At what point do we stop saying the next game is a “must win?”
Tonight was a must win and the Leafs came out flat, at home, and got dominated. Doesn’t matter who they were playing, the effort was [censored] embarrassing. Full stop. The Blues could be seen with smirks on their faces after whistles in the first 40 minutes. It doesn’t really matter if the Leafs make it interesting in the last 8 games, this is what we got from a fully healthy Leafs team when it still mattered.
No NHL team should give up 23 shots in one period, let alone one with playoff aspirations playing in a crucial game. At home, to boot. An elite, heavy cycle team like St Louis exposed the Leafs’ leaky system like water tracing dye. The system isn’t working, and that’s on Carlyle. On the other hand, even when they were in position to do so, the team couldn’t win a board battle when the game still mattered.
It’d be nice to say it begins and ends with Carlyle. Removing him from his post is the right starting point, but there’s some bigger questions facing this management group in the off season. What alterations need to be made to the core? Who is the right coach for the makeup of this team (clearly not Carlyle)? What is the identity the team is aspiring toward, anyway? Do they aspire to be that heavy forechecking/cycle team like the Blues? They’re a 100 miles away from that. Up tempo, skill/speed, high-scoring team? How can they supplement that, and who is the right coach to oversee it? They certainly need to improve down the middle and on the back end. How are they going to improve a core that is locked into place on long term contracts without much cap space likely to be available? Big questions.
This was Dion Phaneuf’s worst game as a Leaf at a crucial time of the season, and the wolves will be circling. In his defence, he has left games with countless injuries (and recently, illness) this season, and hasn’t missed a game besides his suspension. He gets leaned on like crazy, in terms of minutes and assignments, even though he’s really not of the elite 1D ilk to be able to handle it. Even when he’s himself, he appears to hit a wall after 23 or 24 minutes, at which point he is huffing and puffing and can’t keep up. For an average skater who battles hard physically shift in shift out, a season of wear and tear, big minutes and tough assignments appears to be catching up to him.
While he was the only reason the Leafs were down just 2-1 for the first half of the game, Jonathan Bernier looked a little hesitant to go into butterfly at points in this game. It doesn’t appear his groin is close to 100%. That probably sinks any chance at a sudden turnaround in the final 8 (there wasn’t really a chance anyway).
The most depressing part of the whole thing is that we’re right back at that dismal, mediocre non-playoff team status we’ve been at for years since the lockout. The third collapse in three seasons ensures the Leafs still haven’t won a playoff round since 2004. Only this time it’s without the defence of being early in the rebuild, or a young team on the rise experiencing its very first playoff round.
Essentially, laughingstocks again.
There is not much to say at this point about the Leafs play, that's clearly quite obvious, but one thing I was completely shocked about last nights game, was the lack of support from the fans, last nights game was a must win, as are the rest of the games left in the season. I could not believe how quiet the ACC was, like it had no life in it and I understand the "give them something to cheer about" montra, but you need to get your team going and be loud make sure they know you are supporting them, even after the 1st goal and Berniers incredible saves, this crowd was lifeless, this is something I have noticed for a while, it's a damn shame when we call ourselves the best fans in the league and when I turn on the TV the crowd sounds lifeless, maybe it's just me, curious to hear other peoples opinions.
Along with all this talk about Carlyle and his system we also have to call into question whether these players really have what it takes to win. They haven't shown it so far and it does make you wonder about the character of some in that dressing room.
Refresh for some data. I-net connection was from 6pm until this am so couldn't help with the charts, etc.
Lots of hand wringing this morning, I'm sure, but lost in all of this is the fucking clinic St. Louis put on. What a team. Wow.
Don Cherry tweets that Toronto Maple Leafs are depriving ‘some guy slugging it out on the buses’ of a spot by signing college player
Back in the late 1990's I stopped following the Leafs extensively and became a very casual fan . Mostly becuase of the type of hockey being played in the NHL at the time but the Leafs ineptitude played a role as well . I never really came back til after the lockout in 2005 and only really stated following the team closely again about 6 yrs ago.
When Burkie came on board there was hope and I was really encouraged that maybe we finally had someone who was going to fix what can only be described as a complete and utter disaster of an organization . Nonis has continued that work and I truly believe that direction and plan has to stay in place .
However the results we've seen the last 3 seasons culminating in our present situation has called into question what is actually happening here . This collapse is totally unacceptable. I can sit here like all the rest and try to dissect whats happened and discuss all the potential fixes that can be put in place, and I will because that's part of the fun of being a follower of MLHS. But in reality it means nothing.
What I do expect at the very least is an explanation as to what happened and what they intend to do to about it. That will determine whether I once again become a very casual fan of the Toronto Maple leafs. I'm sick and tired of being disappointed year in year out.
Tim Lieweke and Dave Nonis , its up to you to show us you will be accountable to this fan base who deserve a full and honest explanation as to what happened and where this organization is headed.
ENOUGH TALK ABOUT THE LEAFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My favorite girl in the world celebrating her 13th birthday in style yesterday!
You don't always need mean and tough defensemen to have success. Look at Lidstrom, he was far from mean and punishing. Just knew how to play positionally and was damn good at stick checking.
Yup... bad system and too many players that aren't putting in a consistent hard effort. Gotta think a coaching and roster changes will be made in the off season. Nonis has a lot of work to do...
@Burtonboy We want to blame Reimer or Phaneuf or Carlyle but the blame is spread all around that team.
@Burtonboy I think he assumes they are all Americans.
@CanuckUKinToronto We can start expecting more production from Gardiner next season too as he's been amazing offensively the past month or two
@CanuckUKinToronto theres one left people said, dunno who he is
@CanuckUKinToronto No offense Bro, but we are in this position partly because of our Defense, I dont know if I can survive adding more rookies to it lol
@CanuckUKinToronto I thought Percy was as good as Rielly this summer in training camp personally, didnt overly love Granberg, but didnt see him much
@CanuckUKinToronto Not a chance in hell if Carlyle is still here
@BBirde See its not all bad :)
I don't know... Lidstrom would probably be criticized on here for not fighting to set the tone in games
99.9% of this site would make that trade in a second so I don't think it's fair. Loomx is the outlier because he wouldn't want to see his favourite player, Franson, go
@Jordan29 Nashville needs scoring. if they traded Weber, IMO, they would want a skilled forward.
@Jordan29 probably not, but Franson and a 1st might be enough for Yandle
@Jordan29 Nope, Would you trade Weber for that ? I wouldnt