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What About The Coaching

November 16, 2007 @ 09:52

You know how the saying goes, you can't fire 23 players, and that's why I think its time the Toronto Maple Leafs take a long hard look at the coaching methods of Paul Maurice.

If you saw last nights game in Boston you saw a disorganized team in total disarray.

There seems to be no rhyme or reason to what they do and their system for moving the puck out of their own end is almost funny. The Leafs aren't very good, but they're certainly not this bad.

After the game it's the same old thing, Maurice defends his team and points to bright spots that escape the rest of us, and then he blames the players for things that eventually have to fall onto the shoulders of the coach.

This is basically the same team as the Leafs had last year and the years before, but it's decidedly worse than it was two years ago. From my perspective, the one glaring problem is the consistency of their inconsistency.

From game to game, shift to shift you have no idea what you're going to get and the root of this problem is tied to discipline. The Maple Leafs are terribly undisciplined as a team and that has to be hung on Maurice.

I realize that Paul Maurice has no control over those soft goals that have gone between Andrew Raycroft's legs during the past couple of games, and he didn't give the puck away on the blue line against Montreal on Tuesday night, but seven victories in the first twenty games is something he can't escape.

This franchise has never been in a better position to enter a new era but it's not going to happen because of a laughable structure from the top down.

The general manager isn't very good and the coach apparently isn't very good, but they were hired by an ownership group that isn't very good.

The Leafs should take this time in their history to blow up the franchise and start again, but they don't have anyone qualified to take on the project.

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Romy on Lindros

November 16, 2007 @ 09:50

I think everyone should take the opportunity to visit Paul Romanuk's blog today. Romanuk moved to London, England with his wife a couple of years ago and has enjoyed a solid free lance career as an international sports correspondent.

But he has a long history in Canadians sports broadcasting and possesses and wealth of interesting stories and anecdotes.

One such story involves Bonnie and Carl Lindro's the infamous parents of Eric.

Click over to Romanuk's blog and enjoy some good reading.

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Numbers Climb With Tlusty's Hog

November 15, 2007 @ 09:32

My goodness gracious me, Jiri Tlusty's pecker sure caused a lot a traffic to move through FreddieP.ca yesterday.

I can't begin to tell you how this stuff works, I leave that Mike Boon, but for some reason my posting about Jiri Tlusty yesterday had people clambering to this website driving my unique hits through the roof.

Apparently it's got something to do with the title of your posting and then having it linked to a website that has mass appeal.

For me it was a website called wikio and if you go there and scroll down, you'll see the posting Jiri's Hog.

As for the situation itself, I was quite pleased with the way it was generally handled by the media yesterday.

It really is no big deal. Tlusty took the picture over a year ago and was double-crossed by the girl he e-mailed it to. In retrospect it was a stupid thing to do, but not so stupid that the guy should be crucified.

It looks like he'll be able to move on and put this behind him, after all it was only his dick and it was just hanging there, it wasn't hurting anyone or causing any trouble.

I'm sure Tlusty will take some razzing in Boston tonight. What's left of the fans in Beantown can be pretty cruel and no doubt they've heard about this story and thanks to the web have seen the pictures.

I'd give anything to be in Boston tonight and hear some of the comments.

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Jiri's Hog

November 14, 2007 @ 10:34

You're going to be hearing about Leaf rookie Jiri Tlusty today.

A naked picture of Jiri has shown up on the internet and as we all know anything a Maple Leafs does gains a lot of attention.

Tlusty is standing in front of a mirror and it's obvious a self portrait taken with a camera phone and although he can be quite proud of he's been blessed with, that's the extent of the good news.

No matter how you look at it, naked pictures of someone who plays for hockey's most popular franchise should have used a little more forethought, regardless that the pictures were taken last year when he was a member of the Soo Greyhounds.

How does a 19 year old not appreciate the impact of the internet and the trouble that could follow once you hang your salami in front of a camera?

