Wednesday, October 10, 2007

chamomile nation

As I watched that debacle tonight, it struck me that maybe someone filled the Leafs' water bottles with some sleepy time tea. The stuff that Maurice has suggested fans stock up on.

I only watched the first two periods. Just like most of the Leafs, I didn't stick around for the third but I'll weigh in anyways...

Is anyone really surprised that the Leafs are 1-3 to start the season? I mean other than those fans who can't quite keep the shift key held done when talking about the Leafs!!!!1

Consider:

The 2006-07 Leafs were 25th in goals against.

The six D who were logged the most minutes for the Leafs last season:
1. McCabe
2. Kaberle
3. Kubina
4. Gill
5. White
6. Colaiacovo

The 6 D logging the most minutes this season:
1. Kaberle
2. Kubina
3. McCabe
4. Gill
5. Wozniewski
6. White

Last season, the Leafs were short handed the 11th most in the NHL. To keep it entertaining, the Leafs ran the PK like an old episode of Show Down, with the space around Raycroft’s glove filling in for the big foam targets. The Leafs PK (which might have benefited had it been coached by Peter Puck) ended up 27th in the NHL in 2006-07.

Top 8 in PK minutes last season:
1. Gill
2. McCabe
3. Kilger
4. Kaberle
5. Kubina
6. Steen
7. Stajan
8. Peca

Top 8 in PK minutes this season:
1. Gill
2. Kubina
3. McCabe
4. Kilger
5. Wozniewski
6. Devereaux
7. Stajan
8. Antropov

For those of you keeping score, you might be noticing a pattern here. In fact, 20 of the 23 players on the Leafs 2006-07 roster returned for the 2007-08 season, as did the entire coaching staff.

So where was this change going to come?

Toskala, Bell and Blake?

Really?

A career back-up, a third-line centre (who's been suspended for almost a fifth of the season) and a small forward (who's just been diagnosed with a form of cancer).

If that's the answer to what ails this club (and here's the question: how do you fix a team with a woeful inability to keep the puck out of their own net, discipline problems and a PK that puts "special ed" back into special teams?) Paul Maurice is going to need to get a plantation worth of chamomile tea for Leafs Nation.

7 comments:

  1. Besides the woeful disposition of our buds this season, as with most seasons, did anyone notice the terrible luck the leafs have as a team....?

    Terrible bounces, injuries, and now disease... lord help us ...!

    And yet we will continue to sell out the ACC and buy the jerseys etc. Perhaps the salary cap rule should go.. and maybe with the team's financial muscle it might be able to acquire some talen to play alongside Sundin... oh no wait.. that would require management talent first... in this case the chicken before the egg ain't no riddle!

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  2. It gets me quite frustrated when it seems that *I* am more interested in the outcome of the game than the players on the team I'm cheering for.

    McCabe is laughable. His crime was Keyser Soze-esque, getting to pull $7.15mil a year for that grotesque performance.

    They should all be ashamed, but I single him out since he is earning the most dough.

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  3. Paul Steckley5:37 pm

    Ram, we tried that before and it didn't work. Remember in the pre-cap days when the Leafs always made a run for free agents but never made the right choices, or had the right personal but Quinn always found a way to mismanage the team to another loss?

    The answer for the Leafs is not more money or a higher cap. There is a fundamental problem with this team and it is this: the Leafs now are more a corporation than a hockey team. The bottom line is all that matters to MLSE, not pride, not winning. Whether its Tannenbaum, Peddle, the Pension Fund, or whatever, there is no heart in this organization.

    That said, however, while last night's game was a disgrace, let's not forget that the Leafs were fairly competitive against Ottawa and Montreal. Given the Blake bombshell that had been just dropped and the distraction that might have called, I'll chalk this loss up to an aberration. It is, after all, only the fourth game of the season.

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  4. The Ghost of Harold Ballard8:10 pm

    Give up trying to figure out what is wrong with the Leafs. Look at the effort your putting into this dismal excuse for a hockey team. You deserve better. Cheer for anybody else. At least you have a better chance at being entertained.

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  5. Paul, you're on the nose with your analysis. The question then becomes how does one inject, or re-inject, heart into to this organization?

    Moreover, is it even possible to do so??... at this rate the leafs might as well offer an IPO, go public, and hey they can be the next blue chipper on the TSE.

    If corporate inertia is what we've fallen into, I wonder if a way out is even possible.... :(

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  6. Anonymous8:06 am

    We can bitch about the players on the ice all day, but it's management that needs to change. They are the ones who put those players out there, and they have decided that Mats Sundin IS the team.

    The powers that be are apparently quite happy with JFJ, and nothing ever stops the seats from being full. The ghost of Harold Ballard still cackles in the shadows.

    This team does not reflect the new, post-lockout brand of hockey. No effort at all has been made to improve them, and management seems unaware or completely apathetic to the problem.

    Cliff Fletcher is/was the only manager this team has had since the sixties who knew what he was doing. Why did we let him go?

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  7. Anonymous3:27 pm

    Maybe we should give the Sabres some credit. After all they did this may times last year against many good teams, in the playoffs even. Last second heroics. They are a team with heart.

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