I was driving to my soccer game, listening to the Dennis Beyak and Jim Ralph call the game, when the Oilers scored their second goal. The troubling aspect was that they immediately noted how the team's heads fell and that they did not comfort poor Jonas Gustavsson as he headed towards the bench. Two weeks ago it looked like Ron Wilson was headed towards the exit and the players responded with three wins in four games. I do not predict a similar outcome.
Brian Burke, speaking about last year and the Phaneuf and Giguere trades, noted that it took so long because he was stunned that this was the first team he was not able to shame into playing better. The progress that this team seemed to have made after those trades is a distant memory. The debate about Burke's moves, for me, boil bown to the fact that his short-term moves are killing his long-term ones. I'll try to flesh that out over the weekend but for every are where we can find improvement, whether individual players or systems, there are just as many areas where there is equivalent (or greater) regression or continued struggles. Regardless of where you stand on the myriad of moves that Burke has made, the reality is that if there were a silver lining of a top draft pick the mood would be different. Instead, it's toxic:
Toronto then folded in the third, and after several rounds of boos for the home side, the crowd turned its attention to the coach, with a fair portion of the Air Canada Centre engaging in the first "Fire Wilson" chant of his two-plus year tenure in Toronto.
The players gave James lots of great quotes about the fans being there for them and being entitled to boo and how they are failing the fans. It's funny that the old saying is "actions speak louder than words" because in this case it seems to be the complete opposite. The players seem to have quit on Wilson. Chemmy and I were guessing on the total score for the Leafs' next four games against Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. He said 20-2. I thought 22-2. If we're close to correct then considering how tight the trade market has become then we'll have a clear answer to that question.