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Former Leaf coach Wilson sympathizes with Carlyle

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TSN.ca Staff
3/31/2014 2:36:25 PM
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With the Toronto Maple Leafs mired in an eight-game losing streak, head coach Randy Carlyle is feeling the heat as the team continues their downward spiral.

And former Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson certainly knows his pain.

"It's pretty hard to coach there without allowing some of these things to kind of affect you," Wilson told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun in his ESPN.com blog on Monday. "That goes for the coaches, but the players, as well. You can't go anywhere without hearing about what's going wrong or all this kind of stuff.

"I really feel for the coaching staff and, above all, for Randy right now. He's got the same thousand-yard stare that I had. But at the end, you almost feel like it's completely out of your control, everything takes on a life of its own. It's unbelievable."

Wilson worked nearly four seasons as head coach of the Maple Leafs before he was fired with 18 games remaining in the 2011-12 season and replaced by Carlyle.

"In Toronto, everything is always out of perspective; they're either winning games and they're planning the parade route," Wilson said. "Or you lose a couple of games and everything gets over-exaggerated."

Wilson, who has watched the Maple Leafs, said the team hasn't had much luck and the players are responding to the pressure by gripping their sticks too tightly.

"I watched the last two games this weekend; I thought they played OK in those games, but right now they've got no puck luck," he explained. "It's like maybe they used up all their puck luck earlier in the season when they were getting outshot but still won games. You might say they had a lot of puck luck in those games and it's dried up now. A lot of the players are squeezing their sticks right now, which tends to happens in these situations."

The Maple Leafs are still in the wild card hunt with six games remaining in the regular season. They sit two points back of Columbus entering Monday night's game, but the Blue Jackets have two games in hand.



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