You hear that? It's tough to hear much over the "fire Ron Wilson" chants, but that's the sound of the Toronto Maple Leafs' playoff hopes rapidly evaporating. Losers of their last 3 games, and with 3 of a possible 20 points in their last 10 games, the team is quickly falling out of the playoff picture. Sure, they're still only a few points out of a postseason spot with 19 games remaining, but 10 games ago they were a near lock (probability-wise) to make it, and I was writing posts about which players might help them make some noise in the post-season. Now they're longshots to get in.
So with all that, what do the Leafs do? I hate to agree with the masses because it doesn't make for provocative writing, but I strongly believe that if/when they miss the playoffs for the 7th straight time, the Leafs have no choice but to fire Ron Wilson. Wilson has enjoyed success as a coach in the past, but virtually none in his 4 years in Toronto. After not making any moves at the deadline, Burke and upper management strongly indicated that they believe the on-ice personnel is capable.
However, the team hasn't progressed much in the standings in the time Wilson has been around. Key draft pick Luke Schenn is getting worse by the game, and big-name defencemen Mike Komisarek and Dion Phaneuf look like they're each making about $4million per season more than they're worth. Their penalty killing continues to be atrocious, and the two young goalies who were both touted are floundering (the goalie-coach should probably face the music for that last one).
Assuming the owners correctly believe that Brian Burke is making sound player-acquisition decisions, then the blame has to fall on the coach(es). If the decision-makers in the organization truly feel that the current players are good enough to make the playoffs, and should progress towards being a contender in the coming years, and they aren't doing that, then the coach needs to go.