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What the Leafs can learn from the Edmonton Oilers’ coaching disaster

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Photo credit:Steven Ellis/Daily Faceoff
Nick Alberga
8 months ago
If the Leafs players believe in Sheldon Keefe as much as they say they do, there’s no question they can learn a few things from everything that has transpired in Edmonton over the past week or so.
A day after Jay Woodcroft was handed his pink slip following an ugly 3-9-1 start, the Oilers’ core pieces addressed the media one by one on Monday. And by all accounts, they seemed shell-shocked.
But why?
In professional sports, oftentimes, the head coach is the easiest scapegoat. It’s been that way for a long time. Additionally, the writing had to be on the wall for that room, no? They lost to the San Jose Sharks, who when everything’s said and done, could quite possibly go down as one of the worst teams of all-time.
Enter the Maple Leafs.
Just like Edmonton, by their standards, it’s been a rocky start. Luckily, Toronto’s offence has been the difference between the two teams. Despite allowing a whopping 3.6 goals per game, the Leafs find themselves 8-5-2 through 15 outings, predominantly because they’ve been been able to outscore their problems.
In the long run, it’s probably not a recipe for success —but I’m sure by now, they’re well aware of that.
What I’m getting at is that they should know damn well what the consequences could be if they can’t get their act in order over the next little while. Regardless of who deserves the most blame for the inauspicious start, we all know who will take the fall if the team can’t get cooking here.
Having said all that, the Leafs, who arrived in Sweden on Tuesday to take part in the annual NHL Global Series, have shown signs of promise in recent outings. It’s a small sample size, but kick started by a few notable changes to the lineup, it looks and feels like they’re starting to turn a corner.
For now, the rumblings have died down —at least for the time being. With that in mind, a quick swoon in the opposite direction will have the vultures circling in no time once again.
Simply put, the onus is on the players to rise up —or else.

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