As anyone with a bookmark to a sports website knows, the New York Islanders today fired head coach Scott Gordon owing, in part, to a 10 game losing streak.
All this talk about Colby Armstrong & Dion Phaneuf's injuries being the cause of the decline of the Toronto Maple Leafs (and hence absolving Wilson of culpability) begs a comparision.
On Long Island, top defenseman Mark Streit has been out for essentially the entire season and Kyle Okoposo is still recovering from shoulder surgery; neither have played a game this season. Effectively, two of the top players on the team are unable to contribute.
The Islanders do have a prior 1st overall top-6 forward in John Tavares, but otherwise lack a "40 goal scorer" (hold it in, folks) and are forced to platoon an oft injured, has-been goaltender and a 41 year old overager journeyman. There is no washout former 'best goaltender not playing in the NHL' , nor a Conn Smyth/Stanley Cup winning veteran netminder to rely upon.
The Islanders saw the second worst decline in the league after a surprising start; second only to Toronto. So the Islanders fired Gordon.
What else did the Scott Gordon lack? A buddy-buddy relationship with the General Manager. Or, if that's not true and Snow & Gordon really are BFFs, then Gordon lacked a GM with an ego.
Why is Ron Wilson still coaching the Leafs if his team - with far more 'star power' in goal and at the back end - has suffered a more severe decline?
If the addition of Kadri and Aulie do make a difference and the team wins more than a few games over the next 5 to 10, is that demonstrative of coaching or the advantageous result of desperation moves by Burke?