Toronto Maple Leafs
Randy Carlyle has been fired as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Hired by the Maple Leafs on March 2, 2012, Carlyle compiled a record of 91 wins, 78 losses, and 19 overtime/shootout losses in 188 games behind the Maple Leafs’ bench.
I'm actually surprised Brendan Shanahan chose to use one of his bullets now. I figured he'd let Carlyle finish the season before bringing in his coach. Now, should the not-yet-announced interim coach finish the season strong, it will be difficult for Shanahan to make another coaching move.
Does Shanahan have an available coach in mind (Paul MacLean, anyone?) or will that move happen during the summer?
Or is this simply so he can evaluate what he has without Carlyle at the helm before deciding what to keep and what to toss over the side of a sinking ship?
Of course, I'm kidding with that title. There's no such thing as a jinx. There's nothing I can say or write on this blog that will have any effect on our professional sports teams.
I catch every Leafs and Raptors game I can, and lately, it's been pure joy. The Leafs are 9-1-1 since getting hammered by Nashville. The Raptors have been hot all season, now 19-6, good for first place in the Eastern Conference.
I'm so jazzed about how well my teams are playing, I'm documenting this moment for posterity. Here are your red hot Raptors leading the East.
And here are your red hot Leafs, winners of 5 in a row.
Prior to the Leafs game last night, they showed a tribute to Pat Quinn. I thought it was pretty good. Here it is, in case you missed it. The song, by the way, is The Parting Glass by The High Kings.
Pat Quinn wore #23 for the Maple Leafs, and yesterday's 6-2 win over the Washington Capitals was full of the number 23.
- The Maple Leafs scored with 23 seconds left in the first period, then again 23 seconds into the second period.
- When Washington scored its first goal of the game in the second period, we scored again, 23 seconds later.
- This was the Leafs' 23rd game of the season, and we fired 23 shots on goal.
I don't believe this is anything more than a coincidence, but it's a fun one.
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.
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