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Leiweke doesn’t think ‘October was a fluke’ for Leafs

Jan 13, 2014, 5:02 PM EDT

Tim Leiweke Getty Images

It hasn’t been the smoothest of sailing for Tim Leiweke since being named the new boss of Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment in April.

In July, for example, one columnist called Leiweke’s bravado — (see: “New Leafs prez has Stanley Cup parade-route planned” and “Leiweke wants to be a ‘hero’ in Toronto”) — “laughable stuff.”

And for the last little while, Leiweke’s had to watch the crown jewel of the MLSE empire, the Maple Leafs, win just four of 33 games in regulation.

Today, the former AEG executive was a guest on Sportsnet 590 The FAN radio (audio) to talk about, among other things, the hockey team that no longer occupies a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

To that, Leiweke said he trusts fully in the direction general manager Dave Nonis is leading the club.

“I don’t think October was a fluke,” said Leiweke, referring to Toronto’s 10-4-0 start to the season, “and getting [injured forward Dave Bolland] back will help this team.”

The counter-argument is that, despite their record, the Leafs weren’t all that dominant in October. In fact, they were outshot by a combined 505 to 371, a trend that led many to predict the slide they’re currently in.

Still, Leiweke, like Nonis did recently, put the onus on the players, not management or the coaching staff, to improve the team’s situation.

“We got work to do,” he said. “This team, I think, can get better. I think if you look at the players we have today, there’s no question that we all think we should be in a better position than we’re in today.”

The Leafs are in Boston tomorrow to play the Bruins.

Related: Holland called back up to Leafs

  1. imleftcoast - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    The curse of 24/7.

  2. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    October wasn’t a fluke at all. Bolland was healthy and Clarkson was suspended. It was a recipe for success.

  3. stakex - Jan 13, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    When you have to say that the one brief stretch during the season three months ago in which you played somewhat good wasn’t a fluke…… it probably was a fluke.

    The Leafs might be a little better then what they have shown of late, but all the stats indicated that Toronto was over achieving to start the season. They attempt less shots per game then almost every other team, they get dominated in puck possession, and don’t really have any positive looking offensive stats…. and that was true in October, and goes back to last season as well. I mean its basic hockey logic: Teams that don’t take many shots, don’t control the puck very often, don’t win a lot of faceoffs, and have a very average shooting percentage as a team don’t tend to win many games.

    Bottom line is that, given the stats from the games, Toronto probably shouldn’t have been 10-4 in October. Statistically their play hasn’t been much worse the last two months, its just that they were beating the odds back then. So yes, it was a fluke…. and barring a serious improvement in overall performance from the Leafs, it will be a fluke for them to make the playoffs.

    • kaptaanamerica - Jan 13, 2014 at 7:14 PM

      It’s pretty evident that Toronto was over its head, since in Toronto, the Leafs fans I know who are pretty hard core, all have taken to cursing the Leafs and claim they aren’t even interested in hockey. Lols, it’s pretty funny actually since it was these same guys pumping up the Leafs even as they slipped out of the conf lead and down and down until now when they are out of the playoffs.

  4. beergold - Jan 14, 2014 at 7:29 AM

    I would have been less surprised if he had come out of his office and yelled at the top of his lungs….”Show me the money, we don’t care about the on ice product!

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