By: Adam Basciano
I haven’t written a blog in what seems like forever. It’s not because I refuse to write when this team looses, but when they lose 10 of their last 11 games my comments would get redundant. So instead, Ive decide to put all my frustrations in one blog. Hmm…where do I start….
I’ll start with defence. Remember when Luke Schenn was the promising building block on the back-end? The positionally sound, hard-hitting defenceman who had captain potential? What the hell happened to that guy? A contract extension and a big payday, that’s what happened. He’s transformed into Bryan McCabe 2.0! Luke Schenn has probably made more tape to tape passes then other d-man. The only problem, they’ve all been to the wrong team. Ever since scoring on that once in a lifetime end to end rush against Boston, he thinks he’s Bobby Orr. Too bad his foot speed makes The Matrix bullet time slow-motion effect look like fast forward. Then there’s Dion Phaneuf. Sure he makes the big hits, but at the moment that’s about it! When it comes to defensive zone coverage, he looks lost. In his own end he looks like a confused dog, unsure whether it should first piss on a fire hydrant of shit on the front lawn.
On to the goaltending. Reimer had a great run last season, while Gustavsson….well, the only thing he had was a massive catalogue of ABBA songs on his I-Pod! Brian Burke’s answer to two young goalies was the “great” goalie coach Francois Allaire. His famous “butterfly” style was made famous by Patrick Roy. Wow! Am I supposed to be impressed. What worked for Patrick Roy in the 80’s/90’s doesn’t work in 2012. You see, there’s this little thing called video that players and coaches study. That video shows that butterfly goalies have a tendency to go down on their knees rather quickly. Players either score by puting the puck over a goalies shoulder, or between their legs. Surprise, that accounts for many of the goals scored on the Leafs goaltending tandem. Sure they’ve both had solid stretches, but inconsistency has plagued them. Let’s see, they go down easy, are on their knees a lot, and get scored on between their legs. These guys sound a hell of a lot like prostitutes instead of NHL goalies if you ask me. Way to go Allaire!
This brings me to the aspect of this team that annoys me the most, the coach Ron Wilson! Have you ever heard this guy in his interviews? He comes off as one of the most arrogant, pompous @$$holes in the NHL. My question is why? Has he ever won a Stanley Cup? The answer is a big fat no! In fact, throughout his tenure in San Jose, his team has had great regular seasons, but choked in the playoffs! Some will argue that the coach can’t be blamed because the coach can’t go on the ice and play the game for the players. That’s true, but the coach and his staff are responsible for implementing the systems he wants the team to play. It also falls on the coach, to maintain the players focus and motivate them when their struggling. In case you’re wondering, no I don’t believe the different strategies in the game plan are the problem. How do I know? It’s simple, all you have to do is look at the AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies. Under the coaching of Dallas Eakins, they are second overall in their conference, have one of the best penalty kills in the AHL, and are solid on the power play. The Leafs with Ron Wilson are 29th in penalty kill, and have a horrendously inconsistent power play. Even more frustrating, is Wilson’s lack of emotion behind the bench. He’s so blase and nonchalant. He claims he doesn’t want to “crack the whip” on such a young team, but has no problem pointing the finger of blame on particular players in his post game press-conferences. No coach, that’s not contradictory at all! The only reason Ron Wilson still has a job is because his best friend is in charge.
There will come a time when even his friend can’t save him. With the Leafs loosing 10 out of their last 11 games, that time is now. 20,000 people chanting “FIRE WILSON” can’t be wrong. The time has come to fire Ron Wilson.