Alex Burrows will start Game 1 where he’s started so many games in the past: alongside the Sedins. Now, normally, this wouldn’t be all that notable. After all, it’s his usual spot. But John Tortorella entered training camp with a plan to get him off the Sedin line.
Makes sense when you think about it. Burrows’ deployment there was, after all, Alain Vigneault’s big innovation. If you’re angling to exact some kind of major change to the look of your lineup, especially after Mike Gillis opted to keep it mostly the same, roster-wise, then anointing a new third Sedin is definitely one way to make your mark.
But in the end, Tortorella appears to have discovered what Alain Vigneault realized shortly after the pairing came together: Alex Burrows is basically the Sedins’ soulmate.
That’s not to say he’s the perfect linemate, although I’d say he’s pretty close. Burrows may not be right-handed, long thought to be a deal-breaker for the third Sedin. And he’s not really a tough guy, although he’s not above biting fingers, pulling hair, and spearing groins, so he’d definitely intimidate me, since I prefer my fingers, hair and groin unbit, unyanked and unspeared, respectively. But he works incredibly well with the twins. He knows where to go, which isn’t always to the goalmouth — sometimes you have to help them dig it out and maintain possession along the wall before you head out front. He can pass like them when the occasion calls for it. And he’s fabulously manic in front, which leaves him open for split-second passes.
But none of that is why Burrows is back with the twins. It’s mainly because, no matter what you do, the universe will find a way to put them back together. Zack Kassian blew his chance to steal the best job in the building — a job that was essentially being handed to him — when he broke Sam Gagner’s jaw. Regardless of what you think of Kassian’s intent on that play, the end result was a freak injury. Kassian deserves his suspension, but perhaps we should also point a finger at the universe’s determination to reunite the Sedins and Alex Burrows.
It’s like a Final Destination movie. Challenge inevitability, and it will rise up against you. It will come for you. There may be carnage and casualties. It will be your fault.
All in all, Tortorella’s lucky Kassian’s out, otherwise the universe might have come for him instead. If he knows what’s good for him, he’ll keep the Sedins and Burrows together even after Kassian returns.Tags: Alex Burrows, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin