January 15, 2009

Dear Paul Maurice,

What's up, Coach? Back in good old Raleigh, I see. It's always nice to see a bromance the likes of yours and Jimmy Rutherford's be rekindled.

Seriously, though, I wish you nothing but success your second time around down there. Shock the world and take that Hurricanes team to the Stanley Cup final once again. Just make sure you don't go through the Leafs to make it happen, asshole.

Wait. My apologies. I didn't mean to call you an asshole. It just happens to be a very sensitive subject for me. I mean, the Leafs lost the 2002 Eastern Conference final to Arturs Irbe.

Arturs. Mother. Fucking. Irbe. 

And Jeff O'Neill. Ugh. Let me get back on track here, before I start sobbing uncontrollably.

Look, Paul, I owe you an apology. I threw a lot of dirt on your name over the course of the last two years. I blamed you for a lot of what ailed the Toronto Maple Leafs, especially their issues in the defensive zone, and their penalty killing (I use the word "killing" lightly).

I'm sorry. It obviously wasn't your fault. Ron Wilson's Leafs have proven that you were, in fact, a penalty killing specialist. I'm sure Wilson would love for his team to be killing penalties at a 78% clip, like your Leafs did, instead of the disgraceful 73% he's got them coming in at.

Without you, Wilson's Leafs are allowing a frightening 3.44 goals a game. Good for 28th in the league, and substantially worse than your Leafs' 3.08 GAA last season, and 3.15 GAA in 06/07.

Jesus, Paul, I think I might actually miss you.

I now know that the Leafs' struggles during your two seasons at the helm weren't your fault. You just happened to be the scapegoat. And, the more I think about it, the more I'm sure that you probably hate Andrew Raycroft as much as I do. I sincerely hope you're enjoying The Raycrap Report, as much as I'm enjoying writing it.

I like you, Paul, even to this day. You're a great quote and, by all accounts, an amiable cat. I don't think you're a very good coach, but that's besides the point. You're back in Carolina now and who, other than Schultzy, really gives a shit about the Hurricanes? It's where you belong.

Good luck tonight, Coach. You and your boys probably won't need too much of it.

I hope there's no hard feelings. We, Leafs Nation, don't blame you. Not anymore. We blame John Ferguson Jr. And we always will.



general borschevsky said...

I liked Maurice right up until the last couple games of the season. But the effort at the end was such a disgrace that it changed my opinion of him completely. Sundin, McCabe, Tucker, were all psychologically damaged as a result of Maurice's mismanagement. A coach can't protect a player from physical injuries but it's his responsibility to shield them from excessive mental burdens.

showcase29 said...

Who is our goaltending coach? And how long has he/she/it been here?

eyebleaf said...

@ General: Maurice was unable to handle that room. While I think Wilson is a hard ass and calls his guys out in the media a little too much for my liking, Maurice was too soft on them in the press. Sometimes, you have to light a fire. I just wish Wilson wouldn't name names. Maurice seemed to respect his guys more. I don't think anyone in San Jose really misses Ron's act, you know?

@ Showcase: Corey Hirsch is the goalie coach for the Leafs. I think he's the cat who was schooled by Forsberg in the Olympics many, many years ago. A new goalie coach came in with Eddie, and was let go after last season. Hirsch, based on the results so far, stinks.

blurr1974 said...

I always thought Mo' was the scapegoat here. His playoffs quote was misguided, but all in all, he did the best with what he had.

given Raycroft's success (that feels weird to type, those two words together...) and Clemmenson's as well in COL and NJ respectively, how hard is it for MLSE to figure out we have the WORST goalie coach ever...?

"Dave Schultz" said...

Not gonna lie, tonight it's my two favorite teams facing off. Not sure who exactly to root for since they're both sucking ass right now. And I don't support Mo being hired as coach. They're still sucking under new coach so that tells me it wasn't necessarily a coaching issue. It's the lack of consistency from Staal, the poor showing by an aging Brind'Amour, and a defense with more holes than swiss cheese. But I digress, I really just came here to say thanks for the linkage! :)

kushnir said...

blake! who'd a thunk it.

if he played like that every game, i might stop hating on the guy 24/7