Spitballin’ on goal droughts, frightened Henrik, and Lack and Luongo in a balloon

Spitballin’ (or Super Pass ITBulis: 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:


  1. Chinstrap Joe
    February 7, 2014


    I submit that Burrows is a good player, but became a great player once he found his Mojo with the Sedins. The Sedins have lost their Mojo, ergo, so has Burrows. I remember when he was up and coming how frustrating it seemed that he got so many great chances and couldn’t convert.

    The Sedins are to Burrows what Lemieux was to Kevin Stevens. Or Gretzky to about everyone he ever played with…

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
  2. Brent
    February 7, 2014

    Burrows will score against Toronto tomorrow night.

    It is in the cards. You can take it to the bank. Bet the house. Nothing could be more for sure. Toronto is to Burrows what the Islanders used to be for Crosby.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +6 (from 8 votes)
    • Neil B
      February 7, 2014

      I hope you’re right. But the way Burr has ben playing, the shot will beat the goalie, bounce off the butt of his stick, bounce out in front, bouncing off one of the Toronto d-men and in–but not before it deflects of Schroeder’s shadow, awarding him the goal.

      Seriously, for someone who’se had so much bad luck this year with injuries, Shredder has been amzingly lucky.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  3. Stink Pickle
    February 7, 2014

    The whole team is playing with invisible chin guards right now. Possibly to make Burr feel better. Every time someone mishandles the puck without being checked, which is often lately, just say “chin guard”, and take a drink. It makes the games more fun to watch.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  4. Naturalmystic
    February 7, 2014

    Henrik isn’t scared in that pic, he’s showing Chara his war face.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
    • chocoball
      February 7, 2014

      Hank looks rather more disgusted than scared….like Chara had stuffed a piece of extra smelly cheese in his pants

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)