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Burke: Rangers finding out ‘they’re not big and ugly enough’

Jun 6, 2014, 11:42 AM EDT

Brian Burke AP

Flames president Brian Burke likes assembling big teams that play a physical game. That black-and-blue style is the direction he wants Calgary to go in and he thinks the defending Eastern Conference champions would benefit from embracing that philosophy.

“We started that arms race in Anaheim when we won (the Stanley Cup) in 2007 with a big, ugly team,” Burke, who was the GM in Anaheim in 2007, said, per the Calgary Herald. “Now, if you’re not big and ugly, you can’t win in the (Western Conference).

“I think the New York Rangers are finding out the hard way that they’re not big and ugly enough. That’s our goal this summer — to increase our hostility quotient.”

The gap between the Rangers and Los Angeles Kings isn’t huge. Although the Rangers squandered a 2-0 lead in Game 1, they still held their own despite having comparatively less experience playing in the Stanley Cup Final.

Although Burke’s philosophy doesn’t boil down to just executing more hits, it’s worth adding that while the Kings were tied for the league lead in that category during the regular season, the other members of the top five (Columbus, Toronto, Ottawa, and Winnipeg) weren’t exactly top-tier teams in 2013-14. Meanwhile, the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks finished last in hits for the third consecutive season.

  1. rpiotr01 - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    If only you could win the Cup by being big, ugly AND disheveled – Burke would be in charge of a dynasty.

    • therealjr - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:58 PM

      You forgot pink.

      • 19inarow - Jun 6, 2014 at 4:03 PM

        Oh no you di-in’t!

    • blomfeld - Jun 7, 2014 at 12:01 AM

      “Chicago Blackhawks finished last in hits for the third consecutive season” …

      translation … Chicago Blackhawks = Girl Power !!! :) :) :)

  2. djshnooks - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    So they aren’t “truculent” is what he is really trying to say? Lmfao. “Truculent!”

    Oh, Brian Burke…you crack me up.

  3. thegronk87 - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    Rangers are a bunch of pretty boys

    • doknyc - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      typical boston, whine whine whine….

      • jimeejohnson - Jun 6, 2014 at 4:03 PM

        And lose, lose, LOSE!

  4. djshnooks - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    One other thing that just hit me…Tim Murray was with him in Anaheim back then.

    This is exactly what Tim Murray is doing in Buffalo, the same exact philosophy.

    Look at his moves so far…he brought in…Chris Stewart, Nic Deslauriers, Hudson Fasching, William Carrier…all big-bodied, power forwards, with a mean streak.

    I’d love to see Alex Tuch in a Sabres sweater come draft day, but only by obtaining another top15-20 pick.

    This also makes me think Leon Drasaitl might be the #2 pick, if Ekblad is #1.

    Or Sam Bennett…as he has a mean streak. (No, pull-ups mean absolutely nothing.)

  5. 2qswing - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    “hits” is a silly stat made for tv. If you lead the league in hits it also means you probably lead the league in NOT possessing the puck. Kings are in the cup finals, Columbus made the playoffs, Leafs, Sens and jets stink. There are your top 5 in hits…proves nothing

  6. oldfatbaldguy - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    That’s a sweeping conclusion based on a team losing Game 1 on the road in overtime.

  7. mz1394 - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    Sabres fans are morons

  8. hrudey - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    Big and ugly alone isn’t enough – look at the Kings after the 1993 run where they built a team in Melrose’s image and promptly sucked. You’ve also got to have speed and skill, or else you’re just a hardworking bunch of meatheads that won’t ever beat the top teams.

  9. freneticgarfieldfan - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Who cares what Burke farts?
    He didn’t build the Ducks championship team, he inherited it.

    • shamu1the1whale - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:29 PM

      I totally agree!! Not sure why he gets attention. (I’m not a fan of Burke.)

  10. hockey412 - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    A little premature on that line. Series is 1-0 Kings, and they could EASILY have lost that game.

