Humming the Wrong Tune in Toronto

ToskalaIt was two years before the Toronto Maple Leafs won their last Stanley cup when the Mamas and the Papas released their hit song California Dreamin’ in 1965. Little did they know, that song would be about those Leafs for the next forty years.

The first lyric in the song relates to the fall in Toronto, metaphorically and literally. “All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey.”

Yes, those Leafs are experiencing some grey skys and are watching a middle-aged team grow old, just as leaves go brown in the fall.

Leafs fans were rejoicing in the summer. They finally had a starting goaltender in Vesa Toskala. Nothing could go wrong there. If Toskala were to fail, former Calder winner Andrew Raycroft was waiting on the bench to create a goaltending controversy.

The only problem is that goaltending controversy has arrived in the worst way possible.

Instead of Paul Maurice choosing the goalie that will give him the best chance to win, he has to put in the goalie that will give him the least chance to lose. It sounds the same, it probably is the same, but it’s not the right mindset.

This controversy in goal is overshadowing the lone bright spot in the Leafs’ organization this year, is that Mats Sundin is finally living up to and surpassing expectations with 19 points amounted already.

That’s all fine and dandy, until Toskala starts a game and lets in four goals, gets pulled, and Raycroft lets in three leading to a 7-1 thrashing by the hands of the mediocre-at-best Washington Capitals.

John FergusonThe problems don’t end on the ice, though. General Manager John Ferguson Jr. knows that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment isn’t going to offer him an extension. So what kind of a reason does that give to improve the team?

Although he was basically a lame duck GM in the off season anyways.

So this brings the question of whether the Leafs should keep trying to be mediocre and make the playoffs or rebuild?

They can make the playoffs, where they will have an early exit because it’s obvious this isn’t a championship calibre team, or they can miss the playoffs by a few points and try and get better in the summer.

But what the Pittsburgh Penguins proved to be the perfect plan on a few occasions, is that if you’re going to miss the playoffs, miss them in last place. Unload at the deadline, pick up draft picks, keep your own high draft pick, and build your team through young players.

Either that or they keep California Dreamin’ every April when the playoffs come around, and watch the real contenders from their hammocks.

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One Response

  1. […] thesportscorner Made an interesting post today on thesportscorner.wordpress.comHere’s a quick excerpt: […]

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