Burke says Wilson is safe despite Leafs' recent poor play
11/8/2010 12:46:32 PM
Despite their recent stretch of poor play - the Leafs have lost eight of their last nine games - general manager Brian Burke has said that head coach Ron Wilson's job is secure.
Speaking to the Toronto Star on Sunday, Burke defended the performance of his bench boss.
"If you watch the game films and show me one thing Ronnie did wrong, then come back and ask me about it. The answer to your question is yes, the coach is safe," Burke told The Star at a sports management conference that he was co-chairing.
Toronto started the season well, winning four straight games and recording a point in its first five. But since then, the Leafs have only one win over a span stretching nine games. The Leafs lost their last two games in a shootout, with Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Sabres especially upsetting considering they held a two-goal lead late in the second period and gave up the tying goal with just seconds left to play.
Toronto's offence has been anemic of late, having been shutout twice while producing just 15 goals in nine games since the four-game winning streak to open the season.
Toronto's top line of Phil Kessel
, Tyler Bozak
, and Kris Versteeg
has been particularly ineffective. The trio has just 11 goals combined on the season and only two goals in their last five games, all Leafs losses.
Burke suggested that if the media is looking for someone to blame for the team's recent struggles, it should look at the players and their lack of production - but not the coach.
"Did Ron play poorly last night? No. Why don't you guys focus on the players who played poorly last night instead of questioning the coach," Burke said to The Star. "We have players who aren't performing at a proper level on a nightly basis. That has to change."
Burke went on to say that he's willing to make a trade if it makes sense and upgrades the talent on his team, but he won't just move players as a response to the recent string of losses.
"If I could improve the hockey team today, I will," he said. "We have cap room and we have budget room. If we could have added a player last week, we would have added a player. I don't base player transactions on our record."
The Leafs are next in action on Tuesday in Tampa Bay before taking on the Florida Panthers - the only team Toronto has beaten in their last nine games - on Wednesday.