Watch four minutes of Alex Burrows scoring with the exact same flippin’ move (VIDEO)

Like Judy from “Family Matters”, Alex Burrows is best known for going upstairs. (Okay, maybe not best-known. You might remember him from such shenanigans as biting a guy, kneeing a guy in the groin, pulling a guy’s hair, getting revenged upon by an official, or taunting Mike Richards by miming a little recreational drug use. But after those incidents, Burrows’s forehand-backhand-roof deke totally has to be one of the first things that comes to mind.)

Burrows’s trusty forehand-backhand deke, which he uses so often we’ve taken to calling “Blue steel”, has resulted in some of the clutchiest clutch goals in Canucks’ history. Streak-breakers versus the Carolina Hurricanes and Detroit Red Wings come to mind, but those are just two of sixteen times Burrows has turned on the red light with blue steel in his NHL career, according to blogging newcomers Bure’s Triple Deke.

But the gents at BTD didn’t just count them up: they compiled them in your must-watch Youtube video of the day.

Yeah, it’s pretty effective.

Now, Burrows can score with other moves. In a shootout loss to the LA Kings on January 17th, for instance, he scored by weaving left to right on Jonathan Quick before going forehand. Of course, it’s still a little strange when he doesn’t use the move, so after the game, I asked him if he had chosen to go off-book because he thought goalies might be getting wise to it.

He said it didn’t matter if they were. “I’m sure goalies have seen clips of it. Personally, I think if I execute it like I can, it’s a tough move to stop.”

Burrows isn’t just being overconfident. Cory Schneider, who usually plays goal, agrees.

“When you get a lefty coming down on you, when he comes in on his off-side, you have to protect low blocker because a lot of lefties like that spot,” he said. “I think Burr is not afraid to shoot there either so you if you are cheating to his backhand, he can keep you honest by either going there or going five-hole. So he sells that low blocker shot well and you have to commit to it. But I think, above all else, he gets his backhand up. He’s able to elevate the puck and a lot of guys don’t have that ability and they kind of put it right into your pad. But Burr is always able to get it up two or three feet in a place where it’s hard to get.”

In other words, it’s a great shot, and the only way to be sure you can stop it is to commit to stopping it. But that’s easier said than done when there are other options.

“The best moves require two options,” said Kevin Woodley of InGoal magazine. “What Burrows has is he keeps it on the forehand so long and he approaches with speed. Goalies have to honour that shot. They can’t cheat. We all know what’s coming, but they can’t cheat too much, or he’ll be able to shoot stick side.”

But it all comes back to that shot.

“Now, the whole key to why he scores is he gets it up on the backhand. As a goaltender, at that point, it’s a pretty low number of guys in the league that would be able to make a fast enough rotation and recovery push to get their whole body across to match the speed with which he’s approaching and brings it across on his forehand to the backhand. You’ll never be able to slide your whole body across, so basically, all you’ve got is that pad… If you can get it over that 11 inches, you’re set. Some guys will be able to stack a glove on it, but that still leaves 24 inches of net and Burrows is pretty good at getting it over even that.”

Woodley added that, in order for the move to be truly effective, “eventually, you have to show the other option.” Keep that in mind the next time you’re upset with Burrows for mixing it up.

s/t to Canucks Army for the tip, and Elliott Pap for being a team player.

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9 comments

  1. C
    September 24, 2012

    This. Is. Awesome.

    … I miss hockey.

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    Rating: +21 (from 21 votes)
    • Rituro
      September 25, 2012

      Y’know, there is AHL and WHL hockey within a very reasonable distance. It’ll be the best, if not only, hockey you see for months. Give it a shot.

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      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  2. Will
    September 24, 2012

    So the obvious follow-up question begs to be asked; has Blue Steel ever been stopped? How many times and by who?

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    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
  3. natevk
    September 24, 2012

    At the start of the video, it displays that at one point Burr was 1 for 7 in his career in the Shootout. By the end of the vid, and currently in his career he is 10 for 20.

    That means in his most recent attempts he is 9 for 13!!
    That is simply incredible.

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    Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)
  4. jim
    September 24, 2012

    Putting aside all this lockout silliness, man, am I glad this guy is signed up for five more seasons.

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    Rating: +15 (from 15 votes)
  5. Mitch
    September 24, 2012

    Thank you for putting this up. I swear I could watch that move all day. Didn’t realize you’d named it though, wish Shortie’d use “Blue Steel” in the broadcast.

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  6. Zack
    September 25, 2012

    Go Burrows!

    That was a great watch. I’d like to know how many sticks have survived his attempts at breaking them. I saw at least 1 but maybe 2… The sportsnet broadcast doesn’t usually show when he “shoots arrows” or breaks his stick.

    He should tear off his jersey hogan style.

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  7. Ryan
    September 25, 2012

    This is a classic ball hockey move, which is where Burrows learned it. He was of course voted the MVP in 2003 for the Canadian National Ball Hockey team and was the top point getter in 2002 and 2003 in the CBHA. This move is much easier to learn on foot and you learn to lift the ball every time, something many NHL players haven’t learned to do, effectively and consistently anyway.

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  8. Tengeresz
    September 25, 2012

    Shoot out bravura is just one more reason “Mr. Everything” has been the best value player in the world for at least two seasons. He is well worth the latest contract, in fact it’s pretty clear he took a home-town discount to stay with an organisation that he likes.

    Lucky for all of us.

    His omni-dimensional utility and fire breathing must-win attitude make him great fun to watch.

    Add the compelling story of his climb from the EHCL to the best line in Hockey, and he is a role model in many ways to hockey hopefuls across Canada.

    I wish we could see him play in September — of THIS year!

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