Jake Gardiner played more minutes than any other Leafs player and then Jake Gardiner was a healthy scratch. The next game, Jake Gardiner played more minutes than any other Leafs player.
If you're not a Leafs fan then this may seem crazy but if you *are* a Leafs fan then you know it's just another day in Toronto.
You see, this is the franchise that continues to trot out Mark Fraser on defense rather than JM Liles, some nights Morgan Rielly and yes, some nights, Jake Gardiner. It's also the franchise that continues to smash its metaphorical head against the metaphorical wall -- 'our feelings' being the head in this metaphor and 'Tyler Bozak on the first line' being the wall.
We start Bernier more than Reimer, we pay big money for Clarkson and Bozak while buying out Grabovski and watching MacArthur walk, and did I mention we keep skating Bozak on the first line?
The decisions that this organization has made since Randy Carlyle took over as coach are mind-numbing. I'm sure that there are those of you who'll say, "who could have predicted x or y," and to you people I say, "everyone, basically."
Rumours have been flying for the past few weeks that the Leafs are looking to bolster their defense. Also, they plan on trading Gardiner for a top-6 forward. What? Normally, I'd say that it's just the Toronto media trying to sell copy but this came from Darren Dreger and if there's a bigger shill in sports over the last 18-months, I'm not aware of him or her. The Leafs are trying to do those things, bet on it, and Dreger is going to do everything in his power to oversell Toronto's assets and undersell whoever it is that Nonis may have his beady little eyes on.
Having said these things, it hasn't all been bad. The record is pretty good because the goalies have been great and one of those goalies (albeit the lesser of the two) was a Nonis acquisition. Also Bolland was a hell of a lot better than I'd expected him to be, if I'm being honest. But seriously, I have a hard time coming up with a more directionless team in the league. OK, maybe the Flyers.
So go on Twitter ( @bcphockeyblog ) and call me negative, ask me if I hate the Leafs, or tell me to watch a game instead of sticking my head in spreadsheet but do those things knowing that I don't like being negative about my team, and I'm this frustrated because I do love the Leafs, and that the chances are I probably watch more hockey more closely than you do (assuming you said those things in the first place, that is.)
The truth is, I'm fed up. We deserve better decision-making than what we've seen from Nonis and Carlyle so far. There's a limit to what any manager can achieve with the set of assets they're given but we've consistently mis-used the range of goods we have at our disposal, and that's something for which I can't abide. Enough is enough -- fire them both.
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