Brian Burke doesn’t agree with all the negative publicity surrounding the violence in the first round of the 2012 NHL playoffs.
The Toronto Maple Leafs general manager has thoroughly enjoyed watching the quarterfinals thus far and believes the media is focusing on a small number of incidents rather than the intense and compelling games.
“I hope we continue to nail the people who are crossing the line,” Burke said to Kevin Allen of USA Today. “But this is a small number of incidents, and it’s unfortunate that non-hockey media is focusing on that. But what I see is great hockey. It’s awesome.
“This is like people complaining about the rain at Woodstock,” Burke continued. “Yes, there was lots of mud, but it was the greatest music gathering in history.”
As Kris Draper pointed out on Tuesday morning, a prevailing opinion around the NHL is that the players no longer respect each other, which has led to an increasing amount of hits to the head.
Burke understands why some of the media are upset with all the suspensions and injuries but quickly shot down the popular opinion regarding the idea of respect.
“People say there is no respect,” Burke said. “I’m not sure how much respect there has ever been in the game when the adrenaline starts to run.”
Although many in the media have been critical with the consistency in the rulings coming from NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, Burke, who was once in the same position as Shanahan, believes Shanahan has done a fine job and can’t worry about pleasing anyone.
“He’s making the right calls and he’s attaching the proper weight (on his suspensions),” Burke said. “If you would give a guy six games in the regular season, how much do you him in the first round?
“You can’t make people happy, so just do the job…And I think Brendan is doing that. It’s impossible for fans to be rationale at this time of year. It’s impossible for Detroit fans not to be outraged when Shea Weber wasn’t suspended (for slamming Henrik Zetterberg’s head into the glass). But I don’t think he should have been.”