If Ron Wilson had been fired every time the media and fans suggested it, his pink slips would number in the hundreds.
With his Maple Leafs having registered just one regulation win in the past nine games, calls for Wilsonís job once again are emerging in Toronto. Itís a scenario the veteran coach has seen all too often in his career, dating back to his days behind the bench in Washington and San Jose.
Having said that, Wilson, never shy about taking jabs at the press, wagged an accusing finger at so-called Toronto-based rumour mongers as being the source of much of the scuttlebutt, not just about him but about other coaches around the league whose positions might be in jeopardy.
ďIíve never heard that before,Ē Wilson said Monday, tongue planted firmly in cheek, when asked about a coach taking most of the heat when a team is struggling.
ďOf course (Iíve heard that before). What are you going to do?
ďItís part of the job.
ďWhy are we talking about this again? We talk about this every week. Letís talk about something else please.
ďI donít even talk to Brian (Burke) about stuff like this. It suddenly switched from Lindy Ruff to me overnight and itís always coming out of Toronto. There is some coach in the league that weíre talking about and I get asked not just about my own situation, but every other coach who is losing a couple of games and it always seems to come out of Toronto, not from the city where the coach is struggling a little bit.Ē
We get the point. As usual.
Of course, Wilson might want to consider that any projections of his demise will evaporate with a handful of victories, a quest his Leafs will look to embark on when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning Tuesday and Florida Panthers Wednesday. With Phil Kessel having gone five games without a goal, he and linemates Tyler Bozak and Kris Versteeg must start finding the net with regularity if the team wants to rediscover its winning ways.
Meanwhile, forward Colby Armstrong will have the cast from his injured hand removed Thursday. It will be replaced by a splint that Armstrong hopes will allow him to grip a stick.
The original prognosis on Armstrong is that he would be out 4-6 weeks from the time of his injury. Thursday will be two weeks since he first got hurt.