A full month before getting canned as head coach of the Anaheim Ducks, the guys over at Battle of Cali were already on the Fire Randy bandwagon with bad temperaments and torches ablaze. One of their biggest critiques of their former coach was his historical difficulty in starts; be they games, seasons, or even periods. There are a few fantastic money quotes in their posts, so let's give them a look
Training camps appear to be ineffective attempts to prepare Anaheim for regular season hockey....
Matt Frattin? Not good enough to make the Leafs out of camp. Tim Connolly? Sent to the Marlies in favor of 3 minutes a night Colton Orr. Cody Franson? Good enough for the NHL but not good enough to leave the press box.
...the more we get into "let's blame some depth player for not executing Randys infallible plan", the less accountable everybody on this team becomes.
Phil Kessel can't score and needs to be traded. Dion Phaneuf should be stripped of the captaincy and bought out. Nazem Kadri is a slouch. Meanwhile, Carlyle seems fit to play career AHLer Mike Kostka for 23+ minutes every game, play our 4th line for 3 minutes each, and run our best players into the ground where they end up taking all of the blame for the team's struggles.
It's this last point I want to elaborate on; Randy Carlyle has been terrible managing ice-time during the course of a game. Look at these numbers from last night's win:
Franson - 1 goal, 1 assist, +3, 13:03 TOI
Matt Frattin - 2 goals, +1, 16:10 TOI
David Steckel - 4:15 TOI
Dion Phaneuf - 27:41 TOI
Phil Kessel - 26:04 TOI
Randy Carlyle isn't playing his 'hot' players and simultaneously overplaying his best players while running them into the ground which is making them ineffective later in the game. The bright side is that that is a problem that he himself acknowledged after the game against the Rangers. Look at this chart:
Leafs Goals For and Against by Period
It seems Carlyle has completely reversed his trend of slow starts from Anaheim and instead traded it in for quick starts coupled with terrible finishes. By overplaying our top line and defensive pairing, Carlyle is running these guys out of gas early and they've got nothing left in the tank by the time the third period rolls around. Then instead of going with the hot hand of the players who've been doing well that night, Carlyle calls his favorite number yet again and puts out a tired bunch of players who can't keep pace with their fresher opponents.
In last Thursday's epic 3rd period collapse against the Islanders, the Leafs had six (6) players log over 21 minutes of icetime. The Islanders had only two (2) over 21 minutes and it showed with four (4) 3rd period goals scored against a seemingly helpless Leafs team. All of the Leafs goal scorers saw less than 16 minutes of icetime. Maybe the problem with Kessel isn't simply bad luck, maybe it's in part due to his coach running him out nearly every other shift and turning our thoroughbred into a workhorse.
Just as we called for Keith Acton to be removed from special teams duties, it may soon be time to have Randy Carlyle removed from calling line changes because if this ice-time utilization keeps up, we're not going to have a team to cheer for before too long as they'll all be too exhausted to play hockey.