Trouble in Toronto: The Maple Leafs' Recent Struggles

Lou DiVizio@@loudivizioContributor IFebruary 29, 2012

The Toronto Maple Leafs are in a tailspin, losing eight of their last nine games and falling to 10th in the Eastern Conference standings. 

The Leafs were headed in the right direction until their recent losing streak put them four points out of the eighth and final playoff spot. At the beginning of the year I posted my playoff predictions on my blog and placed Toronto in ninth, missing the playoffs yet again. If the Leafs are to prove me wrong they will need to do it as a team and that starts at the top with management. 

“It’s very hard to watch what happened and not wonder if we have enough (in goal),” Leafs GM Brian Burke said after an overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils. “I have no answer for that. There were three goals that went in that have to stay out. Yes, he made some stellar saves around those goals, but the winning goal was going wide. I am not sure we are not going to be in the goaltending market before we are done.”

This is no way for the General Manager of “Canada’s Team” to act, and Burke of all people should know better. In a market like Toronto, Brian Burke cannot criticize his goaltenders publicly without starting an uncontrollable fan response. Already the crowds at the Air Canada Centre have shifted their hatred towards Coach Ron Wilson. Burke probably didn’t see this coming, but that’s what happens when you start a commotion in a circus like Toronto. 

That is not to absolve Wilson of any fault. Too often has Toronto’s coach blamed his players for the team’s struggles. He sends a poor message about accountability when he refuses to take at least some responsibility for his team’s problems.  

If you ask me, the Leafs will miss the playoffs if they don't get some heart and soul players back into their lineup. Colby Armstrong has been in and out with injuries and Colton Orr is toiling in the American League with the Marlies. The Leafs need a shot of adrenaline and Orr is the syringe.

The Buds are on the road tonight against the Blackhawks, a perfect place to start a turnaround. With no pressure from upset fans, the Leafs must use this game as an opportunity to get on a roll before heading back to Canada to play against Montreal on Saturday night.   

Related

    Top 5 Leafs That Could Be On the Move Now That Dubas Is In Charge

    Toronto Maple Leafs logo
    Toronto Maple Leafs

    Top 5 Leafs That Could Be On the Move Now That Dubas Is In Charge

    Jon Steitzer
    via Mapleleafsnation

    2017-18 Leafs Season in Review: Auston Matthews

    Toronto Maple Leafs logo
    Toronto Maple Leafs

    2017-18 Leafs Season in Review: Auston Matthews

    Ziggy
    via Mapleleafsnation

    Report: Oilers Expected to Hire Gulutzan, Yawney

    NHL logo
    NHL

    Report: Oilers Expected to Hire Gulutzan, Yawney

    Pro Hockey Rumors
    via Pro Hockey Rumors

    Toronto Maple Leafs Hire Laurence Gilman as Assistant General Manager

    Toronto Maple Leafs logo
    Toronto Maple Leafs

    Toronto Maple Leafs Hire Laurence Gilman as Assistant General Manager

    Dan Mount
    via Last Word on Hockey