HOCKEY — 06 January 2015

Welcome to another edition of TAILGATE TALK: Panic in T.O. as Maple Leafs fire Head Coach, Randy Carlyle! That’s right folks after 4 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team has decided to move in a different direction without Carlyle at the helm. In his 4 seasons with the Leafs, Carlyle compiled a record of W91-L78-T3-OTL16 with the team. The Maple Leafs haven’t exactly been the definition of consistent under Carlyle. In fact you could say the Maple Leafs have been consistently, inconsistent, during his time as Head Coach. The team has missed the playoffs 2 of the 3 years, both in which the Leafs were in the playoff race but ultimately fell short. The single season they did make the playoffs under Carlyle, the Leafs were knocked out of the first round by the Boston Bruins in Game 7. A game in which the Leafs were ahead 4-1 with 14 minutes left in the game. Need less to say the heartbreak of that game still lingers in the hearts of Maple Leafs fans everywhere.

Bruins comeback win against the Leafs in Game 7

 

 

The Maple Leafs are currently 21-16-3 and fighting for the second Wild Card spot in the East. The team has looked good in stretches and displayed a dominance that Leafs fans have been looking for since 1967. The problem though has been consistency as the Leafs have also looked like the worst team in the NHL and have driven Maple Leafs fans absolutely insane … and rightfully so. General Manager, Dave Nonis is just as frustrated as the fans, as he said “It’s been too much of a roller-coaster,” and that “It’s not that (players are) not capable because they are. It’s not that they haven’t done it because they have. That’s probably the biggest reason, or one of the biggest reasons, for the change today.” Assistant coaches Peter Horachek and Steve Spott will take on the Head Coaching duties for the upcoming game against the Washington Capitals.

Alexander Ovechkin Highlights

 

 

The debate lays within whether this is the right time for a change or not. I mean, the Leafs are in position to make the playoffs and have played well enough to make you believe they can. So a sudden change like this could be a catalyst for failure and almost seems like they’re calling it in with this move. Also, if your going to fire him, why not wait until the end of the season and at least give him the rest of this season to show you why you kept him at the end of last season when they finished the season by losing 12 of their last 14 games and ultimately falling short of the playoffs. I would think the way they finished last season would be more deserving of firing than this season. So why not at least let him play it out and give your team a shot at the playoffs.

Leafs lift Cup in 1967

 

 

The other side is that this could be the catalyst to get the team to the layoffs and bring some much needed consistency to the team. I can appreciate your thinking behind that explanation but it seems a little far fetched to me. I’m no Hockey historian but I haven’t seen too many teams in sports who have let their coaches go and continued to the playoffs. It just doesn’t seem like a recipe for success to bring in something inconsistent to what they’ve been doing to create consistency. The logic just doesn’t seem right to me.

Leafs fans reactions to losing Game 7

 

 

Regardless though, this just leaves me feeling for the fans of the Maple Leafs as it seems they’e been rebuilding since 1967. Many of the current fans don’t even realize that the last time their team won the Stanley Cup, there were only 6 teams in the league (that’s legit, look it up!). So to you Toronto fans out there, hold your head up and shake it off. You’ve got nothing but respect from this guy, you are TRULY dedicated! That’s it for this edition of TAILGATE TALK: Panic in T.O. as Maple Leafs fire Head Coach, Randy Carlyle. Comment below and click the LIKE button with your thoughts or Tweet me @D_ScHramER34 with the #TAILGATETALK. I’ll see you at the Tailgate!

 

 

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Hey I'm Don, a HUGE Detroit sports fan living in Toronto. I work for the Toronto Blue Jays, MLSE and Elite Sports Tours! Follow me on Twitter @D_ScHramER34

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