Leaf’s Falling Off The Tree

Vesa ToskalaWell it is autumn, so the following can only be expected at this time of year. The Toronto Maple Leafs are falling off the tree, and when the winter and snow comes in a short time, they will be covered under eight feet of the white stuff without anyway of getting out until the spring, and by then it will be too late.

Canada’s most beloved NHL team (okay, maybe not) is off to a rocky start this season and if something isn’t done within the next week to 10 days, this team can kiss the playoffs goodbye for the third straight season.

The problem with the Leafs is, well, everything. Their offense is nothing compared to the powerhouses like their hated Ontario rivals from Ottawa and other teams like Carolina or even Philadelphia. Mats Sundin is producing, but that’s the part where it ends.

Darcy Tucker, after getting a raise this summer – which he deserved after racking up 24 goals and 43 points in 56 games last year – has put up no points in four games so far this season. He also has a plus/minus of -5. Jason Blake, for the time being, gets spared a little scrutiny because he is battling something far more important than a scoring slump.

Defensively, this team needs to go right back to the drawing board. The best defenceman this year for the blue and white has been Ian White, and one defenceman isn’t going to solve all your problems. Forget about Bryan McCabe, Tomas Kaberle and Hal Gill. One plays too soft, the other doesn’t know how to play in his own end (he’s a great offensive defenceman) and the other is slow and in the new NHL is a liability rather than an asset.

John Ferguson Jr.Last night the Leafs were dealt a 7-1 loss on home ice at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes, who have come out of the gate with a renewed enthusiasm. A lot of people looked at the score and automatically believed that goaltending was the big problem in last night’s disaster. Vesa Toskala was, believe it or not, undeserving of the blame in this loss. If it wasn’t for the Leafs new goalie making some huge saves on breakaways and odd-man rushes, then the Hurricanes may have racked up 10, 11 or 12 goals. Yes, the Leafs played that bad.

The Leafs general manager John Ferguson Jr. is on the hot seat and will be fired sooner than you can snap a finger if this team doesn’t turn it around. Judging by the lack of dynamic players on this team, a firing of the general manager just might be the only way to turn this team around.

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2 Responses

  1. Ab-so-lutely. The Leafs have solid goaltending. Very solid. The number of breakaways against him was horrendous. The Leafs, however, have provided him with a bunch of offensive defensemen who cannot handle pressure in their own zone.

    My co-author, Mysterious Wonder, is a huge Leafs fan. He believes that Ferguson should be fired ASAP. And I can’t say that I disagree; The Leafs are in dire need of a GM who can appreciate the value of drafting and can understand the subtleties of building an all-round team.

  2. GAH!!!!!! So true, great post….. Like, come on, look at his stupid little grin in that picture, that says it all, he is playing the Leafs like a puppet.

    The Leafs need some better defence, they got a good 1-2 goalie punch, their offence is not amazing, but they are good enough, add some block shot players, and once again they are looking like the older leafs, but nope… Ferrgy wont even get a draft pick or even a defenceman that can skate or stop a puck, instead he gets ones that score on their on goalie!!!

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