Sunday, April 16, 2006

So fired

I have never agreed with Damien Cox more, nor do I ever expect to again, than when he wrote the following:
Let's be clear. Ferguson and Quinn didn't fix this team in the final three weeks of the season.

Injuries fixed it for them, essentially reversing their poor decisions.

Ferguson didn't believe it was sensible to buy out Ed Belfour last summer and create useful salary cap room, and Quinn blithely ignored the veteran goalie's obvious inability to carry the load of a No. 1 goalie until Belfour's season was ended by back problems.

These hockey men, understand, had younger, faster players at their disposal all season long, but instead preferred to go with an older, slower lineup featuring a broken-down goalie.

When there were personnel choices to be made, they made all the wrong ones.
Dead on. Mikael Tellqvist had his two worst games of the season against Montreal and didn't play again until tonight, which is fair enough — "stick with the hot hand" is a pretty unimpeachable strategy. If Pat Quinn had employed it throughout the season and played Tellqvist instead of Ed Belfour, the Leafs might well be getting ready for the first round of the playoffs right now. He has to go.

(Cross-posted to Tart Cider.)

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