The Reality of NHL Coaches Outside Leaf Nation

If we look back at the recent coaching changes in the NHL, it offers an inside look at how teams approach things, especially when things were at their worst.

In San Jose, the Sharks improved for 4 straight years under Darryl Sutter but then started to slide and though successful, he was quickly ushered out of Sillicon Valley. He was an excellent coach and still is now with the Flames. He made the playoffs and got close but close did not buy him another full year behind the bench.

In Dallas, like the Sharks, the Stars found success and even went as far as winning the cup and appearing in the finals the following year. It set high standards there and as a result, when they started to fade, out the door went Ken Hitch*****. He was even let go right before the Olympics in ’02 despite being a top assistant for Canada. He too is a very successful coach nowadays. He is firmly implanted behind the Flyers bench. But talented or not, when his Stars failed to produce, he wasnt kept because of past performance.

In Phoenix, Bob Francis won coach of the year but all that bought him was a ticket out of town the following year. Once you reached a level of success, if it cannot be maintained, then changes needed to be made. Wayne Gretzky is known for being impatient and when his standards of excellence were not met, he pulled the trigger despite Francis past record.

In Detroit, Dave Lewis was a loyal team guy who bided his time and received his chance to be head coach when Scotty Bowman retired. He won a presidents trophy and had back to back 100 point seasons. The result for him was getting replaced behind the bench. The Wings have set a standard for playoff excellence and when that wasnt met, the coach took the fall.

In Philadelphia, the Flyers have been a top team since 1997. However they have had behind the bench the likes of Terry Murray, Roger Nielson, Craig Ramsay, Bill Barber and now Ken Hitch*****. No cups meant new coaches. Barber was Bobby Clarke’s teammate, friend, just lost his wife to cancer and won coach of the year. An early playoff exit later and Clarke fired his friend. Loyalty doesnt get in the way of success in Philly.

In Ottawa, Jacques Martin was one of the main reasons why the Sens went from laughingstock to a top team. In 7 years he took the worst team in the NHL to a perennial 100 point team today. But constant playoff failure was his downfall. The Sens had about as much success as their Ontario cousins, yet immediately found a need for a new coach and direction.

In Colorado, the Avs had one of the league’s brightest and up-and-coming young coaches in Marc Crawford. He in fact helped them win a Stanley Cup. Those high standards got him fired when he failed to meet them in subsequent seasons. The same thing happened to Bob Hartley who was also a bright young coach who won a cup with the Avs. He too took the fall while the team was still a successful outfit.

The examples are endless. The Devils have won 3 cups with 3 different coaches, The Islanders finally returned to the playoffs and thanked Peter Laviolette for his trouble by firing him. The Canes reached the final and the owner fired Paul Maurice despite being very close once they started to sag. The Blues won the presidents trophy under Joel Quenneville and gave him the pink slip. The examples are endless.

However, the coaching carosel stops in Toronto as no matter what, the coach stays. In many if not all the examples above, a long losing streak, playoff failure, or a new GM has led to the in*****bent coach getting let go. Not in Leaf Nation however. Recently I have said that Leafs coach Pat Quinn was a good coach and wasnt the entire problem in Toronto. But after seeing what has happened the last 2 weeks, and especially the last game by the Leafs against Buffalo, there is no doubt in my mind that his time is up.

Last night was yet another example of poor in-game coaching, zero accountability and a confusing distribution of ice time.

In the worst of times, teams usually ride their top player and leader to get through the difficulties. But on the Leafs, it is unknown who the coach really thinks is the team’s top player. Jason Allison was the leader in ice time among forwards last night, an almost 3 minutes more than Sundin. In fact the trend has been to have equal ice time across the board as Quinn. Last night Sundin had about the same amount of ice time as 2 rookies, Alex Steen and Kyle Wellwood, their supposed 2nd line centre and not top centre in Allison and Nik Antropov and questionable player at best. In fact the most confusing stat was to see 7 forwards receive more ice time in the first period than Sundin, when the captain should be out there early to get the team off to a good start and set the tone. Sundin has struggled this year, there is no doubt about that. However he has played 2 pretty strong games in the last two and instead of feeding off that and seeing how well his captain is doing, the ice time is as usual restricted.

