Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few quick topics.
Here is a comic
Since everything is depressing right now, let’s start with the funny. Check out this excellent re-working of a Hark! A Vagrant comic, which now stars Eddie Lack and Roberto Luongo.
Lack’s pursuit of Luongo’s friendship is common knowledge around these parts, so this is pretty great. Who made this? We must know, as you have made us very happy.
The original comic, if you’re wondering, stars Jules Verne and Edgar Allan Poe. They weren’t contemporaries, but Verne adored Poe and was heavily-inspired by him, especially a story Poe once wrote about a balloon journey.
If you want to find a relationship between two contemporary American authors that was about this creepy, though, read up on Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Alex Burrows is chasing history, although it may be chasing him — it’s a fluid situation
Supposing Alex Burrows’ season ended right this instant, he would finish the year at 64 shots on net without a single goal, which would put him right in line with some of the most futile seasons in recent history. Among NHL forwards since 1990, only Craig Adams, Bill Muckalt, and Paul Laus finished the year with more shots and an equal number, or absence, of goals.
But here’s the major difference between Burrows and these guys: they took a full season to get where they are on this list, all averaging about a shot per game. Burrows landed in their camp in just 24 outings. He’s averaging 2.4 shots per game.
You simply don’t shoot that often and not score. Even Gilles Marotte, who holds the NHL record for most shots in a single season without scoring at 153, got there in 73 games. That’s a shots per game average of 2.1. In other words, if Burrows actually does manage to shut himself out for the year, he’d be the highest-volume shooter ever to do so.
So will Burrows finish the season goalless? I’d say stranger things have happened, but they haven’t. They actually haven’t.
What’s his deal, anyway?
It can’t be injuries, after all. He’s healthy, right?
Yes and no. It’s important to understand that Burrows has missed over half the year, which means the rest of the league is in mid-season form, and he’s not.
But more than that, he’s still suffering the effects of the broken jaw, in a sense. Playing with a protector that can, at times, obscure his view of his own feet, Burrows is in tough to do what he normally does, which is jam in pucks from in close. This is a guy who scores most of his goals a foot from the net by being first to them. The extra split-second it’s taking him to locate pucks at his feet is probably killing him.
Henrik Sedin is terrified
Back to funny. We’ve talked, in the past, about how Zdeno Chara shuts down the Sedins with aplomb. It’s mostly due to his super long hockey stick, which allows him to singlehandedly break up the Sedins’ cycle by simply standing between them and pokechecking every which way but loose.
However, it doesn’t hurt that he’s a terrifying, actual monster, as this AP photo demonstrates:
Again: this is a real photo from Associated Press. It is amazing. Seriously, can you imagine playing hockey against this guy? Now imagine doing it with busted-up ribs. No wonder Henrik looks so scared.
Soon you get to cheer for a good team
Finally, as mentioned, Pass it to Bulis will be transitioning into Pass it to Zamuner for the Sochi Olympics over the weekend, and to kickstart that process, here’s Tanbir Rana’s excellent Team Canada pump-up video: