
As for the moving forward part, the Leafs then went out and spotted their opponent a 2-0 lead for the fifth consecutive game, this time in the first two minutes and 21 seconds. Good thing the trade deadline had passed, though, or it surely would have been even worse — at least, if you ask Burke and Wilson, both of whom pointed to the pressure exerted on the players at this time of year.
“I think the trade deadline is hard on players, but I think it’s murder on players in Toronto,” Burke said Monday. “And we just had a serious debate whether next year we’re going to do this 10 days earlier so the players can relax.”
The pressure of the trade deadline? Really? This is Toronto, for God’s sake. Burke knew the moment he took this job what he had to build, and what kind of players were required to build it, and four years later this is a viable excuse?
Burke has worked in one of Canada’s frozen boiler rooms before, and he railed against the entitlement of blue-and-white disease from the moment he got here. He has always tried to eradicate excuses for losing, to the point that he traded for Martin Gerber at the end of the 2008-09 season. It meant drafting seventh instead of, say, top-five, and may still be the most inexplicable move Burke has ever made.
And now, with a team in crisis and a tumbleweed-filled trade deadline, it’s the trade deadline’s fault. Blaming the media is a tired and frankly ridiculous tactic by 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, and before Tuesday night’s games, the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets maintained their playoff bubble status by earning 15 points apiece; Ottawa recorded 14 points; Edmonton garnered 13; even Montreal, where the flames have consumed the whole misbegotten wreck, had 11.
Toronto, before Tuesday, had managed nine.
It’s not just this year, though. Every year Burke has aimed for the playoffs, and it hasn’t happened yet. If it wasn’t a five-year rebuild before, it may be now. There are two teams that have not reached the post-season since the lockout. One is Toronto. The other is Florida, who were the beneficiaries of that early 2-0 lead on the Leafs on Tuesday night.
That’s what Toronto wants, too. At the morning skate, Wilson said that with the trade deadline gone, “This should be pressure that you enjoy. You know you’re going to be here, and you’re trying to make the playoffs. This is positive pressure. Trade deadline pressure is negative pressure.”
The next 19 games are not just a referendum on the goaltending, on the defencemen, on the forwards, on the coach. They’re yet another referendum on Burke, who lords over this entire misbegotten project. Toronto is pressure. And it’s always on.