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Why The Leafs Continue To Fail January 27, 2006

Posted by Binford in Sports.

Damian Cox of the Toronto Star gets it right when he writes about why the Leafs continue to be pretenders instead of contenders for the Stanley Cup:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

With the Leafs, however, everybody stays, nobody gets traded or bought out or banished to the minors, and nobody in a suit gets the short-leash treatment like Rob Babcock or, for that matter, Kevin O’Neill.

Full Story

I think major changes are needed if the Leafs actually want to make a serious run for the Cup this season.  Quinn needs to go or some major changes to the Leafs lineup has to happen.  Maybe even both have to occur in order for the Leafs to turn their season around.  Something has to give and if Ferguson fails to do anything to address the problems, maybe he should go too.



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