Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Brian Burke joins Tank Nation
Today Brian Burke announced that tanking was a non-starter. I'm not disappointed at all. It would be inappropriate for an GM in the NHL to indicate that he was no longer interested in winning games. The paying fans would be mad, teams jostling for a playoff spot but with no games against the Leafs would be upset and the league would be furious.
But the reality is that the team is in a free fall. They are now just 3 points out of last place in the East. Their offense has dried up but Burke didn't promote Nazem Kadri or Joe Colborne to replace the injured Joffrey Lupul but Carter Ashton, a grinder and future 3rd liner. Ashton was the only meaningful trade made by Burke in 2012. So sitting pat with a lineup that has fallen off a cliff is about all you need to do if you intend on tanking.
Just look at the Leafs remaining games - Boston, Rangers, Philadelphia, Florida, New Jersey, Ottawa, Buffalo (2), Tampa Bay (2), Islanders, Carolina, Montreal. Not too many easy games there. The Leafs are 24th overall right now. If they win 5 of their remaining 13 games they will finish with 78 points. That could easily drop them down to 27th or 28th which is lottery pick region.
It's been 45 years folks since we last kissed Lord Stanley's mug. The Curse continues.