With the Leafs officially out of the playoffs, Brian Burke readies his groin to be kicked again

With the Leafs officially out of the playoffs, Brian Burke readies his groin to be kicked again

Brian Burke looking exasperated (Image: Tsar Kasim) 

After winning a Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007, Brian Burke described his 2008 loss with the Leafs as “a kick right in the groin.” Well, with the Leafs’ loss on Tuesday officially eliminating them from the playoffs, we hope he has a good cup, especially after having told the National Post back in September, “We think this team is good enough to make the playoffs.”

There it is: the Leafs are out of the playoffs for their fifth straight season, and Brian Burke will be walking funny (metaphorically speaking). So why is the media coddling the team? Looking back at the sad parade of stories from the past two days, we noticed that, for the most part, the sports pages are consoling Leafs fans with the delusion that the Leafs are still relevant. “The Leafs are relishing the role of spoiler, despite missing the playoffs for the fifth straight season,” writes the CBC, since they can spoil other teams’ playoff chances. The Star echoes the message:

Clearly, the Leafs themselves deserve some credit for being total pains in the butt down the stretch, which is the least they can do after sliding into a deep crevasse early in the season and lingering there for months.

As does the Globe:

Playing spoiler, in other words, is the prize. And last night, they kept that trend up by knocking off a team desperately trying to stay in the NHL playoff picture.

We suppose that since Toronto has no lilies, the media just has to gild these Leafs.

• Cox: Playoffs possible (next year) for Leafs
• Leafs looking to spoil Rangers’ playoff hopes [CBC]
• Maple Leafs left out of playoffs for sixth straight season [680 News]
Thrashers miss out on much needed point [Globe and Mail]
• Burke thinks Maple leafs could make playoffs [National Post]