|This is what he does for us too!|
The Maple Leafs have completed one of the most dreadful months in recent memory, of course it came on leap year making our agony just that much longer. February started out so promising, our perceived #1 net-minder James Reimer had two straight shutouts to begin the month, followed by a high scoring game against Edmonton. What a way to start February, with three straight wins under our belts nothing could go wrong.
After the Maple Leafs beat the Edmonton Oilers they had a 90.05% chance at making the playoffs according to Sports Club Stats.com. That's a big number, and one that would be pretty hard to mess up right? Wrong. They have been in a free fall ever since going 1-9-1 in the next 11 games. Our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs are now sporting a 11.1% chance of making the playoffs.
This abysmal 11 games now has Ron Wilson's coaching position being re-evaluated (hopefully). This utter collapse can't all be his fault as the only player who brings every hockey cliche to the table every night is Mike Brown (he brings the compete, gives it 110%, buckles down and gets into the dirty areas). To Wilson's credit the Penalty Kill has improved, yet it still sits second last in the NHL. Two months of really, really good penalty killing was only able to raise them one spot out of the basement.
Talking heads seem to think that ex Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle and Dallas Eakins are the front runners for the big job next year. I wonder how Leaf fans feel about bringing in another of Burke's ex co-workers? I'm not so sure I could handle another contract extension handed to a friend who has only seen failure with this club.
Luke Schenn has been one of the more vocal Leafs the past couple days, he stepped up in-between periods and took total responsibility for his horrible gaffe that lead to the opening goal against Florida Tuesday night. Something that I would like to see more of, from coaches and players a like. He also had this to say about Wednesday nights performance:
“We've been talking about how bad our starts have been, and we got the start we wanted, and then let them back into it,” Maple Leafs defenseman Luke Schenn said. “A couple goals there that we shouldn't give up, not blaming the goalie, just everyone in general. When you get a lead you've got to clamp down.”
You can't blame him for not being very insightful, as he is a hockey player, but this is the past 11 games in a nutshell. They have been giving up "a couple (garbage) goals" every game, whether it's because Komisarek is trying to hip check a guy at our blue line, completely missing him and leaving him open for a breakaway or Gustavsson just saying "I don't want to play hockey anymore*" and deflecting an over-time winner into his own net.
Pension Plan Puppets, a site that I go to on a hourly basis, is turning into a war zone. Tempers are at an all time high. Chemmy, a Chief Blogging Officer on the site had this to say about last nights game:
Once again the Leafs were outgoaled. So the team sucks, even though they almost beat another sucky team. That doesn't mean we suck. We're pretty cool I think. We broke the blog a few times and we're top notch at dick and fart jokes. This won't hold us back Marlies fans, no sir.Chemmy makes a great point, the Toronto Marlies (the Maple Leafs AHL affiliate for those of you living under a rock) are second in the Western Conference and leading their division by nine (9) points. They are heading to the playoffs (unless of course you send the whole Maple Leafs roster, they would be sure to screw it up) and we should all go out and support our prospects and grizzled AHL vets that are putting the Toronto name to good use.
Hopefully you enjoyed February because March is going to be a delight.
*may or may not have thought this