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Burke on Leafs fortunes of late: “This is akin to an 18-wheeler going off a cliff.”

Mar 3, 2012, 11:52 AM EDT

Randy Carlyle, Brian Burke AP

You don’t make a coaching change this late in the season unless there’s something seriously wrong and you’re trying to fight for one last shot at the postseason. For Leafs GM Brian Burke, firing Ron Wilson and hiring Randy Carlyle all came about because the season spiraled out of control for the Leafs.

How badly though? Burke sums it up nicely during his press conference introducing Carlyle as the new coach.

“I’ve never had a team fall off a cliff like this before,” Burke said.

“This is akin to an 18-wheeler going off a cliff. I’ve never seen anything like this in my life, I don’t know what happened.”

With the Leafs having won just once in their last 11 games, it’ll be up to Carlyle to find a way to make sure that 18-wheeler finds a soft landing and helps Toronto perhaps make the playoffs. Does Randy Carlyle have a Superman outfit under the suit?

If he can’t turn things around, as Burke said during the presser, it’s about getting a head start on next season with Carlyle in place. It seems desperate now, but with the Eastern Conference being an abject mess with no one seemingly wanting to win, Toronto has as good of a shot as any other team. If they get hot, it can be done. Being five points out of eighth right now, however, doesn’t make things easy.


  1. rainyday56 - Mar 3, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    If you need a semi and cab driven off a cliff, Burkie’s your man.

  2. grillmarks - Mar 3, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Yes, Brian, your millionaire employees not performing well is eerily similar to a truck falling down a mountain.

    • blomfeld - Mar 3, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      Well said friend ! The truth of the matter is that Burke is nothing but an incompetent, disingenuous, manipulative, parasitic, expensive “waste of time” and the sooner he and his big fat contract go over a cliff, the sooner things will be better again for the fair city of Toronto !

      ps: what the hell’s happened to Carlyle ? … I remember this guy as a “stud” on the Jets blue line ? .. but now he looks like some old Santa Claus or something ?

  3. buffalomafia - Mar 3, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    You would think the Sabres would follow suit?

  4. firstandonlywarning - Mar 3, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    I agree, just like a 18 wheeler sliding towards the edge of a cliff for as long as Burkie has been there. One long slide towards the edge, and Burke failed at saving it.

    A team that needed rebuilding sacrificed it’s future for what? Phil Kessel and a shot at .500?

    Utter failures in the Draft and Free agency on the whole while Burke has been there.

    Burke refused to be bad for a few seasons and rebuild the Leafs, he tried to spin his way to a Cup on a .500 record, luck and arrogance.

    As a Wings fan this pleases me to no end, but if you Leaf fans who can’t see that Burke’s ego is bigger than the Blue Maple Leaf at center ice you’re blind.

    • joethorntonisclutch - Mar 3, 2012 at 2:20 PM

      I understand all the Brian Burke hate with the team’s struggles, but where was all this criticism when the Leafs were looking like powerhouses? I can remember earlier this season when Lupul and Kessel were tearing things up and I thought that the Maple Leafs could be a decent team.

      I don’t think they’re necessarily a serious playoff contender with all the pieces that have and are lacking (real top line center anybody??), but I still think that some of the moves Burke made have had a positive impact in the short term. Phaneuf doesn’t look like a fat lazy turd anymore like he did in Calgary. Lupul was an all-star this year– didn’t really see that happening with the Ducks. And then Kessel, for all his defensive woes, is lighting the lamp more than anybody in the league (Save for those Stamkos and Malkin guys, heard they’re pretty good.).

      I understand the hate due to the teams struggles, but would you rather watch another Oilers/Islanders/Jets rebuild, especially in Canada? It takes time, and it doesn’t really seem like Toronto fans would be happy with waiting for anything to happen.

      • firstandonlywarning - Mar 3, 2012 at 5:28 PM

        When since the early 90’s has the words “Toronto Maple Leafs” and “Power House” been put together like that?

        You remember a hot 10 game start?
        You remember Lupul and Kessel getting a ton of points while the team was playing .500 hockey?

        Decent teams struggle to make the playoffs, which the Leafs are doing.
        Good teams find a way to get into the playoffs.
        Brian Burke has failed to build a good team
        He has drafted as poorly as his processors

        Then you say “I don’t think they’re necessarily a serious playoff contender”.
        Really? You don’t? Well that is shocking or the biggest understatement of the day.

        You sound like a poor poor Leaf fan

        Guess what reality Burke has painted for you
        In 2 more seasons Kessel and Phaneuf are unrestricted free agents.
        aka in 2 more seasons if the Leafs are not contenders you can kiss both of them goodbye.
        How does having Dougie Hamilton and Tyler Seguin under team control for the next 6-7 seasons sound now?

        And I just LOL’ed literally with your final statement bout rebuilding.
        The Leafs have not been a contender since Gilmour, Wendell and Felix because they have refused to rebuild.

        If the Leafs rebuilt they would have a future that had something to look forward too, now you are 2 seasons away from rebuilding being shoved down your throat.

        You don’t get Yzerman, Sakic, Forsberg, Malkin, Ovy, Crosby, Stamkos, Tavares types by struggling to stay a .500 team for 20 years.

        Yup you’re a Leafs fan

  5. chiadam - Mar 3, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Move the team to Saskatoon.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Mar 3, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      What??!! No way!! That would just continue the ongoing injustice of depriving former Stanley Cup champion Kenora, Ontario, of its long-overdue NHL franchise! A natural rival for the Winnipeg Jets, Kenora would be the ideal destination for the Leafs, or perhaps the Coyotes. If everyone in the entire town goes to each game, that would guarantee an average attendance of over 15,000! Go Thistles!!!!

      • blomfeld - Mar 3, 2012 at 10:02 PM

        Very funny friend … your cutting sarcasm is excellent and well received ! :)

        However, one could also apply the same tack in advocating your viewpoint. If it’s just about basing NHL franchises in the largest population centers, then why not move the entire league to China or India ? If they can have the nerve of trying to set up shop in places like the Arizonan desert or the heart of Dixie, then trust me, there’s no way you could fail in a place like Shanghai or Bangalore …

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