The Last Word, Or The Problem With Pat QuinnPublished by Toronto Mike on February 23, 2006 @ 15:01 in Hockey Canada, Olympics, Toronto Maple Leafs
I feel as if I've let my country down. All day today I've been dealing with snickers and sneers because my team failed to deliver when it mattered most. Everyone wants to discuss where we went wrong and why our play was so mediocre.
Reading the Toronto Sun this morning, I almost choked on my toast upon reading a quote from our very own Pat Quinn. Speaking about his team that got shut out in three of six games, Quinn said the following: "They have not a thing to be embarrassed about. I know they feel they let a lot of people down, including themselves... This was their best game overall."
That statement tells you exactly what's wrong with Pat Quinn as a hockey coach. A gross lack of results doesn't embarrass him in the least. Falling well short of expectations gets a shrug of the shoulders and a weak reassurance that it was their "best game". Clearly, our best wasn't good enough in this tournament. Quinn is not a bad coach, he's got our Maple Leafs to the final four a couple of times, but he's loyal to a fault and insistent upon rolling four lines when one or two are struggling and another has the hot hand. With everyone looking for blame, Quinn is a good start. He makes the lines that failed to deliver, he failed to instill discipline when bad penalties at inopportune times were killing us, he's the head coach of a team that disappointed millions and should be held accountable.
I previously alluded to the fact that a Team Canada failure might benefit the Leafs because it would make releasing Quinn of his duties that much easier. It's difficult to fire a national hero, but it's easy to fire a national goat. Quinn's effectiveness as head coach of the Leafs has expired and we're in need of a fresh perspective and better understanding as to how the game is now played in the new NHL.
There were many good times, but nothing lasts forever. Farewell Quinn, we're better off without you.