As if the world needed another Toronto Maple Leafs blog.
Monday, September 29, 2008
A little late on the Ron Wilson thing
"See this? This is my ticket outta this town."
I was at work and feel the need to drop my two pennies in. Two pennies that happen to have maple leaves on them.
I find it really funny that the same sources that put up gloomy reviews of the team's roster depth as basement dwellers, and the same ones that report that MLSE ownership has declined to budget time for playoff games, are now somehow calling out Wilson over a backhanded comment at the usual pests after a tough loss.
It's not like he wasn't saying anything the players didn't already know.
Who believes that they're making a cup this year when the organization has flat out said all summer that they are rebuilding? Who believes that Mikhail Grabovski is a first line center? Or that Jamal Mayers is the guy to put their team over the top? It's obvious by the moves made this summer to all that players involved that a contender is not being assembled overnight here.
Even better, which players still thought their management was hoping for a Cinderella run for the finals when there's no money set aside to so much as run the lights in the ACC should it happen? Am I to believe that Matt Stajan can't wait to play the Pens on pitch dark concrete this April?
There's a difference between knowing it and saying it, it's true. But Paul Maurice saying we would make the playoffs didn't get us a berth. Believe it or not, our guys probably won't know they're out of the hunt in their hearts until January at the earliest.
I don't believe Ron said what he did to get our guys to prove him wrong, because I honestly don't think that the organization thinks making the postseason this year would be in our best interests for continued success. I think he firmly believes that we're nowhere near a cup, and nothing short of a miracle will turn this rag-tag group of losers into a ballroom dancer with glass slippers.
What he's trying to do is manage expectations, of both the rampant idiotic media that will ask players about their quest for a cup 10 games into the season (mark my words) and the players themselves. We're talking about a club that seriously lacks the focus needed to so much as close out single games (or single periods), the thought of our current group as it stands mentally trying to close out a 7 game series must make Wilson shudder. The cup is the ultimate goal of any player, but our guys need blinders on so they can focus on how to win from game to game. That's the hardest part of playing through a losing season, and it's something our guys will need to get used to sooner rather than later. If they can learn to compete and not take any second for granted in a game then hopefully once we make the postseason we can go somewhere.