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Columnist implores Leafs fans to stop being so mean to Ron Wilson

Feb 29, 2012, 1:49 PM EST

Image (1) ronwilson1-thumb-250x169-18922.jpg for post 15031

Yesterday wasn’t fun for Ron Wilson. The Leafs’ head coach had to watch his team lose its ninth in 10 games and drop even further out a playoff spot. And when the crowd at the ACC wasn’t busy giving the Bronx cheer to goalie James Reimer, it was chanting “Fire Wilson” as Toronto fell, 5-3, to Florida.

“It’s frustrating and understandable,” Wilson said when asked about the chant.

“Everyone is frustrated right now. We didn’t do anything at the trade deadline and we came out tentative to say the least. … we talked ad nauseam about the next 20 games (and the playoff push), and we came out like that. We didn’t help ourselves at all.”

But at least one newspaper columnist has Wilson’s back – the Toronto Star’s Cathal Kelly.

The mob is fickle, here and everywhere else. But there is nothing to be celebrated about the increasing certainty that another man is about to lose his job.

A job is a purpose. We all have a few really low points in life. If you’ve ever been terminated or made redundant or whatever the jargon is this week, that’s one of them.

… Those panting for the firing squad are saying more about themselves than about the team’s troubles. One gets the impression that in a different time and place, the same people chanting, “Fire Wilson,” would’ve been pulling harder for the lions than the Christians.

Maybe – but only if the Christians hadn’t made the playoffs in a long time.

Besides, Leafs general manager Brian Burke said back in December that “if the Toronto Maple Leafs fired Ron Wilson, he’d be working again in about two weeks.”

So no worries there.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Maybe one day Toronto fans will realize firing the coach can only do so much. Remember when they called for Paul Maurice’s head and got it? Yeah, that really made things so much better…

    At the end of the day the onus is on the players to actually show up and look like they want to win. The Leafs haven’t done that these last two weeks. Sure you can say the coach should be getting the players up for these games, but I disagree with that in this case. These are basically playoff games and if you’re relying so heavily on your coach to get you pumped up for those then that’s a problem.

    Is it time for the Leafs to make a change? Probably. But firing the coach won’t make much of a difference, it will just force the fans to find something else to complain about.

  2. weenerman - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Check out what else this guy has written:

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/article/1008267–why-the-canucks-are-the-least-deserving-champions-of-all-time

    The Toronto Star is a joke. Cathal Kelly and Damien Cox? Yeah, great journalists there.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:19 PM

      The Toronto sports media is like a joke that gets less funny every time you hear it.

  3. habsman - Feb 29, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Maybe the Leafs just aren’t good enough.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 29, 2012 at 4:22 PM

      This is probably the one and only time I’ll ever agree with you. They’re a young team that obviously has never had to play under the kind of pressure they’re facing now and it’s showing. But hey, at least they’re still not as bad as the Habs.

      • habsman - Feb 29, 2012 at 5:00 PM

        I would argue that the Habs have more important pieces in place than the Leafs.

        As far as pressure goes, I think that’s a cop out. Burke’s rantings about the Toronto market has given the Leafs an excuse for poor play. It’s also an attempt by Burke to deflect attention from what I think is a poor job of the rebuild. What rebuilding team trades two number 1’s and a number 2?

        About a month ago I told you the Leafs would be joining us in the basement. Remember?

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 29, 2012 at 5:15 PM

        That would be a hilarious argument. Price is solid but who else do you have? PK Slewfoot? Louis Leblanc? Lars Eller? That doesn’t sound like much to me.

        Burke had the chance to get a young, prove goal-scorer. Boston looks to have gotten the better deal in hindsight but I wouldn’t say it was a loss for the Leafs. Aside from Kessel we’ve also added Lupul, Gardiner, and Franson to our young core. If this has been a failed rebuild by your standards then you should hope Gauthier or whichever poor soul tasked with rebuilding your team fails as badly.

        The point about pressure isn’t a cop-out, it’s reality. They still have 19 games left to snap out of it and actually play some hockey.

        We’re still not in the basement yet but you most certainly are. How’s the view from down there?

      • stoneegratz - Feb 29, 2012 at 6:00 PM

        yeah, the basement is cold it always is, but leafs fans should know all about it. Forgot the habs went to the eastern final two years ago and lost in 7 in overtime to the cup champs last year. Price is solid yes, who else you ask? I donno, patches is pretty awful(sarcasm hint hint), same with deharnais. PK is still a kid, but theres no denying the talent. Leblanc is still in diapers, and with tinordi, gallagher, beaulieu, and bournival coming you gotta be excited(and theres no denying the strength of our youngsters leaf fans) Plekanec, gorges, and emelin are also pretty bad (sarcasm again).

      • habsman - Feb 29, 2012 at 6:03 PM

        The view isn’t too bad, I can see a top three pick from here. To say the Bruins got the better of the deal in hindsight would be an understatement. Burke has set the Bruins up for a decade. Seguin, Hamilton, Knight for Kessell (voted softest player on the NHL by his peers)? Ask the Bruins and their fans if they would do that one again.

        Who on the Leafs defense has a better upside than Subban (when he grows up)? Do you have a better young forward than MaxPac? Who’s your up and coming goalie, Reimer?

        We’ve resigned ourself to missing the playoffs this year, Leafs fans are
        a little slower to catch on. See you down here in the basement in a couple weeks.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 29, 2012 at 6:31 PM

        Not really. Kesel is good for 30+ goals a year. Seguin may or may not be. Dougie may or may not be as good as people say he will. We can judge the trade in earnest in another 5 years. But for now I’ll take a soft player thats top 5 in scoring and goals.

        It sounds like your buddy is overstating the strength of the Habs’ up and comers. Pacioretty is average, he just looks better than he is because of the players around him. I’m also curious as to why you think PK will actually grow up before he wears out his welcome in Montreal.

      • habsman - Feb 29, 2012 at 7:01 PM

        I’m curious too, what players are making MaxPac look better than he is?

        And you still haven’t told me who your goalie is going to be. And what happened to all the testosterone, truculence, pugnacity and beligerence? How did that work out for you?

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 29, 2012 at 7:32 PM

        The whole team. A guy who’s scoring 25 goals doesn’t stand out as far and away the team’s best player unless the rest of the team is terrible.

        Reimer hasn’t been the same since his injury but he could still develop into a solid NHL starter. I’m staying optimistic. Or maybe we’ll pick up Price when he jumps ship.

  4. hawknuts - Feb 29, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    this is sports, people lose their jobs all the time but unlike real life where people have to scrape by to make things work these guys are handsomely compensated. wilson will get another job in the nhl or he can enjoy his money and a lavish lifestyle. cathal kelly is a joke

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