Burke To Take a Shot At the Playoffs?

It’s interesting, Burke has been on the job for about a couple of months now and well, nothing has changed. That isn’t a bad thing, it is what it is. If you look at what he is saying these days, it is the exact same thing he said in his press conference. I am not sure if some folks expected him to buckle under pressure, but the reality is- he isn’t going to.

““The biggest thing I see is this team lacks an identity,” Burke said. “We’re not a big offensive machine. We’ve been shut out at home twice and that shouldn’t happen. We need to get an identity, whether that’s a bigger, more physical team or a team that is better on special teams. “But I’m not discouraged at all. We have a good group. We don’t quit. They listen to the coaches. We just have to upgrade our talent.”

No, this isn’t a direct quote from his press conference when he got hired. This is from an article that just hit the net on Globe Sports.com.

“What we have is what the fans can see. We have the capacity to be a good hockey team, but the biggest simple problem is we’re not consistent at all, not only from game to game, but also from period to period.”

Again, he has been saying this since day one. Not a criticism, rather an observation.

“When I talk about having a hard-nosed team, I want to make it clear that I love skill, first and foremost,” he said. “If you look at the teams I had in Vancouver, we had a ton of skill and a lot of hard-hat guys.
“I draw a line right through the top six [forwards] and bottom six. The bottom six guys have to bring a pick and a shovel to work. They have to do the penalty killing, block the shots, they have to win the fights and deliver the bodychecks. The top six have to put the points up on the scoreboard. “We have a lot of work to do. There are a bunch of holes on this team. The one motto I have with my players is: no complaints, no excuses. I’m not going to complain.“I don’t have this and I don’t have that. We’ll get things fixed here, but it will take some time.”

It’s almost funny to read this stuff so long after he was hired. It is the exact same thing. I guess one could ask, well, you said all this when you started, you sound like a broken record. The truth is we fans know it and well….yawn

““If we get into a position to add a player to help us make the playoffs, we’re going to do it,” Burke said. “But we haven’t been presented with that. What we have been presented with are deals that will weaken us. If you’re going to make a deal like that, it has to be closer to [the trade deadline] when the value is higher and your fans can see the blue print and understand it. “But if I can make a trade today that will help us get into the playoffs, I would do it.”

To quote Paul Maurice, breath, people breath. What is he supposed to say here? No, I have no interest in being competitive? He hasn’t said I will mortgage the future. He has said what a GM should say. Don’t panic leaf fans. He isn’t gong to do what others have tried to do in the past, I don’t see another Yanick Perrault coming. I don’t think he is going to trade a number one pick for Tom Kurvers. What he means is that f he can trade for a guy who can strengthen the team he will do it as long as the deal makes sense. He isn’t going to trade the future just to make the playoffs. That isn’t what he said here, so no, not time to panic yet.

“They are not going to be 25-year-old guys, they are going to be 28 or 29-year-old guys. Whether Toronto is an attractive destination yet for those guys remains to be seen. It’s still too early to know. I know in the past, to get those players to come to Toronto, the team has given no-trade clauses to entice those players, but I don’t like no-trade clauses. So we’ll see what happens on July 1. We intend to be ready. We have cap space and money to spend.”

With Burke here, and Wilson in tow and a whack of dough, they will have the ammunition they need. You can bet the plan is already in the works… I don’t think we need to worry. The message hasn’t changed and I don’t think the strategy has either. Some times you have to say the right things because to do otherwise would look ridiculous.

You can read the Globe article here

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