Related to the Burke thing...

From Barry Melrose's latest ESPN.com update

It's good to know that these guys have to do their research and really know what they're talking about, eh? From his mailbag:

I think Burke is the guy, Anthony. The Flyers got him specifically to be the goaltender in the playoffs because he is a veteran guy with plenty of experience. Philadelphia will likely start him to begin the playoff because it will be much easier to replace Burke if he struggles than to pull Esche after sitting down the goalie who came over at the trade deadline. That would hurt Esche's psyche and he would likely be lost for the playoffs if he struggled that badly, so playing a backup role lessens the pressure and allows Esche to be loose. And let's not forget that Burke is a pretty good goaltender, too.

This may be shooting fish in a bucket, but...

1. Unless Bobby Clarke made sure to let Barry freaking Melrose know what his intentions were, how can you automatically leap to that assumption? How do we know that Burke wasn't brought in to be an insurance policy if Esche falters, or goes down with an injury?

2. A veteran guy with plenty of experience, eh? That's one way to put it. Another way to put it would be to say that he's an ancient goaltender who has plenty of experience in not winning when it matters.

3. Shitcan that amateur psychiatrist crap, will you please? Hurt Esche's psyche?! Give me a break...or, better yet, try and remember ALL the way back to last season, when Jacques Lemaire had a much tougher goaltending decision to make. I don't even remember which one of the Dwayne Roloson-Manny Fernandez combination started first, but it didn't matter. Neither had their psyche shattered by the unusual rotation Lemaire had during the playoffs. Actually, far from it -- I believe they wouldn't have gone as far as they did if they HADN'T utilized the hot hand system.

4. It took about ten (10) minutes of research to determine that Burke is 13-33 in the playoffs since junior. If you want NHL-only numbers, it's still 12-23. And, if you want to just use numbers from the 1990s on, it's not any better...3-12, to be exact. I find it hard to believe that Bobby Clarke (who I hoped did at least nominal research in this respect, but after reading what baseball was like before the sabrmetrics stuff, I make no assumptions) went out and got a guy who specializes in losing 4 games to 1 to be his guy for the playoffs, especially after they already tried this several seasons ago, back when Burke was closer to his prime.

The worst part is that the non-thinking fan is going to read this tripe and assume that it's gospel. Sure, one can say that I really have to have brass ones to think my opinion is correct at the expense of a former NHL coach, but I would simply ask to be proven wrong. There's always statistical abberations and whatnot, especially in a crapshoot situation like a professional sport's playoff. However, I'll take the statistics, and the resulting greater odds that I'm correct.


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