Ron Wilson and his coaching staff addressing their troops.
I think it’s safe to say almost all Toronto Maple Leafs fans are extremely disappointed with their team's play thus far. The lack of intensity, grit and scoring has made it frustrating once again for Leafs fans.
Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke reassured and promised Leaf fans in the past summer that we would see a different team and better product on the ice. So far in 17 games, the Leafs sit dead last in the Northeast at 6-8-3 with 15 points, after starting the season at 4-0-0.
The Leafs' most recent play has been unacceptable. They play poorly in their own end and goaltending, as well as overall defensive and scoring abilities, have all gone south.
So the question remains, is coach Ron Wilson or Brian Burke to blame? Many people in this city are quick to jump and point the finger at Wilson.
Wilson, or what some media like to call him (the General), is known for his blunt remarks, dry sense of humour and subtle facial expressions. He has been quick to jump on his players on many occasions, calling them out and throwing them under the bus. This has clearly become a problem.
It has also been rumoured that there are a number of Leafs that don’t get along with Mr. Wilson, and it is pretty clear to see who the players may be. Ron Wilson has been notorious for commenting on the play of rookie and first round draft pick Nazem Kadri in a negative way, making comments to the effect of, “he’s not ready for this league” and questioning why he would call him up when he hasn’t even been ripping up the AHL.
Maybe Wilson is right about Kadri, but he has the best seat in the house to notice his team hasn’t been performing up to standard, and Kadri couldn’t do much worse than the bunch he’s playing with now.
The constant line juggling that Wilson is also famous for has to be as frustrating for the players as it is for the fans watching this disaster of a team.
It seems that Wilson has lost his team. The players don’t appear to be playing for him anymore, and they all seem to be just playing survivor. In Wilson's defence, who do these guys think they are? They’re professionals playing a kids game for a living. Players not showing up to play because they don’t like their coaches is unacceptable. The players have to remember Wilson and Burke are their bosses, and they’re just the employees.
Imagine waking up and saying to yourself, "when I get to work this morning I’m not going to do my job that I’m paid to do because I don’t like my supervisors or bosses." Sounds pathetic, doesn't it?
This has been a continuous trend over the past years here in Toronto, with underachieving players and coaches coming and going. The Leafs have the funds available to them, so Burke should use them. Get off your wallet Burke and make some deals that will help this franchise become a winning one once again.
I also think it’s safe to say the fans are sick of watching a team of third and fourth line players at best. Tyler Bozak is on the Leafs top line, should I say more? Burke, get Phil Kessel a top line centre to play with and let’s turn this ship around!
The bottom line is the Leafs don’t have the talent. Their lack of scoring, intensity and determination to win is just fuel to the already lit fire.
I miss the buzz and excitement that the ACC would display on a game night. So what’s going to happen? Will Wilson make it through this season, or will he be shipped out by Christmas?
Guess we will have to wait and see, but hey, aren’t Leafs fans used to waiting?