Phil Kessel’s interview with reporters yesterday showed his disdain with the media in Toronto and I think it’s a good thing. Why? I think the current sentiment from many Leafs fans is that there is an increasing level of apathy within the Leafs dressing room. To me, this interview showed that Kessel reached a bit of a breaking point and let his feelings out. There’s no doubt that Toronto must be a difficult city to play in, the media are relentless and, it seems, sometimes antagonistic. Phil Kessel certainly felt that way earlier in the year when he affectionately referred to a reporter as an ‘idiot’.
Lupul, in the wake of that famous tweet that got passed TSN’s screeners, also isn’t super thrilled with the media.
Get familiar with #nocomment
— Joffrey Lupul (@JLupul) March 3, 2015
TSN just a poor mans TMZ. Embarrassing.
— Joffrey Lupul (@JLupul) March 2, 2015
I’m actually enjoying this bit of disdain and honesty in Toronto. The truth is, their performances on the ice do look apathetic. Now that’s not to say they are, anyone that’s played competitive sports knows that, it can sometimes be the case that those days you look the worst, are actually the days you’re playing the hardest. These little outbursts though show me that the players in Toronto aren’t happy, nor should they be. The old refrain of the standard hockey interview gets old and it shows zero personality. At least these outbursts reveal some character. They also show that there might be more cohesion in this team than we’ve been led to believe.
I want the players to be annoyed and angry. That makes sense to me, otherwise they just seem complacent. Their record in 2015 is downright embarrassing. Their GM has gotten himself into such a mess that he really couldn’t make any deals for a team that’s trying to rebuild (whatever that means). It took a crappy event, and while I’ll admit that I did chuckle a bit, I’m sure it isn’t any fun for Phaneuf and his wife (and probably not for Lupul either). It’s obviously too late for this Leafs team, but I hope that the positive aspect of these events is the demonstration of solidarity and the willingness to stand up, together, as a team. I know a lot fans want the Leafs to tank, but I don’t care about that. I want to see a glimmer of the team that I love in these last few weeks.
Economist/epidemiologist interested in the intersection between sports analytics (advanced stats) and intuition.