Continuing our Canucks season preview series, today we look at Alex Burrows.
What we remember:
Burrows emerged as a big-game player during the 2011 playoffs, where he racked up 9 goals and 17 points as compared to a total of 7 goals and 11 points in three previous postseasons. Included in his 9 goals were 2 game-winners: the now infamous “slay the dragon goal” in OT in game 7 against the Chicago Blackhawks, and the goal he scored only 11 seconds into OT in game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Boston Bruins.
The goal against the Blackhawks, especially, will forever be part of Canucks’ lore. It was said that, during the intermission between the third period and overtime, Burrows said, “This is what legends are made of.” True enough, he redeemed himself after a bad penalty early in the extra frame and scored the goal that sits, in terms of magnitude in franchise history, perhaps next to Pavel Bure’s game 7, double OT, breakaway goal against the Calgary Flames in 1994.
What we expect:
It’s hard to believe that the former agitator (okay, he’s still one) has scored 89 goals in the last 3 seasons, but as long as he continues to ride shotgun with the Sedins he’ll be expected to continue this sort of production.
Unfortunately, Burrows’ after-the-whistle antics continue to define him as a player and overshadows his other, more noteworthy accomplishments. Dealing with the hair-pulling and finger-biting gets a bit tiresome, but it’s at least somewhat tolerable when he’s scoring almost 30 goals a year and playing gritty hockey every time he steps on the ice.
He said it:
“We just have to continue to put team first and the personal stuff aside and keep or redevelop the same feeling we had last season. We have a good group here, we’ve had great chemistry before and we know that’s what it’s going to take for us to keep this thing going. It’s not guaranteed you have that same chemistry every year, you have to know the things that make it up.”