Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mo' Maurice, Mo' Problems

It was really only a matter of time of course, before the Toronto Maple Leafs made it official.
Paul Maurice becomes the newest schlub to take on the daunting task of coaching in the centre of the universe. He is always described as having a great sense of humour, which is a trait he's going to have to hold on to if he doesn't want to have his soul sucked out by the enormous pressure and ridiculous expectations placed on any Leaf coach.

Pat "Lower Body Injury" Quinn, the last sucker to try to do anything with this team, was adept at handling the swarms of "reporters" (excuse our cynicism) that even the most meaningless of practices would attract.

Will Maurice be able to take that? His last job was after all, in that hockey mecca of Raleigh, North Carolina, where the team was lucky to attract two or three members of the media.

Maybe that's all a little unfair to the guy though. Despite being saddled with crappy Hurricane teams for his entire NHL coaching career, he has managed one Stanley Cup final appearance, which mathematically speaking, is an infinitely greater number than the Leafs have managed over the past forty seasons.

Welcome to Toronto Maurice, the place where ambitions come to die. We only hope you make it out of here in one piece.

In other news, it's time to break out the bubbly. The Jays' whipping boy, Josh Towers, finally
won his first start today, dismantling the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 8-3, in a very convincing, 8 inning, 76 pitch outing.

That puts his record on the long path to recovery, now an only slightly less unsightly 1-7. If you wanted to be a Gloomy Gladys about it, you could point out that he got his first win against one of the worst teams in the league, and that manhandling the D-Rays hardly qualifies as an accomplishment. But that would also make you a jerk. Just savour the moment. Josh Towers is back baby.

In other, other news, the Ottawa Senators have choked. Again. They were eliminated from the second round of the playoffs in a depressing five games by the Buffalo Sabres (doing their best impression of the Toronto Maple Leafs).

The most ridiculous thing that we're hearing though, is that owner/jillionaire Eugene Melnyk wants major changes made to the team.

Major changes? What? Are you kidding?

You have one of the undeniably best teams in the league, and you want to blow it all up just because you were undressed in the playoffs?

Talk about fickle.

As a fan of a team that has only topped the 100 point mark once in it's 70 or so year history, I find it hard to believe that people are so negative on the Senators.

Of course, even if they wanted it, the Senators brass would be hard pressed to keep this team together. All-star defensemen Wade Redden and Zdeno Chara are both free agents, and the best bet is that the Sens will only have money for one of them (A sudden image of Redden wearing a Leafs' jersey has filled my head). Martin Havlat has another year on his contract, but he may be on his way out anyway. And we'd be a little surprised if Emery was the starting goaltender next year.

Not because he isn't good enough, because he is, but because Ottawa fans are notoriously capricious. Nothing short of absolute and total success will ever be tolerated by Senator nation (which, come to think of it, is a pretty weak criticism. Sure beats the laissez-faire apathy of Leafs fans).

And in one last tidbit (we promise) of news,
this guy seems to be surprised that Yankee pitcher Randy Johnson is, get this, struggling.

Umm, when you're approaching your 93 birthday, I hardly think it counts as struggling. This is just the way Randy Johnson is now.

Where did people get this idea in their head that Randy is still in his prime? The man is, by sports standards, ancient. It's unfair for people to assume he's the same pitcher he was ten years ago, or even five.

We've long been critical of the Yankee's move to make Johnson their so-called ace.

"So, what, exactly, is wrong?" asked Mr. Klapisch, in the above referenced article. What went wrong? I'll tell you what the problem is. He turned 42, that's what.

Get off Randy's back people, his best days are in the past. Just appreciate him for what he can still do.



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