Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Leafs coach makes no-brainer goalie decision
I have to say that I think Toronto Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson's decision to give the nod to goaltender Jonas Gustavsson, also know as The Monster, over previous starter Vesa Toskala, is pretty much a no-brainer. And it has something to do with what famous defence lawyer Clarence Darrow said about how public opinion affects public decision making.
Specifically, Darrow said something to the effect (and I'm sure he wasn't the first or last) that all trials are fought in the court of public opinion. Well, the same holds for decisions made by hockey coaches in tough NHL media markets.
With respect to Coach Wilson's decision on who should start tonight, he was facing a public that was fed up with Toskala's continuing sieve routine between the pipes. If that's true, then Wilson was facing two decisions with two resulting prospects:
1) Go with Toskala and be blamed for yet another loss.
2) Go with The Monster and let management get the blame for acquiring two deadbeat goalies if Gustavsson doesn't do much better than Toskala.
In other words, it's all about self-preservation in the face of public opinion. Ron Wilson doesn't want to be the goat. He'll let others take the role with glee.