It has finally happened.
For years Toronto’s special teams have been unimpressive.
Okay, okay, embarrassing. No, that doesn’t quite do it justice. Just how do you describe a team that has finished in the bottom 5 in PK % ever since the lockout?
I know: worse than the Islanders! I appologize for the inappropriate language.
As those within earshot (or other side of walls) have heard many times over the past few seasons I placed a significant amount of this blame on Keith Acton. He is the only constant during the downward spiral. So much discussion from HNIC, TSN and Sportsnet praised him for his special team/defensive know how that I wondered if Acton controlled their ACC media privileges.
It is true that since the lockout clutch saves have been on sabbatical and the skill requirement for making the Leaf blueline was simply knowing how to put on the equipment in the correct order, but even by chance there should be a less pathetic season somewhere if the overall plan is a good one. There was not, so there could not have been.
He may have asked for to much, kept the players thinking the game instead of playing. He may have asked for to little but either way nothing Acton did worked. Every coach brought in was handicapped by his presence. Paul Maurice was able to take bad teams to the edge of the playoffs Acton kept rolling out bad coaching. A few percentage points could have been the 1 point difference placing the Leafs in the post season.
But now he is gone and the LEafs can stop Acton like idiots and learn how to kill a penalty.
That, or the gentlemen at the beer store will know me by name come Christmas.