While I agree with your thinking on Burke, I wouldn't say the Leafs have the best D in the conference. Don't count your chickens before they hatch, people were saying Calgary defensemen would potentially lock up 3 of the 7 spots on Team Canada and in the end none made it. J-Bo scored 3 goals, Regehr was average and Phaneuf was outscored by White as both a Leaf and a Flame.
No doubt, on paper Toronto's D looks solid, but is a top 3 of Kaberle, Phaneuf and Beauchemin really better than the top 3 of Kaberle, McCabe and Kubina that we had a few years ago? Remember that Kaberle and McCabe were consistent top 10 (and top 5 in 2006) scorers among Dmen back then. Without a doubt, on paper, Komisarek, Schenn and Gunnarsson give the Leafs the best 1 through 6 they've had in a while, but these guys haven't really accomplished anything as a group yet. Don't mention the late season swing, the Leafs have a good finish every year and if they were a reflection of true worth, JS Aubin would be a #1 netminder.
With a forwards core that thin this team will be hard pressed to have a top 10 finish in the conference given how close the Rangers were last year and the improvements Tampa has made. Even when Burke won with Anaheim, they had Getzlaf, Perry, McDonald, Lupul, Penner and a 48-goal scoring Teemu Selanne in the lineup. Defense may win championships, but without some offense, it doesn't get you very far.
So who cares? If you want the Leafs to make the playoffs, you should.
Oh and the defense of the Philadelphia Flyers is better than the Leafs by a mile. The Flyers came a goal and a game from the cup effectively playing 4 dmen and now they have added Meszaros, Walker and O'Donnell.