The last two months of the season have been incredibly tough for the Maple Leafs. A hope-filled October has given way to nightmare-filled November, December, and now January. Things are not looking well and friend of the blog James Mirtle has had a couple of scathing yet fair stories about the troubles in Leafsland:
If it wasn’t before now, it’s clear the Toronto Maple Leafs have a problem behind the bench....This is a bad hockey team playing very bad hockey right now, a group being made worse by the some of the bizarre decisions made by head coach Randy Carlyle night after night....Smaller, offence-first defencemen like Gardiner and John-Michael Liles have been benched....Enforcers are dressed every night....ad useful player after useful player has been ostracized and pushed out under Carlyle’s watch.
The more troubling talk out of MLSE of late is what they think of the Leafs recent play. Since a 10-4 October, Toronto has really struggled, posting a 12-16-5 record thanks to a run of seven shootout wins in that span.
That's only a 72-point pace over 82 games, which is good for a lottery pick, but it's the way they've put up that record that has been so ugly - with several recent blowouts against weak Eastern teams - that has raised several red flags.
The Leafs have been outscored by an average of 3.24 to 2.21 a game since the end of October and outshot by an average of nine shots a night, a span of 11 weeks of futility in a 25-week season.
Two things now seem certain: Mirtle isn't getting a Christmas card this year from the Carlyles and it's only a matter of time before the Leafs introduce the 38th head coach in team history. So the question becomes when will it happen? Well rather than me just telling you my guess, I'm letting you tell me yours. Follow the link below and take your best guest as to when Randy Carlyle gets the boot.