We’ve said it many times here at this blog: Alex Burrows is one of hockey’s great chirpers. It’s an impressive label, especially since the Canuck winger isn’t exactly one of hockey’s great English-speakers. Fortunately, what he lacks in intelligibility, he more than makes up for in his uncanny ability to get his point across nonverbally.
When it comes to the art of chirping, Burrows is Jean Claude Van Damme, which is to say, a little too French to tackle the great English monologue, but capable of stunning physical feats that cover the gap. (Can he do the most epic of splits? If it would incense one of his many nemeses, probably.)
Saturday night, Burrows was at it again, and even with his speech further impeded by the full face-shield he had to wear in his return from a broken jaw, he still managed to retain his title, mocking Shane O’Brien’s reputation as a bit of a party boy by chugging his glove like it was a flask.
Seriously. You can see it in the photo above, with Burrows tilting his glove to his mouth like it’s full of refreshing inebriate, and O’Brien (no. 55) at the far end of the Flames bench, looking on. And here it is in GIF form:
(This GIF is making the rounds but we’re not sure where it’s from. If you made it, let us know. We’d like to give you credit.)
That’s pretty amazing. It’s definitely up there with some of Burrows’ past moments, such as when he mocked Mike Richards’ for his rumoured party boy lifestyle, or took a few warm-up swings in honour of Phil Kessel’s attempt to chop down John Scott.
The moment can be spotted at 3:44 of this video of the entire melee:
O’Brien, a former Canuck, was originally all the way at the other end of his bench, but the moment Kesler and Burrows began shouting with the Flames nearest the glass, he was quick to join the action. You can see him make his way into the fray at 3:27, and it’s actually pretty great, because as soon as he arrives, Burrows gets excited.
In a way, Saturday night’s explosive opening faceoff — with its five simultaneous fights, nine ejections, and 152 penalty minutes — had very little to do with the five guys on the ice. Granted, they were the principle actors in the thing, but the whole affair was the product of a long-simmering feud between John Tortorella and Bob Hartley that dates back to 2005, when they were coaches of Southeast Division rivals the Atlanta Thrashers and the Tampa Bay Lighting.
But that was hardly the only long-simmering feud at play here. Burrows and O’Brien have been at this for years. They are frenemies. Here’s an incident from a game in February of 2012, when O’Brien was with the Avalanche:
The best part of this clip is that when Burrows goes down, he seems to think little of it. Then he looks up and sees who took him down, and he goes nuts.
Good to see that feud is still going.