I would love to see the likes of Jagr, Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, Alfredsson, Thornton with set ice times and structured shifts and to see those teams roll out 4 lines regardless of the time of the game and situation. It would result in something like Jed Ortmeyer playing about 3 shifts and a couple minutes less than Jagr, or Matt Bradley getting equal ice time as Ovechkin. How much success would those teams have if they didnt live and die by their top players?

I fail to understand why those 2nd rate players and rookies warrant as much ice time as the team’s supposed top player and leader. This is especially true considering most nights those players dont show up and dont put forth the effort. We have actually seen Sundin put in that effort the last two games, but without any reward. In that Buffalo game, Jason Allison had probably one of his worst outings with several horrific givaways, missed chances and an own goal. Yet there he was sent out every other shift. Kyle Wellwood made a lazy defensive play, played too individualistic and turned the puck over regularly but he managed to play just 1 minute less than the Captain. And I dont need to say much more about Antropov who is far too lazy and undisciplined to warrant a spot even in the lineup never mind 20 minutes of ice time. And I do realize Andy Wozniewski is a rookie playing his 2nd career game. But after that one, I would be surprised if he played again. Horrible is how i define his performance. Yes he had to be used thanks to the injury to Berg, but they threw him in the fire on some key penalty killing assignments and it cost the team dearly.

Perhaps a timeout at that key moment to keep his top defenders on the ice was warranted. Instead Quinn threw out a raw rookie like he was an all-star. It only underscores the complete lack of smart in game coaching Quinn has displayed.

And here’s another example, the goal by Alex Ponikarovsky was one developed thanks to hard work and energy by the trio of Ponikarovsky, Antropov and Jeff O’Neill. It was actually one of the few shifts where I saw O’Neill inspired and playing smart. A more innovative coach would have probably noticed how well those 3 worked together and would have kept them together to keep the momentum going. In fact they played a couple of shifts together last night and did very well. But immediately, Quinn threw out his 4th unit that barely played in order to get his lines back to normal and he immediately put O’neill back with Steen and Allison for another period and a half of useless play. Things are not working, so when you see things that are, and when you are struggling, those opportunities should be jumped at.

When Pat Quinn started out, it was fine, and if he was early on in his time with the Leafs then he would definitely get the benefit of the doubt out of respect. But he has been around 8 years and they are no better now….some may say worse off now…..than before. It is time for a change when the results never improve. Unfortunately in Leaf land with it’s country club ways and it’s not what you know but who you know attitude, nobody takes the fall when they should. The accountability is not only non-existent on the ice but in the board room as well.

They finally managed to fire the GM of the basketball team which the conglomerate MLSE also owns, but only after he left the Raptors in ruins, not while he was leading the team to that fate. And because the coach is close with the owner, he automatically survived the chopping block despite a poor record. The same is happening with the Leafs, except no one takes the fall and status quo is the only solution.

To have friendships, or upcoming opportunities unrelated to the NHL dictate the status of the coach completely shows the utter ignorance of the franchise and it’s total lack of commitment to winning. In any other business whether in sport or not, when results dont happen the way they are expected to be, those running the ship take the fall. it’s that simple. They dont get to hang around 8 years and in fact be guaranteed full employment for the foreseeable future. The many examples listed above for other NHL franchises is how business is run around the world. And until the Maple Leafs remove themselves from their dillusional world of arrogance and selfishness, the results will never change.

This actually can be summed up best how the attitude is in Leaf Nation with a quote from Wade Belak

“a couple of wins and we’re back on top of the world”

That in itself is pathetic.

35 Responses to The Reality of NHL Coaches Outside Leaf Nation

  1. SensfanVone says:

    Very Thorough Post Good Read….

    I thin Quinn will stay….unfortunately….

    Hes gotta Implement a new system though….

    Just my thoughts….


  2. nordiques100 says:

    you are right on all counts.

    Martin got the sens to play D and they do that well. Murray came in and tweaked that a bit, giving that defensive system a bit of an edge to it. it’s a bit more aggressive. i hate to say trap, but more aggressive positioning than the structured trap by martin. they are even stronger now because of it (course no soft goals let in a la lalime LOL)

    but that in a nutshell is what the leafs need. something new for sure

  3. Gretzkin says:

    Often times, an Organization will panic amidst a losing streak and feel that their hand is forced to make a move.

    Be it, trade a Top player, or, Fire the Coach.

