Garret Sparks was forced into an interview Saturday night after the loss against the Senators and what he had to say left a lot of people scratching their heads.
The Maple Leafs were sloppy against the Senators. They came out flat again, struggled at times in their own zone, all of this can be agreed upon, however, one – why is Sparks even cutting an interview and two -how can he justify calling out his team for anything when this was the type of support he was giving them Saturday night.
garrett sparks ladies and gentlemen pic.twitter.com/7mTVzrv2sO
— x-giL faizon™️ (@olive_molester) March 17, 2019
NHL goalies don’t chase pucks that are going way wide to then put yourself so far out of position the opposing player has a tap in after his d-man missed the net by 5 feet. How can you call out anyone after this is the performance you hang your hat on? OR, the fact your record is 7-7-1 this year and your supporting numbers are terrible. Sparks save % would rank him 45th if he was eligible and his GAA 49th.
Sparks owns a career record of 13-16-2 with a .898 save % and a 3.13 GAA. Remind me again how that warrants someone to call out 20 other people about their emotion, effort level, and performance? Here’s a live look at Kyle Dubas after somebody asked him what Curtis McIlhenny was up to these days.
— Michael Augello (@MikeInBuffalo) March 17, 2019
Keeping Sparks over McIlhenny was questioned at the time, and is turning itself into the worst move Dubas has pulled off so far in his GM tenure. Dubas is loyal to his brand, and Garret Sparks was the feel-good story from his Marlies team, the team Kyle Dubas constructed basically from the ground up. There was an argument when Sparks was chosen and Curtis-Mac was waived as Sparks was the younger of the two and the ‘home-grown’ talent. However, in this case, Dubas’ loyalty may have cost his team home-ice advantage in the first round.
Hockey players are cliche homers, and it’s nice when an athlete speaks his mind and goes a bit off script to provide sounds bites for the media. One problem, don’t call out others about their performance if you’re one of the biggest reasons why your team lost. Worry about your rebound control and leaving pucks in the middle of the ice, worry about how you can’t seem to find pucks through traffic, worry about chasing pucks way outside your crease leaving your team out to dry and a wide open net for your opponents. Being a ‘quiet’ goalie in the crease is how guys like Carey Price are so successful, and sometimes, being a quiet goalie outside of the crease isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Garret Sparks has no business calling out his teammates, and if he keeps up his stellar play down the stretch, there’s a decent chance he may end up in a suit. Kyle Dubas and the Leafs management may look to Micheal Hutchinson as insurance for the playoff run, a move that wouldn’t hurt many feelings across Leafs Nation.