CHICAGO — The Ron Wilson Watch was in full effect Wednesday night after the Toronto Maple Leafs coughed up a 3-1 first-period lead and lost their sixth consecutive NHL game, 5-4 to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Unofficial buzz in the United Center press box indicated the Leafs coach could be fired by general manager Brian Burke in the wake of another defeat, though no such word had arrived immediately after the game. The Leafs simply wilted after a decent opening period in which they outscored the Hawks 3-2 and chased starting goalie Corey Crawford in favour of backup Ray Emery.
"Ok Ron, I gave you 12128 chances, that's it, you may be FIRED....if you lose the next 4 games by an average of over 2.7 goals, I will extend your contract by 4 years then fire you!!! I'M SORRY TO BREAK IT TO YOU IN such a harsh manner...."
It's very plausible if you think about it objectively. 18 games left and Burke has been feeling the heat. He wants to make the playoffs badly this season and a coaching change after not making any deadline trades is his last salvo.
Highly doubt Wilson goes anywhere before the end of this season. If he is to be replaced, don't see MLSE taking Dallas away from all that he has done with the Marlies, and a potentially very good season for that club, and the experiences those players will draw from it. If Wilson is fired, Burke hires the best NHL coach available, bar none.