The easy thing to do is fire Randy Carlyle.
It’s expedient. It’s convenient. It provides Maple Leafs fans with the pound of flesh they are already clamouring for and will be demanding at the end of this disastrous run.
But is it the right thing to do?
There has been, for so much of this NHL season, a disconnect between Carlyle and his hockey club. That much is apparent. The game plan he preaches loudly isn’t being followed. The template he talks about regularly is a nicely printed piece of paper, but rarely translates to the Maple Leafs’ ways.
The details he has taken so much pride in over his successful career have gone missing. Carlyle likes physical, defensive, cycling hockey, which is nice, except the Leafs aren’t physical, don’t play a lot of defence, and rarely cycle the puck. And make no mistake, he is hard on his players. Daily. Even if it doesn’t look that way.