Are Wilson's barbs getting to his players?

James Mirtle

To call it a new story would be misleading, so I won’t. But it’s definitely a hot topic of conversation here in Toronto, even with only five games left and even though those may be Tomas Kaberle’s last five with the Leafs.

After Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss to the Thrashers, Ron Wilson was in a bit of a foul mood and tossed a few barbs at Kaberle (and Francois Beauchemin), leading to reports today of dissent in the dressing room. (Not that that’s anything new on this or any of Wilson’s previous stops).

Here are Wilson’s comments from Tuesday:

“We’re in a nothing-nothing game and two veteran defensemen get caught pinching. They’re poor reads and that’s why we got down 2-0,” he said. “We talk about how solid our defence is and how well we’ve been playing and we still got some guys who are minus-16 or whatever they are. They’re supposed to be the guys who get the job done defensively and they haven’t improved their plus-minus over the last month when just about everybody else has.”

And it’s pretty clear who Wilson’s referring to in Kaberle (minus-16) and Beauchemin (minus-15).

I’ll get to Beauchemin a little later, but defensively, Kaberle’s had a really poor year — and Wilson’s has his eye on his plus-minus all year. Here he was back in January, talking to AM640’s Jonas Siegel:

“He’s a minus 10 or 11 (this season),” Wilson said before a game in Nashville. “That’s to me, not acceptable. Points don’t matter if the other team’s scoring all the time when you’re on the ice. He’s got to get the job done in our own end a little bit better and he’ll play more minutes.”

159 Responses to Are Wilson's barbs getting to his players?

  1. leafmeister says:

    Did you actually just use shots against as a stat is Rasks's favor? He barely faces any shots. 20 wins in 42 games is telling. Rask lets in very few goals, but that has a great deal to do with the trapping style Boston plays.

    I wonder what you would be saying if Rask had put up mediocre save % and GAA, but was putting up a great deal of wins. Hmmm…..

  2. jpmac says:

    Meanwhile Halak posted his second straight shutout against an actual cup contender.

  3. Tavares-Stamkos14 says:

    After watching last nights game against the Bruins I must say I am getting excited about our leafs. Tyler Bozak has been stellar since being called up. It was shown during the game that since Bozak was called up he leads rookies in points since that date. His speed is awesome at a couple points in the game I saw him out skate both Bruins defenceman. Also Schenn is alot more calm with the puck now as opposed to just shooting it up the boards whenever he touched it. He pulled a couple little moves around the boards. Also I love the Phaneuf/Lucic jawing that was going on. But lets get to my off season plan. Plain and simple don't do to much to change the team we need to let this team grow together.

    At The Draft:
    To Dal:Tomas Kaberle
    To Tor:Jamie Benn and 1st rounder in 2010(12th overall)

    Draft: Kirill Kabanov(I will probly get ripped on for this but I don't know i have a hunch this kid will be a very good goal scorer)

    July 1st:
    Sign Matthew Lombardi 4 years 3mil a year

    Line Up:
    1: Nikolai Kulemin / Tyler Bozak / Phil Kessel
    2: Jamie Benn / Nazem Kadri / Victor Stalberg
    3: Fredrick Sjostrom / Matthew Lombardi /Mikhail Grabovski
    4: Luca Caputi / Braydon Irwin / Colton Orr

    1: Dion Phaneuf / Francois Beauchemin
    2: Luke Schenn / Mike Komisarek
    3: Carl Gunnarsson / Keith Aulie

    1: Jonas Gustavsson
    2: Jean Sebastien Giguere

    What makes a good team is of course talent which we do have as well as talent that is developing but the big thing we have going is chemistry which we need to keep building on.

  4. leafy says:

    More mood swings by Damien Cox.

    In one article, after beating New York 3-2 in OT, Cox writes about how the Leafs are close to being a playoff team next year.

    Then a few days later, after a 2-1 OT loss to Boston, Cox tells us the Leafs are not ready to compete.

    Journalism like this is what makes coaches like Tortorella and Wilson act like paranoid as$holes at press conferences.

  5. cam7777 says:

    careful now, it sounds to me like you're using logic here.  bbruins can't follow logic.  

    this is the same as kaberle's plus minus.  the whole team had a terrible stretch where kaberle came out of it as a minus 12.  He's a minus 15 now,  meaning that for the 64 games since then, he's been only a minus 3 (which is respectable for the risky job he performs – Gonchar, by comparison, is a minus 6, and plays for the Cup Champs, while Niedermayer, one of the best of all time, is a minus 12).

    but don't worry, bbruins will spend all afternoon trying to twist this logic into some absurd analysis about how kaberle is actually worthelss, and schenn is garbage.  if they were bruins, they would be among the greatest players in the history of the game, however.

  6. mojo19 says:

    Oh ya I forgot. We should resign Exelby and move Kaberle for Mueller. lol

  7. LeafsLegacy says:

    can you back up the minus 3 in last 64 games with some sort reliable source?

  8. mojo19 says:

    just google "tomas kaberle game by game log" and then a yahoo page will pop up and you can see for yourself.

  9. cam7777 says:

    yea, it's called the stat sheets.

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