"That's why I came here, I really, truly believe they have an opportunity to absolutely make the playoffs and hopefully make a run for the ultimate prize," he said.
Really, absolutely? Truly an opportunity? Making a run at hopefully making the playoffs is what hockey is all about! When you say the "ultimate prize", you mean the Stanley Cup, right? It could be a funny euphemism.
Travel back in time with me now Leaf fans to a date in early June when Ron Wilson was first hired and Paul Hunter(Star) and I(general borschevsky) had strangely similar conversations with the new Leaf head coach.
"I can't guarantee that we're going to make the playoffs this season... The only thing I can guarantee is this team will not accept defeat."
Refreshing honesty. And I liked the part about not accepting defeat. Should we dare to ask? Excuse me, Mr. Wilson, uhm, some of the cool Leaf fans were talking over at this site and I was there and I heard them wondering if you thought we could maybe, hopefully make an "ultimate prize" run for a playoff opportunity or something like that?
"Making the playoffs is not our goal. Our goal is to win the Stanley Cup. Period."
Wow. Man, that is powerful. When you said "Period" it was like you punched me in the eye. It's like - The Wendel Truth, if there is such a thing.
Wait a minute, back to McCabe, is he still there? Hey Bryan, remember the night you scored a goal into your own net, in overtime, no less? I know, sorry to bring it up again, but I'm trying to make a point.
"I try my best. Nobody is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. That's the game of hockey. ... I just try to brush it off. I'm not the only one who gets booed."
Oh, for sure. Guys like Sean Avery, Daniel Alfredsson, Gary Bettman - they get booed all the time. Don't take it personal, it just means everyone hates you. And it's beside the point right now. It doesn't matter who put the puck in the net that night. It could have been you, it should have been someone on the other team, but the point is, goals like that can't happen. Third period breakdowns like that can't happen. Ugly collapse after ugly collapse is a reflection of poor leadership and a ... sorry, what's that? Ron Wilson would like to get in here? Yes, Mr. Wilson, you were mentioning something on this subject just the other day, weren't you? Go ahead, Ron.
"The team has struggled in third periods, and rarely does that come from a coach - that comes usually from your top players. ... I've seen this team. I experienced it live last year [during a 3-2 Leafs collapse in San Jose] - a team with a 2-0 lead blowing it in the 3rd period. And if you look at the Leafs last year, there were about 20 times when they did that ... And that's a direct reflection of leadership."
Okay, that's it. Stop and get back to your corners. I've seen more then enough. TKO in the first round. Don't bother getting up, McCabe. This one was over before it began.