Howard Berger's flip flops…

I have been picking on Howard Berger a lot recently, but I won’t say much here. I think his words speak for themselves.

September 30th, 2009

My own sense is that the Leafs will improve, but not quite enough to sneak into the playoffs.

TORONTO… 90 pts (9th)

November 2nd, 2009

Exactly one month of the 2009-10 National Hockey League season has passed for the Maple Leafs and there’s already enough data to reasonably conclude that the franchise will extend its record absence from the Stanley Cup playoffs next spring. That shouldn’t come as a bulletin to any rational person that has watched the club stumble through its first 12 games, but common sense rarely prevails in our rose-colored city.

December 21st, 2009

In a season that looked, early on, as if it would have few defining moments, tonight’s home date with the Buffalo Sabres will speak loudest about the Maple Leafs. There are no extenuating circumstances heading into the match — neither club played last night; both are relatively healthy [though Thomas Vanek is out] – and it represents the most significant hour of the Leafs’ season to this point. If they can follow Saturday’s shut-out conquest of the Bruins by knocking off their prime nemesis of the past calendar year, there will be no reason to think the Leafs cannot remain indefinitely in the playoff hunt.

January 24th, 2010

Though I took a lot of abuse from wishful fans of the Blue & White for suggesting that making the playoffs was a “pipe-dream” after only eight games [and a 0-7-1 start], at least the word “playoffs” was still remotely part of the discussion with 74 games left on the schedule. Now, it will take a blazing streak for the Leafs to merely finish 13th in the Eastern Conference.

Interesting how playoffs after 8 games was a pipe dream but on December 21st there was no reason to think that remaining in a playoff hunt indefinitely was not possible. But that’s Howard for you (though this kind of goofiness isn’t unique to Howard).

The only suggestion I have from all of this is for everyone to remember that the NHL season is a long season and every team has its ups and downs and jumping to conclusions based on 10 or 15 game segments is pointless, especially in a league where there are so few great teams and a whole lot of mediocrity.

Posted in NHL

This article has 8 Comments

  1. I e-mailed Howard with a detailed response to his ridiculous posting in which he called the Leafs’ sellable assets “3rd and 4th liners on most teams”… I explained that Malkin plays with Cooke and Talbot, and how many teams have holes in the top-6 that could be filled by Stajan or Poni. I proved my point with numbers.

    His response? “Delude yourself with statistics, if you wish, but you will be very disappointed on March 3rd.”

    So essentially he dismisses any argument in which those crazy things called “statistics” are involved… Frustrating.

    It’s hilarious when he teases fans for having “hope” for the playoffs. The guy is clearly the most frustrated closet Leaf fan there is.

  2. I e-mailed him too with pretty much the same thing, also pointing out that for the most part Washington’s second line center is Brendan Morrison and he’ll have a hard time arguing with anyone that at this point in their careers Stajan is the better player. I didn’t get a response.

    I also pointed out that Burke got a second round pick for Dominic Moore last year and most people would consider Stajan better than Moore. All in all Howard Berger seems pretty clueless these days.

  3. Well said.

    But in terms of expectations after March 3rd…

    If we acquire any first round picks, the deadline will have been a tremendous success.

    Besides that, I’d be happy with two 2nd rounders and two additional picks in later rounds, perhaps acquired for Stempniak/Mayers.

    We came away with a 2nd for both Moore and Antropov last year. But remember, Antropov was slumping at the time and Moore was in the midst of his ONLY good statistical season. Poni should demand a 2nd and perhaps 4th, and Stajan should get a 2nd and perhaps a 5th/6th/7th… I just think the duo of Poni and Stajan are more valuable than the duo of Moore and Antropov, so we should expect a better return, especially with more buyers this year.

  4. Berger is a tit. He’s the laughing stock of all semi-knowledgeable hockey fan in the GTA. Hense his blog on HB with the rest of the BS.

  5. I hope for at least 2 2nds and 2 prospects (don’t have to be 1st tiered but i’d like it). Honestly though, I’d rather see prospects then picks.

    As well I can see Hagman being traded for the right deal. i also see no reason why Burky won’t return to the NCAA. Look at Hanson and Bozak for us and Sexton for Anaheim…


  6. I agree w BCapp I think Burke will look to sign some more college free agents this year.

    On that note David has anyone compiled a list of who’s the top of the NCAA crop this year?

    Are there any standouts?

  7. There really aren’t many standouts in the NCAA this year; BC is not doing too well either (Jimmy!…). Hope he looks into the undrafted CHL overages though. There’s some significant success being had by some potential sleepers.

    Also, doesn’t Hagman have a NTC?

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