The annual Every Goal series will run Monday to Thursday through July and August, remembering every goal scored by the Canucks, player by player. Today, we take a look at Alex “Galen Bradwarden” Burrows.
Alex Burrows had a quiet year, but I don’t mean that quite the way it sounds. It’s not that he wasn’t good, or that he was ineffective — it’s that he was exactly as effective as he usually is.
Burrows’s role on the Canucks is so cemented now that he’s finally beginning to be listed as a right winger in some places. He’s a natural left winger and he’s even admitted to preferring to play that side, but for four years, he’s been the right winger for the Sedins. This year, people began to realize that three seasons as a right winger kind of sort of makes you a right winger.
It’s a small, but symbolic shift. This was Burrows’s fourth straight season above the 25-goal mark. He really is the guy he’s been for the last four years. But this means expectations change. A 28-goal campaign isn’t met with the surprise it was when he first did it in 2008-09. It’s about par. As a result, it seemed like a quiet year because we’re used to him surprising us.
It was still fun, though. Here are the first 10 goals of Alex Burrows’s 28 in 2011-12.
Alex Burrows’s first goal of the season is a very rare sight indeed: it’s a powerplay goal, one of only nine Burrows has scored in his career. With Ryan Kesler out to start the season, Burrows saw a promotion to the top unit, and he makes the most of it here, taking the puck from the side of the goal to the crease and jamming it in. Afterwards, Derek Dorsett crosschecks him multiple times, because he heard if you crosscheck a guy enough times, sometimes the ref disallows the goal.
Rough shift here for Corey Potter, who loses the puck off his skate to the corner, then accidentally pokes it to Henrik Sedin, then loses Burrows coming off the wall and finds himself two steps behind when Burrows cuts through the crease to accept Daniel’s centring pass. The Canucks are always looking for a fourth defender to help the Sedins create more offence — maybe they should consider Potter.
This is just a beautiful goal on a play Burrows starts and finished. He makes a drop pass for Daniel, then walks the blue line to stay onside as Daniel enters the zone. Daniel makes a drop pass to Salo, who steps into a slapper, leading to a rebound from Nikolai Khabibulin. Henrik Sedin picks it up, makes a drop pass to Burrows, and it’s in the back of the net. Part of me wonders if this was a set play, especially with the way Burrows and Sedin overloaded the far side looking for the rebound.
Burrows is the last guy you’d ever accuse of not working hard enough, and he shows some serious effort here, finding a puck in the crease after he’s already been cleared out of it by a Calgary defender. Granted, it’s a little easier since he and Ryan Kesler have leapt onto Miikka Kiprusoff like he’s a trampoline, but still. Hard work.
Consider: two days after this goal was scored, David Payne was fired and Ken Hitchcock was hired. I’m not saying this goal was the reason why, but man, you could see how it could be. A sloppy change is exacerbated by the worst turnover of Kevin Shattenkirk’s career, a lazy backhand to Alex Burrows, who steps into the slot. As if the turnover wasn’t gift enough, the puck jumps right in the air, then comes down behind Brian Elliott and goes off his backside and in.
There are few things quite as entertaining as watching Alex Burrows go at it with Shane O’Brien. The two are hardcore frenemies, always looking to get the best of one another. Give this interaction to Burrows, who comes in two-on-one with Henrik Sedin — Shane O’Brien being the one — then suckers O’Brien into clearing out his own goaltender for the goal.
You can hear Burrows calling for this puck from the blueline. He gets it a little late, but he still manages to convert, picking up his own rebound and beating Mike Smith.
Burrows ices a game versus the Blue Jackets, potting an empty-netter after chasing down the puck on a Ryan Kesler clear.
What a gorgeous goal this is. After Henrik Sedin sets up behind the Predators’ goal, Daniel and Burrows go to work trying to give him a passing option. For Daniel, this means trying to get open. For Burrows, this means attempting to interfere with both Predators in front of the goal at the same time. Eventually, Henrik comes out, and Burrows suddenly switches from interferer to converter, getting his stick on the ice in front of his man. Henrik finds him easily with a humdrum swiveling no-look backhand pass with a man draped all over him.
A little hook to the hands from Burrows causes the puck to squirt free to Daniel Sedin late in a game versus the Carolina Hurricanes. This is the last person to whom you want a puck to squirt.
Alex Burrows, Every Goal, every goal 2011-12