Friday, March 2, 2012

Is Leaf Nation Starting To Turn On Brian Burke?

The writing is already on the wall for Ron Wilson, unless he magically turns things around and gets the team into the playoffs (which doesn't look very likely with 18 games to go). Once fans start chanting to fire the coach, historically that means his days are numbered. While the fans haven't started chanting "Fire Burkie", many are starting to question "the rebuild", which is taking far longer than expected. It wasn't supposed to be this way. The acquisition of Phaneuf and Kessel was supposed to speed things up, instead of waiting for draft picks to develop. This team has not made the playoffs since before the lockout, and the fan base is becoming rabid. They want a playoff series, and they want it now.

At the trade deadline Burke chose not to address the team's most glaring need and acquire a goaltender. His only deal was trading a 22 year old 6'6 defenseman with 57 career NHL GP for a 20 year old forward with zero NHL GP. That deal might make the team better 2 years from now, but not right now. Burke traded Versteeg for a 1st and a 3rd last year, but that move won't pay dividends for 2-4 years and Versteeg is having a dynamite season for a lot less money than Tim Connolly. The time is now for Toronto to return to playoff status. Your fans need it, as they have hit a critical boiling point and could collectively explode.

The Leafs are sitting in 11th place in the East, 5 PTS out of a playoff spot. But if you look down instead up, they are also 5 PTS from a lottery pick that could be #1 overall. The question is; in which direction do you want to go? My guess is more Leaf fans would rather make the playoffs than maximize ping pong balls in the draft lottery. You tell me.

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