This season is finally over and after a lot of promise and hope, the Maple Leafs collapse, which saw them go 7-18-4 from February 6th at the time they sat in 6th place in the Eastern Conference and dropped all the way down to 13th by the time the season ended, with the fifth worst record in hockey. What the hell happened?
We can point fingers at everyone in the organization from ownership to management to the coaching staff to the players themselves. The Leafs for the first time since the lockout actually posted their worst record after the all star game, the big difference is that for once the club was actually on the inside looking out at the time of the break.
The club made a coaching change on March 2nd from Ron Wilson to Randy Carlyle, this did little to stop the free fall. The lack of leadership was apparent on a club which is one of the youngest in the NHL. The captain himself did not seem to have a grip on the club and with a lack of veteran lieutenants that Phaneuf could fall back on the free fall never stopped.
Lack of Veteran Leadership Article from January 4, 2012
The management with Brian Burke at the helm, talked a good game the results were no where to be found. Burke's truculence failed to materialize and with new coach Carlyle at the helm expect anywhere between 6 to 10 player changes for next season. Burke's build from the net out with two young goalies was a complete failure. Reimer was never the same after his concussion and Gustavsson dropped the ball almost every chance he got to show he was a goalie the club could count on.
Reimer will be back, Gustavsson will be like "Bigfoot", you heard of him but you wont see him after this season, possibly not anywhere in the NHL. Burke's building of the defense was a hit and miss all season. Phaneuf was no where to be seen when they going got tough. Liles like Reimer was never the same after his concussion. Schenn is reminding me of pitcher Bret Saberhagen with his one good year one bad streak. CONTINUE
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