Saturday, January 12, 2008

Maple Leaf meltdown

Saturday night another episode in the long running production "How the Leafs will fall" will play out, this one in San Jose as the traveling sideshow from Toronto makes a Northern California appearance.

With a western swing that already has the faithful waiting for dispatches of executions, the drama will play out as the second game of the Hockey Night in Canada experience, a just past prime time episode that may be of more entertainment value for what is said before the game, during the intermissions and after the game, than what actually may happen on the ice.

Already in their woeful trip West, the Leafs have surrendered 10 goals, lost four points, damaged one goaltender and put their General manager and coach on the death pool list for yet another weekend.

Not bad work for a crew that at times seem to have problems just getting over the boards with their skates tied properly.

For most of the day Friday the buzz, speculation and commentary of the day featured various themes of who will be tossed off the bridge of the ship first. With CEO Richard Peddie apparently riding the buses today with the team, it would be a wise move to stay away from the wheels should you be a Ferguson or a Maurice.

The downward spiral of the Leafs of late has one or both destined to join the recently announced EI numbers out of Ontario, the only setback it seems is a definite lack of planning from the upper offices of the Leafs to have a fall back plan in effect.

With no actual managerial replacements on hand (or in the wings) to step in and take charge, the Leafs seem destined to stumble along on their ways, with little expectations of success and many suggestions that a wholesale house cleaning is in order, from the top offices down to players and who knows maybe even the skate sharpeners and stick boys may not survive the dire predictions for many. The Saturday Sun, blasts the headline that the team photo shoot was cancelled read into that what you will and an article that suggests that the coach has denied that there is a locker room mutiny, then again the Captain of any ship is always the last to know that crew are coming for him.

The latest move to buy time was to promote Justin Pogge, the one potential bright light in a season of blown bulbs, Pogge who has been kept out of harms way with the Marlies farm club was summoned to California and could possibly be given the start on Saturday night. Unfortunatley for him, all flights are on schedule, if ever a guy deserved to have a flight delayed or cancelled it surely should be Pogge. Who would want to be thrown into the dysfunctional mess that has become the Maple Leafs. Too bad the Senators Ray Emery isn't close by to offer a ride to the airport, it would be almost like a mission of mercy.

Maybe this is the plan all Leaf fans have been waiting for, judging by the way the Leafs have performed over the last number of weeks, many might suggest that they should have flow the rest of Pogge's Marlie team mates to California as well, they couldn’t fare much worse than the “A” team has this season.

The Toronto Star--Ferguson simply a lame duck
The Toronto Star--Full panic mode
Globe and Mail--Leafs GM on the way out
Globe and Mail--Clean the house
Canadian Press--Leafs call up Pogge
The Toronto Sun--Eye-opener for Peddie

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