Toronto Maple Leafs
Pat Quinn was 71. He coached the Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers, reaching the Stanley Cup Finals twice, with the Flyers in 1980 and the Canucks in 1994.
Under Quinn, the Maple Leafs had consistently been contenders, recording three 100-point seasons and making the playoffs every season until his last, reaching two conference finals.
Quinn was fired in Toronto after eight seasons having gone 300-222-52 with 26 shootout and overtime losses.
Following that debacle in Buffalo last weekend, I tuned into last night's Leafs game looking for a rebound. I figured they'd come out strong at home against Nashville. I was wrong.
At 3-0 Nashville, Bernier was pulled for Reimer and I shut off the game to watch an episode of The Newsroom.
It's going to be a long season, Leafs fans— Toronto Mike (@torontomike) November 19, 2014
When I tuned back in, it was 8-0.
Checking in to see if they're coming back.... Whoa.— Toronto Mike (@torontomike) November 19, 2014
It ended up 9-2 and it reminded me of a game I watched on a black and white 13 inch television back in 1986. We won that game 11-9 against the mighty Oilers and Miroslav Fryer scored four goals. That game was a lot more fun than this one.
I remember a game in 1986 when we beat the Oilers 11-9— Toronto Mike (@torontomike) November 19, 2014
I honestly believe things will get worse for the Leafs before it gets better. It's not a very good team, and the coach is living on borrowed time. I don't think he makes it to Christmas.
I'm starting the rumour that Shanny's coming out of retirement— Toronto Mike (@torontomike) November 19, 2014
At least we have one good team in this city. I can't wait for tonight's Raptors game.
The new goal song at Leafs home games is "Best Day Of My Life" by American Authors. Here it is if you weren't paying attention last night.
I'm not a fan and believe we can do better. American Authors are a Boston band, and I think our goal song should be courtesy of a Toronto band. I'm looking at Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker, July Talk, Death from Above 1979, Cancer Bats or Fucked Up.
My nomination for the new Maple Leafs goal song is Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker's "This is the Best". I'm sure Ash would record a crackhouse-free version for MLSE.
What do you suggest for the Leafs goal song?
There's a chill in the Toronto air this morning and a Leafs game on television tonight. Summer is indeed coming to an end.
I enjoy Maple Leaf hockey so much I'll actually tune in tonight to watch the Leafs vs. Flyers. Following the blue and white, through good times and bad (mostly bad), is a great passion of mine. And now, my oldest son is just as excited as I am about puckdrop. This is now a shared experience.
It doesn't matter what happens tonight, and I'm sure they'll only dress a few regulars, but it's my Leafs and I'm psyched.
One of my favourite stories told on my podcast was Jeff Marek sharing the story of how he ended up burying Harold Ballard. If you haven't heard the story, I strongly urge you to check out episode 74.
Yesterday, as has become my Friday ritual, I found myself in Park Lawn Cemetery and started thinking about Jeff's story. I texted him to find out where exactly Harold Ballard was buried.
It's a little tough to find, but I eventually found Pal Hal's tombstone near the northwest corner of the cemetery. There's the monument, and on the ground, Harold Ballard's flat grave marker.
It's horrible being a Leafs fan— Toronto Mike (@torontomike) May 8, 2014
Today is the anniversary of the most legendary goal in the rich history of Canada's team. It was April 21st, 1951, game 5 of the Stanley Cup final between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens. At the 2:53 mark of the first overtime period, Bill Barilko scored the last goal of his life winning the Stanley Cup for the Leafs.
The 24 year old defenseman perished in a light plane crash that summer while on a fishing trip to Northern Ontario. Not until his body was recovered 11 years later in the bush near Cochrane, Ontario, did the Leafs win another championship.
I recently received several documents from the daughter of Ron Boyd who was the helicopter pilot who found the crash site of Bill Barilko. I also conducted an interview with Kevin Shea, author of "Barilko: Without a Trace".
He's our Buddy Holly, and every year, his legend grows. Join me in celebrating 4/21 this year as we tip our hats to #5 Bashin' Bill Barilko.
For more Bill Barilko videos, pictures, stats and info, visit my Bill Barilko tribute page.
On July 5, when the Leafs announced the signing of David Clarkson, I was okay with it. In fact, I wrote that "he's a physical player who can score goals and he's a proud Toronto boy".
I will never, ever hold a player's contract against him. That's on the GM, not the player. The term of the contract and amount of money is for others to fret about, I was just pleased a player like Clarkson was coming to town.
51 games into his Leafs career, David Clarkson has been a massive disappointment. With 4 goals and 10 points to show for his efforts, he's not producing and often seems completely out of sync. Something is very, very wrong.
Clearly, Randy Carlyle doesn't know what to do with him, and when he is on the ice, he appears to be trying to do ten things at once, none of them effectively. I'm convinced this is a Toronto boy coming home and trying too hard to make an impact. The result is a hairy mess, regardless of the contract.
My Twitter feed is full of people comparing the goal total of Toronto FC's Jermain Defoe to David Clarkson's, and the point is valid. Clarkson was brought to town to score goals and he hasn't delivered.
But he's not going anywhere. That contract is unmovable. David Clarkson might be a disastrous signing, but he's our disastrous signing, so I'm rooting for one thing and one thing only: David Clarkson's redemption and absolution.
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