Skip to content

Ex-Leafs coach Wilson knows what Carlyle’s going through

Mar 31, 2014, 3:28 PM EDT

Ron Wilson AP

The man who was behind the bench for the last Maple Leafs’ regular-season collapse feels badly for the guy who’s behind the bench for their current one.

“I really feel for the coaching staff and, above all, for [head coach Randy Carlyle] right now,” Ron Wilson told today. “He’s got the same thousand-yard stare that I had. But at the end, you almost feel like it’s completely out of your control, everything takes on a life of its own. It’s unbelievable.”

Wilson was fired in March of 2012 after Toronto went 1-9-1 to fall out of a playoff spot. Carlyle’s Leafs have dropped eight straight to do the same.

“I watched the last two games this weekend; I thought they played OK in those games, but right now they’ve got no puck luck,” said Wilson. “It’s like maybe they used up all their puck luck earlier in the season when they were getting outshot but still won games. You might say they had a lot of puck luck in those games and it’s dried up now. A lot of the players are squeezing their sticks right now, which tends to happens in these situations.”

Related: Leafs collapse should be cautionary tale for young Avs


  1. c9castine - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Like I said, firing Carslyle isnt going to change anything. There is a collective group of players there that just dont know how to win, play hard, and play under pressure.

    just not a very hard team to play against and not hard enough to get scoring chances against.

  2. terrier92 - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    I feel sorry for a way to loyal fan base

    • kaptaanamerica - Mar 31, 2014 at 6:38 PM

      Why? The Bruins and Hawks fans showed how a normal fan base reacts to mgm’t BS and a bad product. They stay away and the organization improves. The owners of the Leafs along with the CBC have created a cult, not a loyal fan base, that doesn’t see the reality of the team.

      I predicted before the season started several times and at the beginning of the season that this team would not make the playoffs. My prediction is coming true. Bernier could only bail them out for so long. It would take a goalie of Luongo’s calibre to help these guys make the playoffs. In that regard, watch out for Florida next season.

      • sunderlanding - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:30 PM

        You have no idea what a real fan is. A real fan doesn’t cheer for a team because they think they’re going to win, or because they expect them to win. A real fan cheers because they hope they’re going to win. Furthermore a real fan doesn’t cheer for management, or even players. They cheer for the team. You have a lot of learning to do.

      • sportsfaninyyc - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:54 PM

        Yeah, just like the Cubs and Browns fans stay away in droves….

  3. nicofthenorthstar - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    If Carlyle is scapegoated for the Leafs collapse, I think the Wild could do much worse should they fire Yeo.
    My sympathy to fans of one of the league’s legendary franchises.

  4. everyonesuksbutme - Mar 31, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    Maybe they are simply overrated and expectations are set too high. Could it be that they just don’t have the talent? puck luck is BS

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 31, 2014 at 8:32 PM

      While I agree they were overrated this season (much like Ottawa and the Isles), I have to disagree that puck luck is bs. It’s not the cause of this clubs collapse but I will say that they did seem to get plenty of bounces early on, when they were being outplayed and outshot but still winning. It’s not always a tangible effect, and hard work/talent can certainly affect it, but all teams go through stretches where it seems the puck always finds a way in and also times where you can’t buy a lucky bounce for days or weeks.

  5. luz56 - Mar 31, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    Look not further than their captain… Phaneuf.. Cancer in the dressing room.. Calgary couldn’t get rid of this guy fast enough

    • beergold - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:25 AM

      Neon is being asked (and paid) to do more than he is capable. Burke convinced him he would take the Leafs to the promised land and his jersey would hang from the rafters one day. He is at best a second pairing NHL quality Dman. Hard to fault him for taking the money and contract length the top brass were offering.

      The problem has always been the lack of true hockey men at the top, guys that REALLY understand what a team needs both in the dressing room and on the ice. They don’t have it now in either Neon or Kessel (both are NHL + quality but not franchise cornerstones).

      So I am lead to believe that ownership is just sitting back satisfied to count their $$$, are delusional about their current on ice product OR just don’t have a flipping clue of what is required to be contenders in todays NHL. (or quite likely, all of the above)

  6. sweetzinger - Mar 31, 2014 at 9:32 PM

    If you’re counting on any form of luck to get you through 82 games, then you were never a good team in the first place.

    Seriously, this is one of the bottom 5 teams in the league, but with great goaltending.

  7. hieronymous27 - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    It is so ironic that the most valued franchise in the NHL, the Toronto Maple Leafs, is also the most inept team in the league. This team has not been to the finals since they won The Cup in 1967. Add the Detroit Red Wings to the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks where the fans stayed away in droves until the Norris family sold the team to Mike Illitch. Until Toronto fans do likewise and vote with their feet by not attending games at the A.C.C. the Leafs will never win the Stanley Cup.

    • beergold - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:09 AM

      You sir have hit the nail on the head – Every year the new or old coach (doesn’t matter, Scotty Bowman couldn’t make this team contenders) is given a lump of coal and told to make a piece of gold out of it.

      Until the ownership is forced by the fans to provide some essential “core” elements this team will remain pretenders. You certainly don’t build a gutsy compete everynight NHL team when you brand the franchise with two players that will never provide that either in the two way talent or courage department.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1836)
  2. P. Kane (1303)
  3. P. Datsyuk (1282)
  4. M. Richards (1138)
  5. M. Giordano (1121)