It’s PITB’s annual Every Goal series. This year will be really easy.
As scandalous as it was for John Tortorella to suggest the Canucks buy out Alex Burrows, it’s easy to understand why he might think that way. If this was the first year you’d ever really watched Alex Burrows play, I’m sure you’d be at a loss for why he was a fan favourite, let alone how he could possibly have cracked 25 goals in each of his last 4 full seasons in the NHL.
2013-14 was a horrible year for the Canuck winger. At some point, he was less a top-line winger than simply a metaphor for the entire team’s awful season: snake-bitten, beset by injuries, lacking confidence, bewildered as to what the heck was going on, excruciating to watch.
For much of the year, Burrows looked destined to be the best player to ever have a goalless season in the NHL. But eventually he managed to find his way, and with it, the back of the net. For about a week he knew how again, pouring in five in six days before returning to his carousel of injuries and bad bounces. So let’s take a moment to watch the five goals he did score, as we begin our annual, player-by-player look at every goal the Canucks scored last season with the man that closed last year’s series: Alex Burrows.
March 12th! Think about that for a second. Burrows has been a go-to scorer for the Canucks for years now. Last season? He didn’t score until the second-to-last month of the season. If he looks unbelievably relieved — and if you think Jason Garrison perhaps skated into that hug a little too hard — that’s why. This was a long, long, long, long time coming, and it finally arrives on the sort of simple bounce that somehow eluded Burrows all season (while having no trouble finding Tom Sestito). Off a won faceoff, Jason Garrison throws a puck at the net, and it bounces to Burrows, who manages to put it past Ondrej “The Slump Cure” Pavelec.
After rediscovering his stroke, Burrows flexes it again in the same game, getting in hard on the forecheck, then batting a loose puc out of mid-air after the Jets bobble it behind their net. It’s pretty much a prototypical Burrows goal, scored after he hustles in on a dump-in, then goes to the front of the net.
More prototypical Burrows action, as he fishes a rebound out from between his legs at the front of the net and beats that loser Roberto Luongo. I can’t figure out what’s weirder. That Burrows’ third of the year came in March, or that it came on Roberto Luongo. What a dumb season last season was.
Didn’t we just see this goal? Burrows is once again Alex-on the-spot, tucking a rebound home after a point shot.
Finally, the last of Burrows’ five goals this season illustrates what was missing from his game: Sedinery. This is the only goal he scored all season where a Sedin even factors in, and it’s a minor contribution, as Henrik makes a pass to Burrows early in the sequence. After that, it’s basically a gong show, and it’s Nicklas Jensen, not Daniel Sedin, who throws the puck towards the goal and has it bank off Burrows.