Brian Burke confused me on March 3rd

Photo: Hockey Night in Canada/CBC

Photo: Hockey Night in Canada/CBC

The Legion of Blog posts a weekly piece attempting to decipher what Don Cherry says on Saturday night’s Coach’s Corner segment. We’re all aware that Grapes can say some pretty outlandish things from time to time, and whether you agree or disagree with him, the way it’s all presented will often leave you saying “Don lost it on (fill in name, city, something)” immediately afterward.

I don’t believe everything Cherry says is garbage. I’ve always thought his stance on getting rid of the military armor that players wear as hockey gear these days is right on. But there’s usually a dose (or full onslaught) of foolishness we get to sit through every weekend on Hockey Night in Canada.

Cam Charron tries to make sense of the garbled slur and it’s quite hilarious.

For example, Don’s thoughts on Reimer (I think):

“He was playing great, ’til he got conked on the head, and then he comes back, and the worst team to play at home is the Boston Bruins. They’re brutal on goaltendings…”

Of course.

Given that Cherry ultimately lost his mind on-air last night and called Burke to the dirt, it seems like a good time to weigh in on what’s confusing me. Since Grapes is such an easy target these days, it may be time to shift over to Burke.

Brian Burke confused me last night.

In a pre-game interview with Ron MacLean — which was pretty tough, by the way — Burke was visibly frustrated (probably for good reason) and said some weird stuff. Later in the broadcast Cherry went on to say that MacLean asked soft questions, but in my opinion they were anything but.

Burke, on the pressures of Toronto, and whether or not the atmosphere is used as an excuse, or crutch:

We’re not looking for excuses for our players, these are real things…  to the point where we’re discussing having a different trade deadline, an internal deadline for next year.

This is where I actually felt a little embarrassed for Burke. I’m not sure what goes on inside the Leafs‘ dressing room, but I’m willing to bet a fair chunk of change that it’s quite similar to that of 29 other teams. If you split out the top markets that you would expect to have the most “media pressure”, Toronto would certainly be on the list, but alongside New York, Montreal, Boston and Philadelphia. I’ve yet to hear rumblings of any of those clubs considering their own deadline, so I’m not sure why Burke believes Toronto is so special in this regard.


Every team we play comes in with 5, 8 or 9 Ontario kids and they try to play the game of their life in front of their family and friends — we’re stuck with that too. Not an excuse, it’s a fact.

Sounds like more of an excuse, actually. But then MacLean countered by asking Burke if that is the case, then why don’t the Leafs load up on players from Ontario and grab the same advantage, to which Burke responded;

We don’t care where players are born, we try to identify good hockey players.

Fair enough. But if Burke is going to use this thing as fact in one regard, how can he completely dismiss it the other way?

To me, personally, it sounds like a lot of bullshit. I could really care less where the Leafs get their players. They can ice 23 Americans or 23 Brazilians for all I care. It’s just odd to me that Burke presents the idea of Ontario-born players from other clubs performing at a higher level at the ACC as factual, then turns around to say that the thought that the Leafs could benefit from it the same way is preposterous.

Perhaps Burke is a little rattled from the recent losing streak and having to fire his pal Ron. It’s understandable. But for as much as it seems like he can do no wrong, Brian Burke really confused me on March 3rd.

Here’s the interview with MacLean from the CBC website.

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