Toronto Maple Leafs: 5 Reasons Ron Wilson's Job Is Safe
About a week ago, everyone was talking about how much the Toronto Maple Leafs have improved.
The two games that followed brought the Leafs back down to Earth. First, it was a 7-0 humbling by the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, followed by a 5-1 loss to the Florida Panthers. With that, we all can point fingers at who is doing what wrong but there aren't too many fingers pointed at one guy at the moment and that is head coach Ron Wilson.
Wilson has been at the helm of the Leafs bench since the beginning of the 2008-09 season and it doesn't look like he is leaving anytime soon.
Here are five reasons why Wilson will stay in Toronto.
He Hasn't Exactly Had a Healthy Team in Front of Him
The loss of James Reimer is huge, considering his play last season. The new number one goaltender in Toronto was taken out by Montreal captain Brian Gionta and there is no timetable for his return.
Since then, Wilson has had to rely on Jonas Gustavsson and Ben Scrivens between the pipes. Some nights, they can be fantastic, but as of late, Leaf Nation is wondering about the status of Reimer on what seems to be an hourly basis.
Combine that with the injury-prone Tim Connolly missing games, as well as a defensive unit that isn't looking as good as they should, the players have just as much to do with the team as coach Wilson.
Wilson Has Experience That Can't Be Looked Over
Wilson has proven that he can bring teams deep into the playoffs, including a Cup Finals berth in 1998 with Washington, as well as a Western Conference Final appearance in 2004.
Don't take much weight into this next fact but the last time Wilson missed the playoffs three years in a row, it was his first years as coach of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. He brought them to the second round of the playoffs in his fourth year in the 1996-97 season.
The following year, he went to the Cup Final.
It's well established that Ron Wilson and Leafs GM Brian Burke have an excellent work relationship and have been friends since their days as teammates at Providence.
Both were instrumental in the United States' silver medal at the Vancouver Olympic Games in 2010.
Quite simply, Burke has faith that Wilson will bring his team success and has already seen that there is progress in the roster.
The depth in the roster will help the team for years to come and with a coach that Burke can trust, there's no telling what can happen in the next couple years.
Despite Injuries, the Leafs Had a Great October
At the beginning of the season, Ron Wilson was on thin ice. A bad October could have spelled the departure of another Leafs coach that struggled to bring his team success.
The Leafs, however, went 7-3-1 in their first month, almost assuredly saving Wilson's job.
A start that included two big wins over division rival Montreal and a key character win over Ottawa on the first Hockey Night in Canada broadcast on October 8. Yes, when you talk character, you talk about pulling victory from the jaws of sheer destruction, especially when you give up five third period goals.
Anyway, the hot start shows that Wilson knows how to get the best out of his players early. Wish we can say the same about right now but only time can tell.
Handling the Toronto Media
There's no secret that the media in Toronto can be intimidating at times. Wilson, however, knows how to handle it.
There's not much you can say besides watching the video here on Wilson calling out Howard Berger, hockey reporter of the Fan 590.
It shows that if you're going to question Wilson, he is going to call you out in front of everyone.
What do you think? Should Wilson keep his job as head coach of the Leafs or is it time for him to step aside?