The Toronto Maple Leafs are counting on a coaching change to get them out of a tailspin and back on course for the NHL playoffs.

Randy Carlyle, who replaces the fired Ron Wilson, will try to get them there.

“I sense the club is very tense,” Carlyle said at a news conference in the home of the arch-rival Montreal Canadiens, against whom he was to coach his first game for Toronto on Saturday night.

“The confidence level is at a low. My responsibility as head coach is to pick these guys up. To get them feeling better about themselves.”

Carlyle, 56, who coached the Anaheim Ducks to a Stanley Cup in 2007, takes over a team that has dropped out of playoff position in the NHL Eastern Conference with a 29-28-7 record. Carlyle was fired by Anaheim on Nov. 30 in his seventh season with the Ducks.

The Leafs were 1-9-1 in their last 11 games when Wilson, general manager Brian Burke’s long-time friend and former college roommate, was fired on Friday night.

Fans chanted “Fire Wilson” during a loss to the Florida Panthers at the end of a homestand this week and Burke said it would be “cruel and unusual punishment to make Ron coach another game at the Air Canada Centre.”


  1. mapleleafsfan says:

    Yea but even if it's not all the way to the deadline. Say come January there's a team like LA that seems to have all the tools but can't put the puck in the net. They may take a gamble on a creative underachiever like Connolly (for about half his salary then).. 

    But yea, that's a big gamble and I agree thinking about it, Connolly isn't exactly the type of player playoff teams drool over at the deadline. 
  2. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I feel like…Kadri wouldn't for some apparent reason.

    Ashton yes.

  3. MystifoLeafs says:

    Well I was not getting at he is going to become our number 1 center, put up PPG in his rookie season… Rather just saying he seems he is going to be given a great shot in a system like Carlye's

  4. dumbassdoorman says:

    I actually, think Carlyle will give kadri a chance, he likes skill on his skill lines and the kid has skill to spare, plus between him and eakins i think he will smarten up.

  5. dumbassdoorman says:

    I don't think burke will be affraid to bury anyone if he has, his job is now officially on the line. players and coach have changed, he has to save his own ass and money not an issue

  6. 93killer93 says:

    It definitely won't be easy but i think a team like Dallas, depending on who they resign/sign, might look at a guy like Connolly who they could get for cheap, help them compete for a playoff spot and is on a 1 year deal.  I think the key would be the team needing him to get over the cap floor.  

  7. dumbassdoorman says:

    Clb. might be another, not saying as part of Nash, but more if they trade him he can definately play top minutes for them.

  8. TimTheBone says:

    Oh believe me I'm not trying to put Desharnais on a pedastal… I expected your reaction… actually i expected it from alot more people not just you…

    Bold?… yes very… but you also have to realize that Desharnais is only 25 and in his first full NHL season… Once he becomes more used to playign in the NHL and gains that experience, he could progress much more… desharnais in his first full season is scoring at about a .77 PPG rate… that projects to about 66 points in an 82 game season…. not bad for the last place team in the conference and youre first full season…. Marty only achieved that kind of rate in his third full season as about a 30 year old…  at the same time in Marty's career if someone would have predicted 90+ points they'd have the same reaction to that as you did here…. "no way"…..

    now this all isn't to say that he will or will not for sure be "elite" or a 90 point guy… and even marty isn't a consistent 90 point guy.. the past two seasons he's been there and twice before that… But my point is you can't say with any certainty that Desharnais can't reach that potential…. likewise i can't say the opposite with any certainty either…. but again my point is that while He may never fulfill that potential… the potential is definitely there… thats something that's undeniable….

    fun little thing here…. if you pro rate Desharnais stats relative to the difference between linemate total with Marty…. Desharnias comes close…. You figure stamkos has 30 mroe points than Pacioretty… let's say Desharnais factors in on half of those 30… the 15 brings his PPG to 1.00 exactly….. right on par with Marty this season….. So you see linemates CAN and DO make a difference

  9. TimTheBone says:

    I think that if Galchenyuk falls to 8-10 and you land that pick …. Galchenyuk and Colborne as a 1-2 punch could look pretty good in 3-4 years…

  10. dumbassdoorman says:

    I don't think we are that lucky lol, I would love to draft top 5, he could go before that who really knows right? Depends on if someone is willing to bite the preverbial bullet.

