Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke is likely relieved that a quality — and familiar — coach like Randy Carlyle was available at this point in the season. But even so, firing his buddy Ron Wilson probably ranked pretty low on his “wish list”, so the gravity of the situation must be settling in.
That said, this decision came down to Burke saving his job and the Maple Leafs’ fading playoff chances.
So will it work?
Before you vote, here’s a look at the situation at hand.
8. Winnipeg (inactive tonight) – 70 points, 16 games remaining
9. Washington (active tonight) – 69 points, 18 games remaining
10. Buffalo (inactive tonight) – 66 points, 18 games remaining
11. Toronto (inactive tonight) – 65 points, 18 games remaining
12. Tampa Bay (active tonight) – 64 points, 19 games remaining as of this writing
Of the Maple Leafs’ 18 remaining contests, eight will be at home while 10 are on the road. (Home record: 16-12-5; road record: 13-16-2)
Toronto’s toughest stretch comes in mid-March during a five-game road trip, six of seven away from Toronto all told. The Leafs will be in a good spot if they can fight through that run, they’ll rotate a home and away game before playing four straight at the ACC.
Sports Club Stats gives the Maple Leafs a 12.6 percent chance to make the postseason, placing them in 10th behind Winnipeg (35.4) and Washington (56.6). Toronto doesn’t have any games left against the Jets and will visit the Capitals on March 11.
Now that you’ve had a moment to look at it from a bunch of perspectives, share your stance. Will they make the playoffs or will Burke’s gamble come up short?