Apr 032009

I like Ben Kuzma’s (Vancouver Province) piece this morning on Alex Burrows’ nomination for the Bill Masterson trophy.

Like a hot potato, Alex Burrows was quickly passing credit to others Thursday.

Informed that he’s the Bill Masterton Trophy nominee as the Vancouver Canucks player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the game — based on an overwhelming vote by the local chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association — the feisty winger wondered what all the fuss is about.

“I know what the trophy means,” said a grateful Burrows.

“It’s about perseverance and passion for the game and sportsmanship, too. But I don’t know about that one. I guess that’s okay. I haven’t been suspended in over four years. I know I’ve got to play hard within the rules, but there are a lot of candidates in this room who could have got it. But I’m really happy.”

While the accolades have come in spades recently, he has remained humble and it’s yet another reason Canucks fans have embraced him this season.

The rest of Ben Kuzma’s piece is here.

Apr 022009

On the TEAM 1040 this morning, Steve Yzerman was asked about talk that he may be considering Alex Burrows for Team Canada’s 2010 entry. Yzerman’s response:

“We’ve got a relatively long list of players that, once the season is over, we’ll sit down and discuss which guys out of that group we’ll bring to Vancouver (for the 2010 Games). And Alex’s play this season has certainly merited – he’s earned the right for us to watch him very closely. He’s obviously someone I’ve taken note of with his play. The offensive production has increased this year to add to his play as a strong defensive guy and he’s certainly someone I’m watching very closely. We’ll see and we’ll get a chance to watch Vancouver into the playoffs and see how they perform – but absolutely, he’s a guy that we have to keep an eye on.”

There’s not much more I can add here except to highlight how far Burrows has come in the last couple of years – from the ECHL and summertime ball hockey to a consideration for Team Canada.

Wow. Just wow.

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Mar 292009
Kevin Bieksa shushing the Chicago Blackhawks

Photo credit: canucks.com

Shortly after the Canucks scored and made it 3-0 in the 3rd period against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight, the Blackhawks decided to show how tough and resilient they are. First, Dustin Byfuglien punched Roberto Luongo in the face. A few seconds later, Dave Bolland punched Daniel Sedin while the puck was a good 30 feet away from him.

Yeah, real tough.

Alain Vigneault was pissed off at Chicago coach Joel Queneville and rightfully so. Sending their tough guys going after the Canucks’ best players was a chicken shit move and it’s the kind of “fighting” the league needs to eliminate. (To be fair, I thought the refs did a good job of trying to eliminate it from this game.)

Full credit goes to the Canucks for their response. Kevin Bieksa, Shane O’Brien, Alex Burrows and even Mats Sundin stepped in and stood up for their teammates, and Ryan Kesler eventually scored a powerplay goal to make it 4-0. It was the best response, and in more ways than the final score, the Canucks showed they were the better team.

Video of Byfuglien’s cheap shot on Luongo and ensuing brouhaha is here:

Video of Bolland’s cheap shot on Daniel Sedin is here:

[update: 03/30/2009, 6:52 AM]

Added sweet Bieksa pic on top and the Sportsnet feed of the fights below:

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