    No offense to Burke, but I don’t remember him actually building the team he decribes, either. The Canucks were good, but I don’t remember them being described as the Kings of that era, Anaheim was hardly his team when they won the cup, and Toronto…well…

    Maybe he should just zip it and concentrate of the team he has.

  11. garybrian - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    Maybe Burke should try managing in the WWE. Kings are winning by playing good hard hitting (no fighting) hockey. None of the “truculence” Burke always seems to preach.

  12. bwayblueshirt - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    I would like to see McIlrath have a go on the fourth line. Might help make Brown think twice before throwing his knees and elbows around.

    • buckhome - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:19 PM

      I’m a Ranger fan, but McIlrath has a long way to go before he’s ready for NHL action, nevermind Stanley Cup finals

  13. bojangles83 - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    Leading the League in hits also means you lead the league in hits against….

  14. drewsylvania - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Worst GM ever.

  15. drewsylvania - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    Are the Flames the worst org in hockey? They have to be, right?

  16. vancouversportsbro - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Of course Brian Burke wants the spotlight once again.

    This would apply if the Rangers were facing the Bruins, not the Kings.

  17. kfraser91 - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    another wardrobe from the Brian Burke ‘Zero F**ks Given Collection’ jeez…can the flames hire someone to make sure this guy looks presentable before giving an interview come on now

    • shamu1the1whale - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:31 PM

      haha this is my thought exactly

  18. stepanup - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    Where exactly do the Hawks fit into this? Two banners, three Western finals appearances in the past three years…

  19. buckhome - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    If Burke wants Calgary to be big and ugly, would he please trade Johnny Gaudreau to the Rangers. We’ll send you Dan Carcillo back – he’s pretty ugly

  20. punksinplay - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    Well, if anyone should know about big and ugly it’s Burke…

  21. njadvocate111 - Jun 6, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    Burke is the biggest blowhard out there. He has ruined more teams than he has built. I have never seen anyone been given so much power/respect after doing absolutely nothing and just riding the coattails of Lou Lamoriello, after playing for him at Providence. Other than that, he has no credentials. The fact he had a role in building Team USA is embarrassing, but at least he won his pissing contest with Bobby Ryan

    • shamu1the1whale - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:32 PM

      I totally agree with everything you wrote!!

  22. nyking1963 - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    A couple of things right of the bat..
    Hitting statistics are completey inaccurate. The home team determines what’s a hit and what’s not. It’s not hard to see some home town cooking going on with those stats. Take them with a grain of salt.
    It’s not the force of the hit or making the big, flashy hit that will appear on highlight shows other than sportscenter (hockey’s unknown there)…Finishing your chcks is what’s important. After a while those hits will take their toll on an opponent. That’s what wears out a smaller team like the Rangers. Everyone is looking for a reason why the 3rd period was dominated by LA. they finished every check..something NYR wasn’t used to throughout the playoffs. NYR also started throwing the body as well. Again, it’s not something they are used to doing at the frequency that they did in game 1. They looked tired in the 3rd. They had a week off, so that wasn’t the reason for being tired. The Kings relentless physical play is what wears their opponents down. Doing it over a 7 game series will have an effect on the opposition.

  23. rutledge3197 - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    Thegronk87…….. Mmmmmm look at your sissy QB……. Let’s go rangers

    • thegronk87 - Jun 6, 2014 at 6:03 PM

      My “sissy” quarterback has 3 titles, the rangers have zero…yet lundqvist keeps posing for GQ lol

  24. nyking1963 - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    Brown gives as much as he receives. If you start running around looking to hit Brown, by the time you catch him the pucks in your net.
    Play your game which is what got you here. Whether that’s good enough or not, you’ll find out soon enough.
    Game 1 wasn’t a dirty or chippy game. If Brown’s hits are bothering the Rangers, then they’re in trouble.

  25. bleedrangerblue - Jun 6, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    Geez people the Rangers can skate and bang with anyone. They lost a game… Get a grip. This team has rebounded all year. It goes back to NY tied at 1…..

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