    I sometimes wonder why such dramatic measures are taken, so soon. I realize that Pro Sport is a results based business, and there is no time for failure, and if the wheel falls of the cart, you’ve got to fix it.

    Now, about Pat Quinn.

    It doesn’t surprise me that everybody is calling for his head during this 7 game losing streak.

    I believe that he is an incredible Coach, though I question some of his methods.

    I completely agree with the fact that Sundin does not receive enough ice time that his merit calls for.

    I’m not against a coach who likes to roll 4 lines. It gives everybody a chance to shine. But this Leafs team is not a team that can roll 4 lines successfully. It’s quite obvious.

    I think Quinn needs to alter his lineup a bit more often, and I believe that Sundin should be double shifted more often, and the wieght of the game. win or lose, should be placed more on his shoulders. That’s what the job of a Captain really is.

    Lead by example.

    I’m not blaming Sundin, as he’s not getting played nearly enough, and you can’t exactly place all the blame on Quinn, as he is an incredible coach, and his record speaks for itself.

    Has he lost the dressing room? No, I think not.

    I think the real problem with the Leafs is the fact that they are icing quite a lackluster team.

    John Ferguson Jr, needs to put stronger defence in front of each of his Goaltenders. Eddie is going through an individual slump at the moment, but he hasn’t played as poorly as his numbers would show.

    The Defence has been deplorable. Night in and Night out.

    The Club needs to revamp the Blue Line.

    I think they need at least 3 fresh, Identifiable Defenceman.

    I’m not too unimpressed with the forward lines. They can put the puck in the net. But they need, also to become more defensive minded as well.

    Perhaps benching forwards that don’t backcheck properly?

    The Leafs don’t seem to care enough in this slump, and just keep saying they need to play better, and things will turn themselves around with some hard play.

    Where is this hard play?

    Okay, Mats has put in some tough efforts in the last 2 games, and the rookies always play hard. But that’s it, really.

    The Toronto Maple Leafs need a major shake up, and I think seeing some fresh faces on the ice could be the solution.

    Considering, apparently a lot of players want to wear the Maple Leaf on their sweater. Perhaps showing some of these guys that dedication to a sweater and city, does not guarantee them safety, once signed.

    They need to get that door revolving in Toronto.

    Play for the fear of being traded.

    Play for your Job!

  4. Laus723 says:

    you failed to mention the panthers and them having i think 4 gm’s and around that many coaches since 2000 (lockout takes up one year of that) and it may have been more. people are already calling for martin and/or keenan’s heads.

    people don’t understand that the mindset of mediocrity takes some time to be flushed out, yet one more coach/gm in florida won’t make a difference, it hasn’t worked yet!

    in quinville’s case, i’m surprised he’s still there, especially with who they brought in in toronto. but your article was right, he’ll probably hang around for awhile! good post!

  5. 92-93 says:

    i understand the frustration you have expressed here and for the most part i agree. just to provide some counterbalance i want to respond to Damien Cox’s criticisms of the leafs today – some are similar to your points:

    “We did a lot of good things tonight,” suggested Pat Quinn last night. “We skated well.” After an 8-4 demolition at the hands of the shorthanded Buffalo Sabres that made it seven straight losses for Quinn’s squad, those words show you how standards are plummeting in the Larry Tanenbaum era.”

    Well, actually the 8-4 score was kind of misleading. the empty net goal, the unfortunate goals-off-of-skates kind of inflated the score. not to mention the fact that – once again – cox completely ignores that toronto was ALSO missing key players. the basic premise for cox is correct though – the leafs played badly last night and did a lot of things wrong.

    “The hockey team, with 24 victories against 25 defeats (three by shootout) this season, is awash in excuses and clichés and a near-total absence of player accountability, not surprising since even multiple errors or giveaways rarely result in a benching.”

    first i have to disagree with the very premise of crticizing the leafs AFTER their 7 game losing streak (and therefore relying on the 24-25 statistic) AND NOT saying anything after their win in Edmonton when they were almost 10 games above .500. – seems very skewed to the negative if you ask me. but yes – the lack of player accountability is the problem in leaf land and you do a good job in pointing that out in your ‘Coaching Change’ article.

