Let's not beat around the bush here; Steve Simmons is a hypocritical goldfish. He is a man without conviction or memory. Now I acknowledge that these are pretty harsh things to say about an award winning sports journalist but I believe them to be true with the type of conviction that Steve Simmons has never possessed.
If you haven't yet, read the Noon Number post that PPP put up last week. In it is a tweet from Steve Simmons earlier in the season in which he scoffs at the idea that the Leafs are a bad team because of their poor shot differential:
Good thing the Leafs don't play in the CHL. The CORSI hockey league. They're doing just fine in NHL, though.— steve simmons (@simmonssteve) October 30, 2013
The Leafs record at that time? 9-4-0 which was good enough for 18 points and first place in the Eastern Conferen. While some members of the Barilkosphere and good journalists like James Mirtle saw that the Leafs success was likely not aligned long term with their on-ice performance, Simmons went no further than the Win-Loss column in his "analysis" of the Maple Leafs. Now that the Leafs have tripled their games played total since then to 36 games and played at a 65 point pace since the beginning of November, what does Simmons have to say about the team's play?
Randy Carlyle has to coach better for the Leafs to succeed. My column. http://t.co/YHZjEs3XXg— steve simmons (@simmonssteve) December 6, 2013
More On The Leafs' Shooting Ability
More On The Leafs' Shooting Ability
Wait a minute, I thought the Leafs were succeeding under Randy Carlyle's coaching? Only 37 days prior to this column being posted, Simmons said that the Leafs were doing just fine. What happened? The truth is nothing happened. Carlyle didn't start coaching differently. His systems remain the same as before. The players didn't start playing worse. The percentages simply started to regress towards more realistic levels. The goaltending began it's descent from the heavens and pucks were no longer finding every single hole in opposing goalies. Simmons will tell you these types of things are completely unforeseeable. He of course is wrong.
The Barilkosphere has been talking about the terrible Leafs systems under Carlyle since last season. We all saw this coming. (2) (3) (4) (5) etc........ Seriously just look at nearly every single analysis post from the past year. We're lowly basement dwellers bloggers without media access to players, coaches, or management and yet we saw this coming from a mile away.
This isn't the first time that Simmons has forgotten what he once wrote and contradicted himself. As Jeffler pointed out, Simmons has flip-flopped on Grabovski as well:
Never been much of a believer in Mikhail Grabovski, but he keeps proving me wrong. The guy's got it going on. At least right now he does.— steve simmons (@simmonssteve) December 29, 2010
That's the problem RT @simmonssteve: Phaneuf wears 'C', Kessel gets the attention but you can make case that Grabovski is Leafs best player— Arpon Basu (@ArponBasu) September 28, 2011
So Grabbo is/was the Leafs' best player in the mind of Steve Simmons. What did Steve Simmons have to say immediately after Grabovski was bought out this summer?
If u ever want to doubt advanced stats in hockey, the best case is that of Grabovski. He's a lone wolf centre who doesn't make teams better— steve simmons (@simmonssteve) July 4, 2013
Dear Corsi Lovers: Mikhail Grabovski played 12:40 last night for the Capitals in a win over Columbus. Has no goals since opening night.— steve simmons (@simmonssteve) October 20, 2013
So for years Grabovski was the Leafs' best player, perhaps even captain material, and then all of a sudden after a season where he was buried by Randy Carlyle he's a lone wolf who doesn't make his team better and can't score. (BTW, Grabbo has 27pts in 32 games for Washington. That's really good.)
#84 / Center / Washington Capitals
Jan 31, 1984
|2013 - Mikhail Grabovski||32||9||18||27||6||10||2||0||0||DON'T MATTER||44||20.5|
Simmons latest display of self-contradiction starts with this MOTY nominated article:
The online statistical geniuses, who make their hockey assessments via charts and graphs, all but murdered Dave Nonis.....(when he signed Bernier, signed Clarkson, signed Bozak, signed Fraser, bought out Grabovski, let MacArthur go, and dicked around Franson and Kadri.)
What does Simmons now think of some of Nonis' moves?
Will someone please let me know when David Clarkson does something positive for the Leafs?— steve simmons (@simmonssteve) December 18, 2013
Looks like Simmons found one of those critics he was searching for earlier. Because I'm an asshole and because Steve Simmons' email is found on his Toronto Sun profile page, I decided to poke the bear and sent Steve the following email:
Thanks to an early Christmas miracle, I got a reply a few hours later:
I nearly died laughing after reading that. This man is oblivious to himself and his own writing. He is the prime example of someone who doesn't understand that the process is more important than the results when it comes to future performance and prediction. "Leafs are a good team because they have a good record." "Leafs are a bad team because they have a bad record." Thanks for that thorough analysis! As you say:
@jrhckeyfanatic If you want cheerleading for a Leaf team playing terrible hockey, turn elsewhere. If you want honest analysis, stay tuned.— steve simmons (@simmonssteve) December 18, 2013
(Now go back up to the article where he carries Nonis' water on the off-season moves. Now bang your head on your desk.)
It's hard hitting journalism like this that got Steve voted most popular columnist 10 years is a row. In reality, Steve Simmons is a total hack who lacks conviction and thought, and possesses the memory of a goldfish.
I'll let Steve wrap this up:
I love this medium - either I'm a Leaf apologist or a Leaf hater. Hey, make up your minds. You're more all over the place than Leafs defence— steve simmons (@simmonssteve) December 4, 2013
Right back atcha Steve.