It's a daily occurrence today. Young people have a few drinks; they get carried away, off come the pants and out comes the camera. What seems innocent and funny at the time becomes an internet posting the next day.

For someone of Tlusty's age and stature it's hard to believe he didn't think about this before unleashed his manhood on the world.

Granted, he's got a pretty good hammer on him, but what's to be gained by taking a picture of your own goods. Wouldn't rather be taking a picture of somebody else's goods and preferably a womans?

And that leads to another problem for Tlusty. There's also a picture of Tlusty that show him "tonguing" another man and now this has raised questions about his sexual preference and that can always be a bit uncomfortable, although I must say the so-called "tonguing" picture looks innocent to me.

The Leafs and Tlusty issued a press release last night hoping to meet the problem head on and then move on. Fat chance.

This is Toronto and these are the Leafs. This is only the beginning for Tlusty and now he'll have to deal with the innuendos and the cat calls and wait till the Leafs are on the road in places like Boston and Philadelphia, he'll be eaten alive and that could lead to another problem.

As we all know, the Leafs don't have a very good track record when it comes to developing good young hockey players. The pressure of playing in Toronto is enough without becoming a naked model on the internet.

Hopefully this will not be the beginning of the end for Jiri Tlusty, because in reality, it really isn't that big a deal.

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Breakfast With Scot

November 14, 2007 @ 10:32

Meanwhile, talk about a coincidence. This story about Tlusty happens during the same week that Breakfast With Scott will be released.

It was about a year ago that we learned the Toronto Maple Leafs had given their approval to a movie about a gay professional hockey player who just happened to be a Maple Leaf.

It was something else. Here was a situation of the Maple Leafs actually being progressive but there was a ton written and said about how it was a sad day for the franchise and people like Conn Smythe and Punch Imlach would be rolling in their graves.

It was pathetic and prompted me to write this.

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Did He Or Didn't He

November 14, 2007 @ 10:31

A follow up to yesterday - apparently Shaun Avery is preparing to launch a lawsuit against the Fan 590.

It deals with a report on the radio station by Leaf reporter Howard Berger that claimed Saturday night's pre-game incident at the ACC was brought on by comments Avery made towards Jason Blake about his cancer.

Avery denies it all saying he had two grandfathers who died of cancer and that he does endless work for cancer charities.

The situation has become somewhat murky because although Darcy Tucker and Blake admit Avery stepped over the line, they won't come right out and confirm what he said.

Bottom line. If Avery is being accused of saying such things, somebody better confirm it, prove it or drop it.

Meanwhile, the league has fined both Avery and Tucker for their tussle on Saturday night, but nothing was revealed about what started it.

No doubt Sean Avery is an asshole, but until what he said is confirmed, he remains a small "a" asshole.

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Dealing With An A-Hole

November 13, 2007 @ 08:26

Much like the Brian Mulroney affair, it's tough to accuse Sean Avery of anything until all the facts are in, however there is solid indication that he stepped over the line Saturday night at the ACC.

To their credit neither Darcy Tucker nor Jason Blake will get into specifics, but apparently Avery directed comments towards Blake in the pre-game skate, comments about his battle with leukemia.

Avery is a pea brain who has a long history of shit disturbing so these allegations come as no surprise and they were fortified yesterday by Fan 590 reporter Howard Berger who claims other Rangers confirmed what Avery said.

The comments were so out of line, so off base that even Avery's team mates were pissed off and that's what prompted Darcy Tucker to tangle with Avery before and during the game.

The allegations are so serious that Avery has been called before the NHL's disciplinary board to explain himself. Nothing will probably come of it, but there seems to be enough smoke in the air to suggest Avery aught to be ashamed of himself.

Trash talk is one thing but it really should be confined to something your team-mate can control. Like his behavior or his lifestyle or the way he wears his equipment, but when it comes to something like cancer, you've got to be pretty low to use it as a tool to throw your opponent off his game.

But there's no explaining certain people in certain situations and Sean Avery proved long before this incident that he's an asshole.