    “Everything’s a lucky bounce or a bad officiating call or just a tough break, and no matter how many goals Ed Belfour surrenders — 28 in his last six starts with an .820 save percentage — the veteran goalie never bears any responsibility. It would appear, based on the fact the club is giving up more than five goals a game these days and is among the worst defensive teams in the NHL, that only a handful of players, if any, are listening to the instructions of the head coach. But he’s the Canadian Olympic boss, so that makes him untouchable.”

    Totally agree with cox here.

    “So it’s not the coach, according to the GM and owner, never the goalie, and everyone loves the irreplaceable captain, Mats Sundin, still stuck at 10 goals on the season with just one goal in his last 10 contests.”Mats was terrific tonight,” said Quinn of Sundin’s two-assist outing in a blowout loss.”

    Again, what’s with the anti-sundin rhetoric here??? the guy HAS PLAYED WELL even if he hasn’t put up the goals. 33 points in 36 games and he is CONSTANTLY creating opportunities for others to score and no one is putting the puck in the net!!! don’t blame MATS! his shooting percentage is low but the guy is often the only reason why the leafs are getting the scoring chances they are getting during this streak. without him this streak would be a lot more uglier.

    “The rest of the players never have to bear any responsibility, either. A team like the New Jersey Devils might change coaches and dump underachieving veterans when the results aren’t there, but not the Leafs.”

    Totally agree – the problem is that the leafs can’t simply wave Berg, Khavanov, O’Neill, Domi etc. because they have no depth. but the next point gives you an idea of how – yes – JFJ has his hands tied but it doesn’t seem like he is trying to do anything …

    “The Edmonton Oilers, a club in nearly the same position in the West as the Leafs are in the East despite a superior record, pinpointed a need and picked up two puck-moving defencemen yesterday in Jaroslav Spacek and Dick Tarnstrom.”

    Wow, do I ever agree with Cox here. i posted this yesterday: i dont understand why JFJ couldnt get Spacek from the Blackhawks considering that …

    a) the oilers gave so little in return. i know the leafs don’t have much to offer but they certainly have players on their club that the would be willing to part with that are equal or superior to Salmelinen

    b) JFJ was supposedly burning the candle at both ends looking for a D-guy. does this mean that he thinks Rivers coming to toronto is virtually a done deal?

    i know jfj doesnt want to do a ‘short-term deal’ but by acquring a depth defenceman it enables him to shop ken klee around at the deadline. right now, there is no depth on their D corps and the leafs are still very much in the hunt for a playoff spot so i don’t see shopping klee as an option. spacek’s a +8 with 24 points with the BLACKHAWKS for pete’s sake!

    “That’s how you go 39 years without a Cup, a drought the current ownership appears content to extend indefinitely as another season wastes away.”

    It just seems like there is too much hyperbole. where is the perspective here??? all of these articles are being released NOW – after a 7-game losing streak. but no one wants to note the positives from before the streak. the only explanation is that many people thought that the leafs were a cup calibre team – which is ridiculous – and are now disappointed and now they are venting their frustration. oh well, thats the way it is in toronto and the toronto media.

  6. muckies says:

    Why is everybody in Toronto so excited??? The Leafs organisation said at the beginning of the year, the team would go as far as MCABE and KABERLE could carry them.

    This is an injury thing in Leaf land. Lots of injuries to key guys. Even my Sens played bad when Alfie, Spezza and Redden went down.

    If anybody should be blamed its JFJ. He’s the guy that signed Lindros, Allsion, spent money on that useless tit Czrechosky.

    In the Raptors interview after firing Bab***** they said he wasn’t experienced, and they need somebody with experience to run the team. Why would things be different in with the LEAFS????

    Why did Richard Pettie hire a GM in Toronto that has no experience running a team?????? JFJ’s moves have been shitty, he should be the one to blame.

    Maple Leafs sports should fire Pettie, his hirings have sucked.

    The Leafs may need a change, but I say keep Quinn as your GM, and hire a coach to give the players a different look. Quinn could rebuild that team, and do it right.

    P.S. Allsion leads the team in penalty minutes, do you really want this guy wearing white and blue next year. Put him on waivers.

  7. sensin0506 says:

    I was actually thinking of telling people to go read Cox’ article, as well. He is sometimes off a little, but I thought it brought up some good points that a lot of people hadn’t really thought about in the comparison of the two MLSE teams.

  8. muckies says:

    Tradea couple of those lazy bastards and see what happens.