  11. mapleleafsfan says:

    That's fair. But I also think Marty is a huge reason for Stamkos and Vinny's success. Don't get me wrong, Stamkos would definitely still light it up, but the guys on pace for like what, 60 something goals? I really feel Marty takes him from a 45-50 goal scorer he'd probably be alone to that whole next level.. 

    That said I do have to admit I didn't realize quite how old St louis was when he fully broke out, so yea it is premature for me to say Desharnais can't keep developing.. I would honestly be shocked, as I really feel St louis is something special. But I'll definitely admit I didn't look at the whole picture and I could very well be wrong in the long run.
  12. mapleleafsfan says:

    Oh the things I would do for that team… Gotta have a GTA coach too though.. I think Boudreau is from toronto.

  13. LeafsFTW17 says:

    I was lurking hockeysfuture and noticed that they had Jussi Rynnas at an 8.0… That's pretty high, is he supposed to be a great goalie or is that site bs? 
    I always thought of him being like the 5th best in the system right now, will he become a true starter like it says?

  14. mapleleafsfan says:

    I think a lot of it is sort of bs… Apparently some of the "scouts" are just people who blog a lot etc… Don't know for sure though, just what I've read in the past.

    Still the rating is 8.0 D, so unlikely to reach potential… I think his potential is rated so high because he is pretty athletic and very big. He's like 6'6 or something but has good agility too.. Got the tools to be a good goalie, I guess it just depends how his positional play, game sense and composure develop. 
    It is interesting why he's so high though.. Bishop who's even bigger than Rynnas was rated a 7.0C, which I guess is probably a bit worse (more likely to hit potential, but lower ceiling).. Bishops shown good progression though. 
    Owuya's actually got the best numbers of the marlies goalies this season.. Only played 17 games but has a really solid Save %. 
  15. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    LOL.  That's hilarious!!!  

  16. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    It's possible guys. I haven't seen anything from Connolly that would make anyone want him. Although, it's not like Wilson really gave him a real shot at top Centre. Who knows, maybe under Carlisle, he will find his game.

  17. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I think its becaus Rynnas has all the potential to be a very good goalie, but is he going to reach that point? Probably doubtful.

  18. reinjosh says:

    To be fair, the extension came at a time when the Leafs were like top 5 in the East.

  19. reinjosh says:

    Ok seriously, I want to know where this idea of him being a problem came from. Because it's not true at all.

    And I think Carlyle will try and get him to play a little more of the game that made him successful in the OHL, specifically get him to use his emotion and play on the edge (but teaching him how to see the line and not cross it).
  20. reinjosh says:

    Yeah I wish we could get that lucky lol. 

  21. dumbassdoorman says:

    I always thought the extention came too early. I think no matter if you don't like a coach in a lame duck situation or not, you have to wait as he made his bed so to speak.

  22. dumbassdoorman says:

    @TSNBobMcKenzie reports Grabo signs ext 5yrs @5.5 per, LN(! is gonna lose his sh!t….lol. However that being said it is a million more per then I thought he would get, but probably less than the open market would have paid. He is a Carlyle type player, IMO. I am not sad with the signing, more cap hit then I would have liked, but there is nobody out there UFA wise to replace him.

  23. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Totally agree with DA. Burke had a coach who has missed the playoffs 3 years in a row. He is approx 5th in the East half way through his fourth year…not the time for an extension. Make the playoffs, then we talk extension IMO.
    Wilson was fired from SJ for not performing in the playoffs, when the pressure is on and the team was expected to do well. He failed again here when the pressure was on and the team was expected to be good enough to make the playoffs.

