I am a huge Toronto Maple Leafs Fan. Really, I'm like 6'2" tall and 225lbs!
I was less than enthused when I heard Brian Burke was coming to town, it isn't really that I dis-liked the man, but he had the aura of a cocky young business exec who was trying to climb the corporate ladder and would probably eat his young on the way up.
I don't like people like that, and he's got ridiculous hair (of course, that may be jealousy speaking).
The fact of the matter is, this is not his first kick at the can when it come to building a contender, say what you want about the man, he's here for a reason.
Brian Burke knows what it takes to do the job, and is getting used to life in the pressure cooker that is Leaf Nation .
After the return of Phill Kessel, and getting 10 out of a possible 14 points in the last seven games, including, their first three wins of the season, things are starting to look good for the boys in blue.
You can go all the way back to October 17 against the Rangers if you are looking for a turning point.
From that game on, they have looked like a different team. With The Monster and Toskala both sidelined due to injury, Joey Macdonald was the starting goaltender and for some reason that seemed to spark the team.
I don't think it was because the players necessarily believed MacDonald is a better goalie than either Gustavsson or Toskala, more like there was suddenly no distraction as to who was going to be starting.
The Leafs currently sit tied for 28th in the league in points overall, with Florida. Although, they haven't surrendered a power play goal in more than four games (the last one one was the OT winner in Buffalo by Tim Connolly), they are still dead last in the league on the Penalty kill.
On the flip side however, they are second to only the Flyers on the power play.
In the first seven games of the season (before Oct 17 ), the Leafs had scored only 14 goals and allowed 30.
In the last 8 games however, they have scored 26, and allowed 22. The difference has been like night and day.
The Leafs chances of making the playoffs were certainly not helped by their disastrous start, but don't count them out just yet.
With 67 games left, they would need to win probably 42 of them for a total of 95 points to make the playoffs, and while it may seem like a daunting task, it is certainly not an impossible one.