    The thing i don’t understand in Toronto is JFJ seemed to bring in guys that “wanted to play in Torornto.” Well who gives a shit, the guys that wanted to play there, wanted to play there becuase they played in places nobody noticed them, they want the fan, the fame, somebody to come up to them after they retire and say, “hey, nice goal”. That wasn’t happening in L.A. or Carolina.

    If O’Neill and Allsion REALLY wanted to play in Toronto, both of them would lose some weight, stop taking lazy penalties, and sweat for a full game.

    Trade those 2 turds.

  9. shapter07 says:

    I think Pat Quinn is a good coach but toronto desperatly needs a change. I completly agree with giving top players significantly more ice time becuase its just pathetic when chad kilger gets more ice time then o’neill,wellwood, and stajan

    Im thinking Pat Quinn is gonna be replaced by Paul Maurice who can implement a good defensive system.

    Im not gonna post any stupid ideas that the leafs should trade everyone and build for the future because i think they will still make the playoffs… they could win 6…lose 7 then win 5 in a row because they are that inconsistent. Eddie belfour will come around if a coaching change is made and players like sundin might get some more ice time(and maybe the top players will play on the top lines) how about when everyones healthy





    but if quinn stays lindros will be on the 4th line with wellwood.. sundin will get 15 mins a game… oneill will get 10.. kilger/domi will get 16 or 17 poni and nik will get close to 18 ….PAUL MAURICE anyone agree?

  10. shapter07 says:

    allison is not doing to bad considering how much he is making.. i wouldnt take smolinski over him…. if allison was in ottawa he would probably be a +25 with about 50 pts

  11. muckies says:

    Allsion would NEVER be in Ottawa because we take team-first players and not pre-madonnas.

    Thats the type of team we built.

    Allison couldn’t keep up with the speed of our team, he takes to many lazy penalties, and doesn’t play hard every night.

    Did you see the look Belfour gave Allsion after that puck went in off Allsions skate??? Allsion is not liked in Toronto because he is a me-first guy.

    He would never make the team in Ottawa, so to say he would be this or that is a joke.

  12. 92-93 says:

    like the line combos and i think they are the most realistic. i REALLY like Wellwood on the right side of Lindros – opens up a lot of space for Kyle.

    I don’t like O’Neill on the first line but that is what Quinn will do. I’d rather see Stajan up there – more reliable in his own end and he plays well with Steen.

    the other line-combo i’ve been playing with is the Lindros-Sundin line and keeping them together for about a month:





    [and SIT either one of O’Neill or Domi depending on who is playing crappy – not realistic i know because quinn doesn’t like to hold players accountable and would never sit domi and would never play sundin and lindros together for an extended period of time.]

  13. Tweek says:

    Good job nords as always. Watching the game with Buffalo last night frustrated me beyond belief. Sundin played his best game of the year yet Quinn only played him something like 5 minutes in the first period. Putting him on the point on the PP made so much sense but why wasnt this done earlier in the lossing streak to shake things up? It was not all coaching last night, I hate blaming goaltending in losses but I put that game squarely on Belfour. The leafs were flying in the 1st and then he lets in that Roy shot (I dont care if it deflected that shot should be saved) and then lets in that crappy Vanek goal? I like Belfour and I respect what he did with the leafs the previous two seasons but its time to give Telly more starts because Belfour’s attitude is not where it should be and his confidence is clearly shaken. I think Quinn is just about as good as gone, I dont care how many friends he has in MLSE there will come a point when the pressure from fans and media will be too great to not fire him. Maurice is Ferguson’s man and he is waiting for that job as I speak. Maurice would be the perfect new Toronto coach because he wants hard work out of his players and dosnt favour veterans (which is what this INEXPERIENCED team needs). Quinn had a good run but his style of coaching just dosn’t suit the direction the leafs are heading. Quinn needs to coach a team with a strong forecheck loaded with veterans and despite what people say about this Toronto team being old, they are dead wrong because this team is getting more green by the day especially since Berg is now injured as well. Times are tough in leafland but changes will come (although I dont think they will be the trades that everybody seemingly wants).

  14. Aetherial says:

    Pat Quinn has been one of the premiere coaches in the league for quite some time.

    I rarely point the finger at the coach when a team starts to play badly.

