October 11, 2007
No positives to be found
By JODY VANCE -- Sun Media
Paul Maurice is not one to mince words and he certainly isn't into sugar-coating a tough loss. The man they call "Mo" was very honest with the media after a tough loss for his club Tuesday night.
Following the ego-busting 7-1 loss to Maurice's former club, the Carolina Hurricanes, it was made crystal clear that there were no positives to be gleaned from the contest.
When asked if he was surprised, at all, by the effort -- particularly after a great win Saturday over the Montreal Canadiens and the rallying cry for Jason Blake after his announcement that he is fighting a chronic form of leukemia, Maurice stated matter-of-factly. "You can't get beat like that and not be surprised."
I felt for the players at Wednesday's practice -- skates were destroyed during that one, no doubt.
Obvious frustration from the top did little to soften the reaction of Leafs Nation; patience is thin even though we are just four games into the regular season. As is standard practise here, fans waste no time living and dying by the summary and Tuesday's caused a slow burn of anger.
I'm not sure why it is that a 7-1 loss is so much tougher to swallow than a 2-1 loss but, in this town, the damage to the team's record is, after all, the same. Don't try and tell that to the boo-birds in blue and white though -- they seem to think that their team's record is based on goal diferential.
Given it has now been 40-plus years since the Leafs' last Cup win, it's no wonder there is that craving for a championship in Toronto, but perhaps fans should consider the NHL cities that have never won.
Tonight the Islanders come to town, on Leafs TV in HD -- so fans who can't make it to the rink will have a clear view of either vindication or a club going out of the frying pan and into the fire.
The bottom line here is that Toronto is a world-class city, and more and more there seems to be a New York Yankee-esque demand for success here in Canada's metropolis.
-- Jody Vance is a longtime sportscaster and personality with Leafs TV. Her columns appear Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours.