Alex Burrows is one of the league’s most renowned (and some might say reviled) chirpers. He’ll say almost anything to get an opponent off their game, including bizarrely personal stuff for which he clearly does research. He’s admitted to checking his opponents’ statistics before games. You’ll recall his and Ryan Kesler’s taunts to David Backes back in 2009, which included mentioning Backes’s wife by name. And he once got Detroit Red Wings’ enforcer Aaron Downey worked up by making fun of the Downey family potato farm.
That in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of his taunts to Mike Richards was similarly tailored. After Richards laid the Canuck winger out with a big, open-ice hit in the dying seconds, Burrows went after Richards at the next stoppage, only to be knocked to the ice. As the linesmen came in to separate them, Burrows took a jab at Richards’s reputation as a partier by dragging his finger under his nose. Twice. Keep your eyes on Burrows at the 0:25 mark:
Oh dear. No word on if he followed this up with a Rick James impersonation.
But it didn’t stop there. According to Jason Botchford, who witnessed the scene from the press box, the drug use taunt continued as Burrows lined up for the draw. From the Province:
[...] while waiting for the faceoff, Burrows scooped up snow with the blade of his stick. He began flipping it, and then, cradling his pile of snow, he pointed the blade toward Richards. Many saw it as him poking fun at some, well, alleged lifestyle choices. An official thought it offensive enough to jump in the middle, putting a stop to it.
Sadly, every broadcaster was in replay when this would have taken place and not a single one of them was able to produce video for us. However, at 0:45 of this clip from the Kings feed, you can see the official reach out and bat Burrows’s stick down to the ice.
We can presume from Botchford’s eyewitness account that the official’s body is blocking the small pile of ice chips resting on the stick shaft.
While this is one of the most unbelievable and audacious taunts I’ve ever seen, I’m just going to go out on a limb here and suggest this might be one of those reasons Alex Burrows is so strongly disliked throughout the league: it’s a reputation earned through ingenuity and hard work.
Massive stick tap to Daniel W. for the clip.Tags: Burrows, Canucks, Kings, oh man this ain't gonna help, richards, taunting