While in Dallas, the Leafs' escaped the fishbowl of media coverage and Maurice took the opportunity to question the fans' ability to multi-task:
"It's (being Leafs coach) the best job in the world, by far. I do enjoy the pressure. I can't imagine now, coaching in the NHL and not coaching in Toronto. It's a market where everyone is so passionate and so opinionated. ... Everyone can do their job for nine hours a day, and then do yours (coach's job) on the side.
Paul, I don't think I can do your job better than you. I do know that I could do Larry Tanenbaum and Richard Peddie's job better than them. I suspect that I could do JFJ's job better than him. I would guess that that is true of most Leaf fans that I know. What I have never thought is that I could coach better than anyone in the professional ranks. However, when you constantly stick your lines in the blender and you insist on playing Herpes then you make me re-consider my position.
All three goals last night arose from the problems that those above tendencies create. The Ribeiro goal came because Kaberle expected Kronwall to rotate over to cover the Stars player as he came around the net. Lack of familiarity caused that one.
The second goal came because Herpes is an idiot that thinks that a 3 foot pass to a teammate that is giving him about a dozen "NOT TO ME!" signals is a good idea. Yet, with Stralman and Harrison, two younger and better (to varying degrees) defencemen chewing up big minutes on a juggernaut Marlies squad, you persist in the belief that Wozniewski is anything other than an AHL depth defenceman.
The third goal came because your team has stopped hitting. With Kilger out of the lineup Bell is the only one interested in hitting. A handful of players use their size to their advantage but they do not hit as much as they should. If one of the three Leafs standing around Jeff Halpern had dumped him on his ass the Leafs could have turned up ice and still had a chance to tie the game.
A friend of mine has been calling the Leafs soft for a while now and it's hard to argue with that anymore. Last night, saw McCabe's second fight since the lockout and a rare appearance of the old Leafs' mentality of 'If you can't beat them on the ice, beat them in the alley' that got them past more skilled senators teams and helped make the Leafs' the second most successful franchise during Conn Smythe's reign. I am not suggesting that they play dirty Flyers-type hockey but let the opposition know that they played a game.
And how come the Leafs can only score goals or stop them but never both at the same time? Is there no way to balance it out so that maybe a line or two is a little more focused on offence instead of having all four lines trap themselves out of the game.
As for the SPG results, last night they were: Shot - McCabe, Penalty - Blake, and Goal - Ponikarovsky. If you saw a player of the game then make the case but it looked like uniform mediocrity to me.