Well, as one broadcaster on Sportsnet said yesterday, ‘the 18-wheeler might be pulling out of the garage’.
With yesterday’s 6-1 drubbing from the Carolina Hurricanes, the Toronto Leafs big win in the Winter Classic seems like ages ago. The Leafs are now tied with the Hurricanes and the New York Rangers for the second wild card and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. We can longer say that other teams are catching up to the Leafs, because they’ve been caught.
The Leafs are now out of playoff spot for the first time this season because of a tie-breaker. They have been out-scored 18-5 combined in their games since the Winter Classic. The Leafs are obviously heading in the wrong direction.
So what does Leafs general manager Dave Nonis do?
Does he leave everything as it is? Hope the current team and coach fight out of the funk that they’re in right now. That would certainly be a risk and if the Leafs fail this season because Nonis did nothing, then it’s Nonis’ head on the chopping block.
Does he make a trade or two? There have been plenty of rumors, mostly surrounding young players like Nazem Kadri and Jake Gardiner. For the Leafs to trade those players, the return would have to be a very good one. Maybe that type of big shake-up is what the Leafs need right now.
Finally, does he fire the coach?
Randy Carlyle has had an easy time as Leafs coach for the most part when it comes to fans. Of course, he was only around for 18 games in the 2011-12 season and got the Leafs to the playoffs in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.
This year started off rather well so it looked like Carlyle would stay in the fan’s good graces. However, with the teams now’ three month slide, he has certainly fallen out of the fan’s good books. Could a pink slip from his boss soon follow?
This is certainly an interesting, if not disappointing, time to be a Leafs fan?