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Leafs: Right coach, wrong players


Guest hf101
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Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle, who must be wondering what the hell he got himself into, said his team lacks confidence — which is a major reason why they’ve won only three of the 10 games he’s coached.

But if you look at the Leafs’ last two games — an 8-0 fiasco in Boston on Monday night and a disappointing 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday — it seems that a lack of drive is a much bigger problem. It’s almost like they’re giving Carlyle and general manager Brian Burke, the big f... you.

How else do you explain the fact the Leafs managed only 14 shots against a mediocre Islanders team at the ACC. Please don’t tell me it’s because the players are concentrating on back-checking. Coaches like Carlyle will tell you that playing responsible hockey in three zones shouldn’t take away from your attack (very much). Carlyle wants his teams to play a rough, tough, three-zone brand of hockey with an emphasis on defence. That’s great. But this Leafs team — guys like Tim Connolly, Tyler Bozak, Matthew Lombardi, Phil Kessel, etcetera — just aren’t wired to play that way. It’s like ballerinas being asked to brawl.

Some of the players look like they just don’t want to play for Carlyle. Perhaps some of them realize they won’t be back next season. The bottom line is, Burke is going to have to make major changes throughout this lineup if he expects his team to perform well under a coach like Carlyle. If Burke doesn’t acquire some truculence and belligerence, the coaching change will prove to be a disaster. As for leadership, everyone seems to be dumping on captain Dion Phaneuf for the Leafs’ recent woes. But I don’t see how one guy can make that much of a difference.

haha, excuses excuses

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The game the other night against Boston was pitiful. If I was Carlyle, the top line would have played less than 4 minutes for the 2nd and 3rd period. ALL OF THEM. I have seen beer league teams that would have played the Bruins with more heart than the Leafs did. If I was a leaf fan ticket holder, I would be sitting at the next game with a bag over my head........i guess that knowing the make up of most leaf fans it should be a plastic bag too......

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Burke should be fired. he won't be, but he should. When he came in, he bragged they wouldn't have to rebuild. The team is worse than it was then. He bragged they would play with "truculence" and "testosterone". They scare noone. He promised no more trading valuable picks away, then gave up 3 of them for Phil Kessel. He's saddled the team with some of the worst contracts in the league...Phaneuf at $6.5? Komisarek at $4.5? Schenn at $3.6. Connelly at almost $5. Armstrong, who's been hurt almost the entire time he's been there making $3. Kessel isn't the worst at $5.4 and IS skilled, but he won't win you anything with his game. Burke cares more about having his face on tv or his voice on the radio than running the team.

I think Carlyle is a decent coach whose been given one lameass team to work with. The decision was his and he'll have to live with it. But the players are all on Burke.

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