Saturday, February 04, 2006

Maple Leaf woes continue

Perhaps Pat Quinn can use Friday nights match with the Washington Capitals as a scouting mission for his Team Canada duties in Italy later this month. Quinn, like many of his Maple Leaf players could only apparently watch in wonder as Alexander Ovechkin took control of the game and lifted his Capitals on to victory. If Quinn learned anything from Friday nights fiasco, it's that his Canadian team had best keep young Mr. Ovechkin wrapped up whenever the two nations might meet.

The NHL's two time rookie of the month winner and last month's offensive player picked up an assist and moved closer to the Capitals rookie scoring record. More importantly though, his presence on the ice attracted much Leaf attention, which of course meant somebody else was open and ready to take advantage of scoring opportunities.

By the time the game was over, the Capitals had taken advantage of four such opportunities on the way to a 4-1 win over the Leafs. Toronto, continues to struggle having a 1-8-2 record in their last eleven games. Even a first period brawl, which included both goaltenders, could not get the Leafs interest in this one. Giving Pat Quinn the opportunity to offer up a rather worrisome description of his squad after the game.

Said Quinn: "We couldn't seem to get anything going with any passion," Quinn said. "I guess tonight it just seemed not to be there. We had a lot of guys who just couldn't seem to get anything going"

Comments like those sometimes are followed by the GM addressing the media and suggesting that the coach had lost the confidence of the team and the ability to move them to the next lever.

As things continue to go awry in Toronto, the walk of the doomed may soon begin. Many in Toronto fear that Quinn will be terminated after he returns from Italy with the Olympic team, others suggest that the Leafs should take a page out of their other sports property the Rapters book and dismiss their General Manager.

It's an ugly slide the Leafs are on at the moment, a slide that's leading them further and further away from a playoff position. Something is going to have to happen sooner or later, while Quinn is at the Olympics there may be some tough decisions being made back at the homefront!

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