While Brian Burke hasn’t indicated his plans for fixing the mess with his Maple Leafs, he’s made it abundantly clear what he won’t do. In an email exchange with TSN’s Darren Dreger, Burke indicated there are no drastic changes coming and more specifically: “No coaching change”.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are a bad hockey club right now, coming off a week where they blew a third period lead with 13 seconds to go and got pummeled in the NHL’s battle of the basement.  Fans at the Air Canada Centre rained down chants of “Fire Wilson” in the third period of Thursday’s embarrassing display against the Oilers, but as James Mirtle reports: Clarke MacArthur and others were placing the blame squarely on their own shoulders:

“It’s too bad it goes that way [with fans against Wilson],” MacArthur said. “If anything they should be calling us out in here. We’re the guys out on the ice not getting it done.

“I just felt like we almost quit on the goalies there a little bit and it’s not acceptable. You go into the game all ready to go, the systems are all laid out and then we don’t want to follow them. It’s one of those things where if we don’t all buy in, you know you’re going to have nights like this and we didn’t buy in tonight.”

In fairness to Ron Wilson, getting rid of him is not going to drastically alter the course of the franchise overnight.  That’s not to say it won’t help – if Wilson can’t get his players to “buy in” then he is a part of the problem.  Perhaps he most pressing question here should really be which guy is the one not doing his job, Burke or Wilson?

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Comments (6)

  1. Only in Toronto can a team, knowing be in year 2 of a rebuilding year, ask for his head because they aren’t winning enough games. You Torontonians were spoiled a bit at the beginning of the season with them…they got lucky on a few games and had a few great games where they clearly out played their opponents…but those are all just good signs of things to come…sure, every team out there would love to be in a rebuilding stage and go at it like the Avalanche did last year….but that’s just not realistic.

    Asking for Burke or Wilson’s head in all of this is just plain stupid…you’ve got great goalies, great youth and one of the best GM’s in the history of the NHL. A rock solid coached hand picked by said GM…be patient, this team is heading in the right direction…even Burke said it, just hang in there, you’ve hung in there this long, what’s a 1 or 2 more years?

    If you want it done right, it’s not going to happen overnight!

  2. I would agree with Mrseventy8 if the Leafs hadn’t traded those two first round picks for Kessel. No matter how good of a goal scorer Kessel is, two first round picks are pretty valuable to a rebuilding team.

  3. To fire or not to fire? Won’t make a bit of difference in the long run. This team won’t magically start winning games with a different garden gnome behind the bench.

  4. I’m convinced Burke works for the Bruins!! As for being patient Burke threw that out the window soon as he got here. He’s handed a division rival 1 lottery pick and another 1 is in the mail! he can’t be patient now, he has a win now mentality with a last place team! thanks Burkie great work!! we should have a competive team by 2035

  5. @AC Ha, Rick brought that angle up on our podcast this week. Burke’s building the ultimate winner in Boston – he’s gotta be turning heel on Leafs fans down the road.

  6. I have to say that i do, however, agree that losing 2 first round draft picks hurt a team tremendously when rebuilding (this should be an obvious thing, but it would seem Burke didn’t think so) so that is, to me, the only hiccup this team of managers has dropped the ball on…otherwise, they have actually rebounded from this poor decision quite nicely.

    But nothing can actually make up the difference of losing 2 first round draft picks, especial for a losing team – meaning the pick would be a high one!

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