No More Whining
So the big mean bogeyman is gone.
No more nasty old trade deadline talk to have the Maple Leafs cowering under their beds. As it turned out, only Keith Aulie had anything to fear, and that outcome has him calling Tampa home today. Not so bad, right?
Even if you buy the iffy proposition that the deadline has this great impact on the Leafs that it doesn't have on teams in other intense hockey markets, it matters not any longer because the time for trading has past.
The season didn't end on Monday at 3 p.m.
The time for showing us what you've got is upon us.
Twenty games for the Leafs to prove whether they're good enough to play in the second season for the first time since 2004. Very doable if they get back to playing hockey, if they begin to again resemble that team that walked into Ottawa a few weeks back and hammered the hometown Senators.
Remember that team?
Time for Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul to prove their seasons weren't flukes, for Dion Phaneuf to find some consistency, for Mikhael Grabovski to demonstrate he's worthy of a big new contract and for Luke Schenn to put it all behind him and show his pedigree.
What the Leafs as a group, from coaches to players, do have to fear is the consequences should their play of the past few weeks continue.
Its up to them to write the script. Ron Wilson can blame the media, the deadline, fatigue or bad oysters, whatever he wants, but the proof will be in the results.
If he can't coach this team into the post-season, he needs to be replaced. Pure and simple.
Ditto for the players. Time to stand and deliver.
No more whining or excuses. In the end, you will be what your record says you are.