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The Big $

November 9, 2007 @ 08:45

I'm sure some will argue he did it to improve his image, to buffer his battles with the NHL, the Quebec Nordiques and the Philadelphia Flyers, but in the end you can't argue with the most generous gesture ever by a Canadian athlete.

During his retirement announcement yesterday Eric Lindros donated five million dollars to the London Health Sciences Foundation, which includes the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic where most of his injuries were treated.

Dress it up any way you want but the bottom line is, Eric Lindros will move five million dollars out of his own personal bank account and give it to charity.

I don't want to get into the name game here and mention other Canadian athletes who have made millions of dollars and question why they haven't delivered in the same way because that wouldn't be fair. Some choose to keep their philanthropy private, but I have a pretty good idea that nobody else has ever given this much.

Some don't like Lindros because he challenged the NHL draft, others don't like him because of his parents whining and complaining throughout his entire career, and others feel he was just plain over-rated.

None of that matters today. All that matters is that Eric Lindros had a fine career, he made tens of millions of dollars and now he's sharing some of it.

Well done.

The Lindros retirement made me think back to an episode of Mr. Goohead. It was back when Eric was going through some concussion problems and battling the Philadelphia Flyers about the treatment he got.

Goohead phoned the Flyers head office one day and surprisingly got right through to Bobby Clarke. Have a listen

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Hockey Fantasy

November 7, 2007 @ 09:54

While sitting and watching the latest Maple Leaf debacle against Ottawa last night I had a hockey fantasy.

Here it is.

The Leafs and Senators have now played three times this season and the Senators have won all three. The Senators go on to win all eight meetings this year and they win by a wide margin and this prompts the disgusting fans of the NHL's most unlikable team to throw insults and laughter towards Toronto.

Ottawa fans, despite having nothing to show for a decade of talented hockey teams, piss all over the Leafs and their fans and enjoy the fact the Leafs appear poised to miss the playoffs for the third year in a row.

But then something crazy happens. On the last night of the season the Leafs slip into the eighth and final playoff spot and that means a first round match-up with the Senators.

The Senators despite dominating the regular season now find themselves in an uncomfortable position. There's no doubt they should beat the Maple Leafs and they're heavily favoured, but that's no necessarily a good thing.

The Senators think back to other years and other playoff failures against the Leafs and begin to think too much. They're so determined not to let it happen again that they start to hold their sticks a little differently and execute their game plan a little carelessly.

Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs who have nothing to lose start playing a game that has escaped them most of the year. They can feel the tension in the terrified Senators and it gives them a confidence that is inexplicable.

Goaltending is another surprise. Finally we see the Tesa Toskala that we've been waiting for and Ray Emery becomes a Patrick Lalime clone and he allows goals that you'd see at the local hockey arena on a Saturday afternoon.

As the series progresses the Leafs take control while Senators captain Daniel Alfreddson does what he has done so many other times in the playoffs, he disappears.

Jason Spezza plays like he's hurt and Danny Heatley plays like he doesn't care.

And then, on one glorious night in mid April, at the Scotiabank Centre in Kanata, Ontario, the man who is most hated by Senators fans scores an overtime goal in game seven. Darcy Tucker is the hero and Ottawa chokes again.

The Senators are done and the Leafs move on….. where they lose four straight to the Rangers in the next round.

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Today On The Bill Watters Show

November 2, 2007 @ 10:42

Just a reminder I'll be hosting the Bill Watters Show again today on am 640 Toronto radio between 4pm and 6:30.

The Leafs play in Jersey tonight so that will be the main focus, but we'll touch on some other things like the Argo's quest for first place and the huge NFL game this weekend between Indianapolis and New England.

We had a few laughs yesterday. I found out that Bill once slept at Bobby Orr's condo, and that Bill loves his steak medium rare at Bigliardis. Medium rare with mushrooms.

Please listen if you can - 4pm - 6:30 - am 640 Toronto Radio.

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