Tag Archives: brian burke

Bench Talk 06/09/2017

“It’s like the bottom of the ninth and I’m never gonna win. This life hasn’t turned out, quite the way I want it to be.” — Chad Kroeger

Losing can be tough. Losing while riding the pine is downright insufferable. Reach into the styrofoam cooler, crack a cold one and let’s talk some sports.

In the News

On Tuesday night, Scooter Gennett became the 17th Player in MLB history to hit four home runs in a game. This begs the question, what is the most difficult single-game achievement in sports?

Thomas Waind (TW): 10 points in an NHL game (6g-4a) – Darryl Sittler, Toronto, vs. Boston, Feb. 7, 1976

In 2012 Sam Gagner managed to throw up an 8 point game with Edmonton (4 goals, 4 assists). But before him, the most recent 8 point game was Mario Lemieux in 1988. Guys just don’t score 8 points in a game anymore. Goalie equipment is bigger, opposing players are bigger and faster, teams are more structured and system-oriented. There have been 13 eight point games in NHL history. There have been no nine point games. Sittler stands alone with 10. Long live Dirty Darryl. Read more

Revisiting the Dion Phaneuf Trade

On Tuesday December 8, in Toronto’s 3-2 shootout win versus the New Jersey Devils, captain Dion Phaneuf played in his 400th game as a Toronto Maple Leaf. Love him or hate him you can’t deny that this is an impressive bench mark. Especially since many people thought he would be following Phil out the door this past summer.

Although he is still draws the ire of Leafs fans’ hate, Dion has had a sneakily effective season so far. Right now he’s  fourth on the Leafs with 16 points and leads the team with 14 assists. The most noticeable change this year is how Babcock deploys him. While his shifts per game have increased from 28.5 last year to 31.5 this year, his ice time has dropped from 23:43 to 22:20. I love the fact that Babcock stresses shorter shifts at max efforts. After years of watching Kessel and Kadri dogging it for long shifts, this is a welcome change.

As a result of his play, Dion’s trade value hasn’t been higher since he had signed that ill-advised contract  7 years $49 million contract that won’t expire until 2021. But instead of looking at any future potential trades, I want to look back at the controversial trade that brought Dion to Toronto. Read more