Burke upbeat about winless Leafs

It is like reading palms, tea leaves or, the way the Maple Leafs havebeen playing, entrails. Hints of the future can be found in the oddestof places.

It is like reading palms, tea leaves or, the way the Maple Leafs have been playing, entrails. Hints of the future can be found in the oddest of places.

So as the Leafs spilled their guts in another loss, their seventh in a season that is seven games old, general manager Brian Burke picked through the carnage and found signs of hope.

“I thought (Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the Rangers) was our best game to date. I thought our guys worked extremely hard and I took a lot of positive out of it,” Burke said yesterday. “I don’t get paid to panic after seven games. I don’t know when I do get paid to panic but I know it’s not after seven games, especially where I see signs of life. I do think we’re coming out of it.”

An 0-6-1 start to the season has matched the worst seven-game stumble out of the gate in franchise history (equalling the 1990-91 squad) but it doesn’t appear a dramatic shakeup is in the works. Nor has the horrible start undercut Burke’s goal of making the playoffs this spring.

Burke was to sit down with coach Ron Wilson last night to see what could be done to help the situation on the ice and though the GM says he is “always” looking for a trade, nothing seems imminent.

So hope will come when the Leafs hit the road for a five-game journey at week’s end with not two, not three, but four goaltenders on their chartered flight.

Right now the Leafs have AHL callups Joey MacDonald and James Reimer as their goalies. Both highly touted rookie Jonas Gustavsson and incumbent No.1 Vesa Toskala, who are recovering from injuries, are expected back early in the road swing, possibly for next Monday’s game at Anaheim.

 
 
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