    Having said that, I think Pat Quinn’s strengths are in his ability to motivate and understand players. They are NOT in his ability to teach, or instill discipline or systemic play.

    Many organizations in many sports have had different coaches for different phases of the team’s development and performance.

    I, finally, have come to believe that what I see on the ice with the Leafs is an indication that perhaps this coach is no longer right for this team. The team looks lost and disorganized… and therefore, unmotivated also.

    There is no way you can convince me that the Sabres for instance are a more talented team. You also can’t convince me that they have lesser injuries right now… and yet, they are head and shoulders above the Leafs; last night, and all season long.

    I believe what Pat Quinn is trying to do is to get his whole team rolling and hope that if he gets into the playoffs there won’t be as many burnt out veterans.

    The problem is… they are not going to make the playoffs at this rate… the person who should be sitting more often is Belfour… and the two keys to Leaf team (McCabe and Kaberle) WILL be burnt out anyway; given their ridiculous amount of ice time all year.

    It is time to get rid of the wise, figurehead, motivating father-figure type of coach and bring in the teacher / systemic coach.

    By the way Nords, this was the best article I have read on this site. It was interesting, informative, well-written, and you make a very strong case.

  15. Tweek says:

    Why would you fire JFJ? Its not like he had any options going into this year. He was stuck with this roster and leafs management didnt want to shell any money to buy anybody out. He got a lot of how little he paid for and although the Polish Prince, Allison and the Big E have been duds they are all on one year contracts and we given small deals (with exception to Allison who will reach his bonuses). This guy has a gun to his head all the time, the higher ups at MLSE are the ones to blame. They wanted to make another run this year and basically put pressure on Ferguson to make sure they would field what “appeared to be” a competitive roster. Its not his fauly so dont blame him, do some research because if anybody is to blame its the board and Peddie at MLSE who dont seem to understand the current economic marketplace of the NHL.

  16. Aetherial says:

    As an addendum:

    While I think the time for Quinn to be let go is upon us.

    JFJ is also to blame. The jury is still out on him however as he really had his hands tied this past summer. I also don’t necessarily think that the D-men that Edmonton got are all that… although I will admit that the balance of the trades was good for Edmonton.

    MLSE is appallingly arrogant and ignorant.

    Ricahrd Peddie should be the FIRST person fired. Why the hell is he not accountable for horrendous performance of both the teams?

  17. muckies says:

    well if read the post it says fire Pettie.

    How can you not blame JFJ for signing the players he did? He’s the GM, isn’t he. If he gets credit for drafting Raske, he should get shit for signing Allison.

    With the money he spent on these guys about 5 million, he could of signed Anson Carter ( 1 million), Aucoin (4 million), etc etc.

    He signed O’Neill who is an underachiever, Lindros who is injury prone, Allsion who as always been known to be a bad locker room guy, and Czerchaski (who was sent to the minors by the Habs and the Isles)

    Do those moves make sense to you???????

  18. coach_bombay says:

    Toronto fans, firing a coach is good for only a couple of games of fire, after that it goes back to the same old same old.

    Look at here in montreal. Same shit, different smell!

    Toronto has big injuries to key players. It should count for something. Everyone uses Buffalo as a ruler of how teams should still be able to perform even with the injuries.

    True, heart is key, but it looks like chemistry is a big problem in TO as it is here in montreal.

    Trade first, then fire the coach. And in my opinion JF is a little out of his league. He has problems running a team, and seems to have porblems working with the cap…it seems like this guy is just a prettier face for the cameras to take in.

    Prediciton: Ferguson goes before Quinn!

  19. wheresthesoda says:

    i would love to see ortmeyers line get more ice time even strength. Those kids are great at generating chances. if they just knew how to finish, they would be amazing

  20. Gretzkin says:

    That’s the thing about T.O.

    These guys come here claiming they want to be home, but really they want the weight of the pressure of being the #1 guy with all of the expectations taken off of their shoulders.

    Then they just blend into the woodwork and become extremely lazy. Only to find out that Leaf fans and Toronto media will give them a harder time than anywhere else.

    A bit of a Catch 22 in Toronto.

    You’d think the allieviation of pressure would bring out the best in these guys, but it’s quite the opposite.

    I’m not usually into trading people because of short term failure, but the trend in Toronto needs to change, and fast.

    Trade Somebody Immediately.

