Why is Alex Burrows so sad in the above photo? Maybe it’s because he knows new coach John Tortorella plans to give his job, that plum position to the right of the Sedins, to Zack Kassian. Not cool, Torts.
For the past five seasons, Burrows has been to the twins what the Doomsday Device was to the Legion of Doom, or the Dudley Death Drop was to the Dudley Boyz: a legendary finisher. Ever since being paired with the pair, Burrows has been a lock for around 30 goals per season. That said, last season was his least productive in that role. It was the first time he’s failed to score at a 28-goal pace since 2008-09, his first season on the top line. So maybe it is time for a change?
If 2013 was Burrows’ last as the third Sedin, while it didn’t go as well as it normally does, it didn’t go too terribly, either. He finished the year with 13 goals, good for the Canucks’ team lead in scoring. Not too shabby — as ways to go out go, “on top” is always preferable. We close this year’s player-by-player look at every goal scored last season with the man they call Burr.
Burrows’ first of the season comes on a lucky bounce, as his shot low to Antti Niemi’s right pad is kicked away, only to bounce back into the crease and past Niemi off the skate of Dan Boyle. But the play doesn’t happen without the contributions of Jannik Hansen, who turns on the jets, managing to create a semi-threatening rush out of the San Jose turnover, then skates right into Boyle, tying him up and muscling him towards the goal for the unfortunate deflection.
Ever the opportunist, Burrows takes advantage here of some room to skate out to the side of the goal as well as some oom to tuck the puck in on the short-side once he’s there. If you’re the Kings, that combination of room is the worst room since The Room.
Here’s a prototypical Burrows goal, scored by jamming a loose puck home in the crease after it’s been centred by one of the Sedins. Nobody jams like Burrows. Not even Phish.
Whenever I click play on one of these goal videos and it’s an odd-man rush with the Sedins and Burrows, I get stoked, because I know there’s something really sexy about to happen. Sure enough, this rush ends with a gorgeous cross-ice pass from Henrik to Burrows, who one-times the puck into the Dallas goal. It’s a gorgeous goal, made a little more special because Henrik’s assist gave him sole possession of the Canucks’ franchise scoring record. He’ll probably have that for a very long time.
This play was almost really pretty, with the Sedins and Burrows working a gorgeous little passing play down low on the powerplay. Unfortunately, Daniel’s shot goes off the crossbar, and the unit is forced to forget their near-magic and start again. Thankfully, it doesn’t take them long to erase the memory of Daniel’s lost highlight. Alex Edler gets the puck two seconds later and wrists it on goal, and Burrows redirects it in.
I liked them at first, so maybe my opinion is tainted by how terrible the Canucks played when they were wearing them, but those Millionaires jerseys are hideous to me now. Anyway. Burrows narrowly missed an NHL record on this goal, which comes just six seconds after puck drop versus the Detroit Red Wings. It was the fourth-fastest goal in NHL history. It comes on a gorgeous set play, with Daniel and Burrows breaking in off the faceoff and Alex Edler hitting Daniel to start a sudden 2-on-1. Burrows finishes it off with a one-timer.
Burrows connects again later in that same game, but it’s not met with quite the same amount of excitement, because in between this one and the last one, the Red Wings scored five times. It’s a shame that no one really cared about this one, because it was actually sort of pretty, with Burrows kicking the bouncing puck to his stick before backhanding it in. That takes some skill. But yeah, by this point, pretty much everyone is dialled out.
I think there are still some people who think Burrows is just a product of the Sedins. To those people, I submit this goal, where he completes a gorgeous give-and-go play not with Henrik Sedin, but with Andrew Ebbett. After feeding Ebbett down low then breaking from the wall to the net, Burrows takes the return pass and goes top-shelf with a backhand sicker than the Outbreak monkey.
Here’s a candidate for Canucks’ goal of the year, a tic-tac-toe passing play from the Sedins that ends with a tap-in for Burrows. It’s amazing how quickly it happens. After Dan Hamhuis has his shot blocked, the puck dribbles to Daniel. As it’s doing that, Henrik Sedin makes for some wide open ice to Daniel’s right, and when he gets there, his brother finds him with a swivelling backpass. Henrik is now completely wide open for a shot, so of course he makes another pass, finding an uncovered Burrows to end the play. Sedinery most wizardous.
Antti Niemi actually makes this save, but a little bump from Burrows heading through the crease shakes the puck loose, and when it drops into the blue paint, Burrows is the first one on it.
More jam from the jammingest player on the Canucks. After Daniel swivels from behind the goal and attempts a wraparound, Burrows spots the puck under Miikka Kiprusoff (or maybe he doesn’t) and stabs at Kiprusoff’s groin with reckless abandon. A few months later, Kiprusoff retired. Was it because of this goal? We cannot know for sure, but probably.
I love this goal, because it’s just typical Burrows garbage. After he spots the puck loose in the crease, he tries to jam it in the same way he often does. Unfortunately, Dennis Wideman is holding his stick. So Burrows goes to plan B, dropping down in front of the puck to a) guard it, and b) hopefully propel it in with his torso (because, obviously, doing so with his hands or his feet is illegal). As he’s doing so, he gets a lucky break, as a Calgary stick gets in there and knocks it instead.
Finally, Burrows’ 13th of the season is another deflection on a point shot, and a nifty one at that, as Burrows shows the puck his backhand and has it ramp off his stick and into the goal. It’s a great way to deflect — maybe the best way outside of changing the topic.Tags: Alex Burrows, Every Goal, Every Goal 2012-13