With all the drama-mama that’s been going around the league about who might be getting fired and why, I figured maybe I should toss in a thought or two. At the top of the headlines, the Leafs are currently getting blasted by the fans and even by those within the organization on how things are being handled. I’m sure there’s been enough talk leaking out of people's mouths so that I don’t have to reiterate what’s been allegedly said by whoever to whomever.
Part I - Coaching
On the home front, I really didn’t look at a front office shakeup being a possibility for my Kings. Maybe I’m just biased, but I believe in what Dean Lombardi’s doing. Do I agree with Crawford changing up lines like the Mad Hatter on crack? To be honest, I don’t really know, but I’ve definitely noticed it. Don’t get me wrong, we ALL have; but that’s his job, right? To tinker and tinker until something clicks. But at the same time, we’re 27 games in and it’s getting a little ridiculous. Fro is now on IR and Cammy is floundering. He’s getting shut down left and right and now I’m wondering if he actually got 10 goals in 10 games at the start of the season.
After last Saturday’s game against the Avalanche where they lost 5-2, I left Staples feeling dejected and angry at the same time. What the hell is going on? Why are the Kings falling apart? They had a great first period! Now I can’t speculate about what’s going on in the locker room, but I’ve read people’s opinions that seemingly blaming everyone in the organization. But from being on sports teams for many years, I believe that no matter how much the coach is trying to show the athletes the way, if they don’t take a stance and actually execute the plan, the results aren’t going to be there. Not surprisingly, this has caused me to absolutely despise clichés. "Buy into the plan," "we need to play with more heart," and my personal favorite to hate, "take it to the next level." I’d like to punch whoever made that up in the FACE. Maybe it’s because I heard it too many times without a substantial result, but I’m hoping that Crawford doesn’t become a victim of cliché bashing.
I was taught never to question the coaching staff; they have an overall year-long plan of what they want to do and what paths they have to take in order to do so. With the Kings being a professional sports team with millions of dollars being spent every year, the pressure for results is extremely high. Any year-long project is at risk of being cut short if it becomes stagnant for too long. We can see from this season already that some teams have made this leap (Atlanta, Dallas, Capitals) while others have been holding on for as long as possible (Leafs, Phoenix). But let's face it, Gretzky owns the whole state of Arizona and isn't going anywhere.
Now I don’t like to constantly bash on my team, but I do angrily question what’s going on with them sometimes. But I’m not going to stand on a soapbox and demand that that Crawford be fired because you can’t deny him his efforts. If he decided he wanted to get fired, he would have kept all the lines the same and not tried to find some hidden chemistry that he believes is there. But I’ll reiterate the fact that athletes need time to gel with one another. But I do like to muse about what Crawford could do to run this team into the ground and not just into the bottom of the standings.
What could have been:
Scene: Crow sits down at his big oak desk and ponders how exactly he’s going to ruin this team. "Hmmm… I think I’m going to keep Cammy, Kopi, and Brownie together all year. After all, they’re pretty DAM good. (see that? see what I did there?) I think we’ll be able to ride that line for a while before people see I’m not doing a DAM thing. I’ll just let the other lines flounder around. Maybe I should have Vish center the 3rd line and I’ll bring up…Ratti to run D with Blakey. Wow, that’s fantastic! What else…oh! I almost forgot about the goalie situation! I think bringing back Cloutier will seal the deal. Yes, he’ll definitely be the back bone of this squad. I’m a flipping genius!"
As a note: I may like to make light fun of the players here and there, but don’t question for one second my complete loyalty to the Kings. No team can come in and take my attention and loyalty away. Ahem..cough cough DUCKS FANS cough.
Also, just to let you know, I’m not some beer-guzzling dude who thinks the new Reebok jerseys are too small because of my beer gut and who thinks I know what’s best for my team. Rather, I’d like to think of myself as a cute beer-sipping chick who will patiently wait for my team to get their act together without publicly bashing them to anyone who will listen. I’m not going to pretend I know what the best course of action is; I’m not making the millions of dollars to make these types of decisions. But even if they were to offer me the cold hard cash, I wouldn’t know the first thing about building up or saving a professional sports team.
Check out Part II - GM