  21. Mimo says:

    The bottom line is simple: The leafs have no D and Belfour is playing like he’s in a coma.

    Up front they’re not bad. Scoring goals is not the issue here. It’s the GA.

  22. intothevoid001 says:

    quinn should have followed roberts and neiuwy down to florida…

  23. intothevoid001 says:

    thats easy to compare the montreal coaching change to what could happen in toronto. on the other hand, look what it did for ottawa, they’ve been tearing the league up since murray came in. theres no doubt in my mind quinn will be the first to go. its just been too long.

  24. dcz28 says:

    The Leafs should have done what the Wings did…bring in a coach who demands effort every shift or they wont get the ice time reguardless of the name on the back of the jersey and isn’t affraid to play younger guys if they are willing to work hard even if the numbers are not the best…just look at Williams for the Wings he was always up and down from the minors and this year Bab***** has given him a bigger role with playing the point on the power play and he has responded with his best season ever

    Having a bad game or slumps will happen to every player and team during a long season but not working your butt off every game is unacceptable for guys at that level and salary…you cant expect all players on a team to score every night but effort is something that every player can give and should be given

    I think Maurice would be a better fit for this team to make them accountable and give them roles to fill as he seems to be the same type of coach as Bab***** but thats just my opinion

  25. Neely4Life says:

    JFJ is f******. The leafs media is telling him to do one thing, players and others telling him to do another. Its like someone being yelled at to move, but not being yelled at where do move to. Does he go right, left, up, or down?

    I feel bad for the guy, but thats what happens in Toronto. Does anyone really know what to do. I dont think so.

  26. toronto77 says:

    I feel sorry for belfour, he’s still a pretty awesome goalie and has played good all year, he just looks crappy cuz he gets no support infront of the net, you think hasek would be that good playing somewhere else other than ottawa,no way you would see a difference. leafs should trade belfour to a cup contending team for a high pick

    1. they dump his $6 million salary and can sign some decent players to help re-build.

    2. they could get a high draft pick

    for belfour’s sake let him play somwhere else, and let tellqvist play.if leafs trade belfour they should get a 2nd-3rd round pick, a 1st round pick i admit is too much but anything lower than 3rd is a rid off, i think a 2nd round pick is good enough and can really help our future

  27. mtrakker85 says:

    Do you really think a team would take on his salary and very sub par numbers? Even though he the Leafs don’t have a good team in front of him, I think a lot of teams will think it is his age and not the team.

  28. Neely4Life says:

    have u seen the goals he is letting in? 4 goals a game is defense, 8 goals is goaltending too.

  29. toronto77 says:

    i also forgot to mention that aki berg is a healthy scratch for the game against montreal on saturday and jay harrison has taken his spot. sportsnet just said that he will not play and they did not say why so i’m guessing it’s a healthy scratch, so the leafs are finally giving more youngsters more chances

    NOTE: darcy tucker may return to the line-up on saturday

  30. Viller02 says:

    Quinn doesn’t have the talent to have any structured system, in my opinion. People are gonna say, well look hes team canada’s coach! Yeah, maybe, but look at who his assistants are.

  31. jpmac says:

    people like Ponikarovsky amd Antropov are not quality NHlers….i wish leaf fans would fiqure that out!!!!

  32. nordiques100 says:

    berg hurt his ribs and that is why he is out

  33. nordiques100 says:

    for me with JFJ, he is no better than rob B who was fired yesterday by the raps. is it not true that he too lacks experience?

    yeah the oil didnt get anyone great, but they found 2 established dmen who are proven and gave up none of their core players. it’s not being very pro-active that way that’s the bad thing. JFJ, could have done that instead of holding on to any of the vancouver mafia good old boys like belak, nikky, pony, berg, etc.

  34. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    I hope Ivannis or Downey cleans tucker’s clock.

  35. 92-93 says:

    no, ponikorovsky is a quality nhl-er. the kid – and he is still a kid – has taken some time to develop and has learned a lot playing beside Nieuwy and Allison. he’s got good speed, a good shot and good skills all around.

    oh, and when he is not playing with these guys he’s on the PK and leading the league in goals and right behind stajan in points.

    people keep grouping antropov and poni together and i think that is a little simplistic and unfair – to both of them.

    antropov is having a better year than usual but is too injury-prone for the leafs NOT to deal him for a couple of draft picks.

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