Well, the "surprise" signing of Brian Burke occurred this week and so far the Leafs are 2-0-0 under Mr.Burke.
Although Brian hasn't made any moves yet, it seems he has injected some energy into the Blue and White. It appears that players have realized that he isn't shy on the trade front and want to prove that they belong on this team.
In Burke's press conference he said that he thinks a team needs their top six forwards to be skilled and the bottom six to do the "plumber" work. This includes grinding,battling for loose pucks and fighting.
I agree with this and it looks like players are buying into this to keep there jobs.
Saturday night the Leafs beat the Flyers 4-2 in a game that was one of Toronto's hardest working this year. Brian spoke to the team before the game and that seemed to calm them down and help them relax. Coach Ron Wilson said it best after the game.
"I think Brian did a good job to relax them from—I hate to be blunt—but the dumb questions you guys have been asking our players, that they're all going to be traded," Wilson said. "Brian assured them that wasn't going to happen, and that's the best thing that he could have done."
Brian may or may not have said this due to the Christmas trade freeze but, if players don't do their jobs you best believe that Burke will look for players that will.
As a result the Leafs handed the Flyers there first regulation loss in three weeks and showed they weren't shy about taking the body.
Dominic Moore talked about how Brian Burke's arrival effect the team after the game.
"As players, there's always going to be stuff that's going on that's going to distract you," if it's not one thing, it's another. That's the challenge that everybody faces, to play a focused game and not worry about surrounding things that are out of their control" said Moore "I think it's good that he's here and everybody can continue along the path that we're on."
Toronto kept that feeling with them on there trip to California and turned out a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings last night.
The Leafs struggled in the first period but goaltender Vesa Toskala kept them in the game, surrendering the Kings first and only goal during the first period. Vesa made 32 saves which allowed the Maple Leafs to come back in the third, thanks to two powerplay goals by Matt Stajan and Mikhail Grabovski. Jeff Finger then iced the game with a slapper into the empty net.
So with Ron Wilson set to face is former employers tonight in San Jose, we look forward to another strong game by Vesa Toskala and Co.
Brian Burke 3-0 as GM of Toronto? What do you think?
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