  24. KingCanada says:

    Of the hundreds, maybe thousands of prospects on that site..u guys really think its kept up to date?? haha common guys..

    He was just like the Monster, the best un-signed goalie playing in Europe with big size.  At the time he was kind of hit or miss.  Big frame but dono if he will adapt to north american game.  Prolly why he is listed as an 8.0 but it comes with a "D" meaning it could go one way or another.  "A" being sure thing, "D" being hit or miss.

    Its not that the website is BS, just think of how hard it is to predict exactly a prospects value and future.  Most of that cant be predicted exactly to a science.  Not to mention its probably only updated once a year.

  25. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Read that as well.

    I would like to see Carlisle experiment a little with the lines to see what other chemistries could be built. this way we would know a little more of whats needed in the off-season. Say the top line propsed develops some chemistry over the next 10-15 games…may change what we look for.

    I would like to try, just to see.

    Lupul Grabovski Kessel
    MacArthur Bozak Frattin
    Armstrong Connolly Kulimen
    Brown Steckel Rosehill
    ex. Lombardi/Crabb

    Phaneuf Schenn
    Liles Gunnarsson
    Gardiner Franson
    Ex Komisarek

    Reimer Gustavsson

    In the off season either move/buyout/bury in minors whatever can be done with Connolly and makes sense with new cap. Same with Lombardi.

    Let Frattin, Colborne and Kadri fight for a spot or two on the roster.

    Sign one of Lagenbrunner, Moen, Thornton or third line type and hopefully Kulimen can regain his scoring touch. Get a solid veteran back-up that wont cost alot. I still like Harding. A few minor moves could be made or through the season. We would still lack a big winger to play in top six though.

    Next year could be…"next year" I'm getting tired of that.LOL

    Lupul Grabo Kessel
    MacArthur Colborne? Kulimen/Frattin? 
    Armstrong Bozak Frattin/Lagenbrunner?
    Brown Steckel Rosehill

    Defence stays the same

    Reimer Harding

  26. TimTheBone says:

    I HIGHLY doubt you'll be getting a top 5 pick.. sorry to tell ya… i think T.O plays themselves into the playoffs….. that being said….

    I don't think Gal gets taken before #5,…. Yakupov, Grigorenko, Murray, Fprsberg and Dumba all go before Gal…. and then i Think he even drops further….. So its really possible

  27. TimTheBone says:

    Exactly I mean predicting someones future accomplishments and development is rather impossible…. you can have your opinions thats fair but in this case I think i can see potential in Desharnais to be at that next level… whether or not he ever reaches it is a whole other thing

  28. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Grabo and Kessel have never worked well together in games? Well, from the ones I watched.

    I hate them together, and doubt it will happen.

  29. mojo19 says:

    Loss to Boston tonight. Couple tough games coming up, real good chance to take that next step towards the bottom of the standings. 

    Personally, I would feel bad for him, but I'd throw Reimer in one of the up coming games. It can't be good for these 2 poor guys to just keep getting lit up, so they might as well share the load.
  30. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Style wise they should work well. I agree that they haven't looked great together in the few times it's been tried. Part of that comes from how well Grabo-MacA-Kuli played together, so Wilson wouldn't break that line up very often.
    Now is the time to experiment though IMO…what have we got to lose? Carlisle was using Grabo with Kessel a fair amount last night and they didn't look too bad. I would like to see if that can develop.

  31. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    My guess is that Reimer will play tonight. Carlisle wants to win of course, but he also must be in evaluation mode, right? Plus this is a back to back games situation. Makes sense to use both goalies relatively evenly unless one stands on his head.

  32. Steven_Leafs says:

    Reimer pretty much has to play tonight, Gustavsson got lit up and it is game 2 of a back-to-back.

  33. dumbassdoorman says:

    Looks like we will get to see Carter Ashton tonight. Jonas Siegel, tweeted that he was on the same flight to Pitt. I believe with the injuries suffered this counts as an emergency call up not the last after deadline call up. Wonder if he take Lupuls spot on the top line?

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