I have started my own personal sit-in for the Maple Leafs playing woes. Just before the season started I decided to stop shaving. I thought that I would stop shaving until the Maple Leafs got their first Regulation win of the season. After the Montreal season opener I thought one game might be a little silly as they could have fluked out a win that night and raised my games-won to 10. After last night's debacle, the Leafs are a paltry 0-4-1 and look to have another slapdown coming this evening from the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs are 3-1-1 on solid goaltending(?) and bring in a cast of under-rated muckers and scorers. The long and short of my sit-in/beard-growing is that I was being a little cup-half-full for a change and thought that there was no way I would be unshorn into December. Right now I have a 2 week beard that my wife is finally used to. The unfortunate part is that I haven't given the hair a cut in the same amount of time and I am stating to look like Dr. Phil.
Last year the Leafs iced a team that at least entertained and tried like hell until the final horn. The year's Leafs look lost, like "the system" has somehow eluded them. Are there any quick fixes to Burke's allusion to the post-season? A few, really. How about working on penalty killing, for one? Ron Wilson joking about icing the puck is the first time I thought, "You know that you're actually making fun of your staff and not the players, right?". And the endless debate on whether there is a problem with Vesa Toskala(there is) isn't helping the fact that the forwards don't backcheck deep enough into there own end. We are having the same problem as last year of turning the puck over 6 feet inside our own blueline when trying to get it out.......5 on 5. For all the changes to personnel, the system is still either not being adhered to or the system doesn't work. Team defense is not a concept that is being embraced in Toronto. Half-fullers will tell you that the team (mostly the defense) needs more time to "gel". Are you kidding me? October is the month as the Leafs have a few times with 5 days between games. Bag skates are something my Midget coach did when we sucked. Mostly because in 1986 there was no such thing as a "system" in minor hockey. When you have guys making millions to play a game, do you really think that a bag skate is going to "wake them up"? Hopefully being down after tonight until a Saturday rematch against the Rangers, they can work on the defensive play that has made Toskala look so horrid.
In the meantime (and in-between time) are there any bloggers willing to join me in my Beard Protest? I didn't have the presence of mind to take a picture, but I will later tonight and put it up with this post. Is anyone out there good with Photoshop? I was thinking of using whatever pic I get up as a new banner(or at least an avatar).