Toronto Maple Leafs: New Head Coach Randy Carlyle Better Be Up for the Challenge

Mark FischerContributor IIMarch 2, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 23:  Head coach Randy Carlyle of the Anaheim Ducks looks on from the bench during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on December 23, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Ducks 4-0.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The axe has finally fallen in Toronto, per TSN.

Amidst recent struggles that have seen the Toronto Maple Leafs drop four straight and nine of their last 10, Leafs general manager Brian Burke has fired head coach and close friend, Ron Wilson.

Wilson was unable to lead the Leafs to the Stanley Cup playoffs during his tenure as head coach.

Entering the fold is Randy Carlyle.

Though Carlyle's track record is rather impressive—just let his 2007 Anaheim Ducks'  Stanley Cup ring do all the talking—turning the Leafs around presents a difficult challenge, one that even the great Scotty Bowman would have trouble overcoming.

Can Carlyle turn around the Leafs?

In order to do so, he'll have to figure out a way to solve the Leafs' goaltending woes—and fast. 

Goaltending has been the Leafs' Achilles heel all season. It's a well-known fact: The tandem of James Reimer and Jonas Gustavsson is mediocre at best.

On the flip side of the spectrum, Carlyle was fired by Anaheim in December, after an abysmal 7-13-4 start.

Perhaps a fluke, or maybe Carlyle has lost his touch. Yeah, I'll go with the former.

Brian Burke sure hopes so.

If the Leafs fail to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs—again—expect Burke to be the next one packing up his bags. 

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