The Vancouver Canucks handed out their team awards on Thursday night prior to their lacklustre effort against the Anaheim Ducks. Henrik Sedin took home the Cyrus H. McLean award as the Canucks’ leading scorer and will keep it unless Daniel manages to score 6 points on Saturday against the Oilers without Henrik getting any.
Dan Hamhuis deservedly won the Babe Pratt award for best defenceman, Cory Schneider understandably won the Cyclone Taylor award as the team’s MVP, and Jannik Hansen simultaneously had his praises sung as the team’s Most Exciting Player and was named the team’s unsung hero with the Fred J. Hume award.
That just doesn’t seem like enough awards, so we put together seven more:Continue Reading —›
Alex Burrows has a lot to be happy about these days. He’s about to get a $2.5 million raise, his team is heading into the playoffs with, if all goes well, home-ice advantage, and there are tentative plans for a charity tennis match between him and Milos Raonic in August, which is pretty dang cool.
Yes, life is good for Burrows and you would think that he wouldn’t have much to be sad about. Oh how wrong you would be, hypothetical person. As this picture from Jeff Vinnick’s Behind the Lens series at Canucks.com reveals, Burrows is super sad right now.
Here are 20 reasons why.Continue Reading —›
Every now and then we like to take a break from all the words and just post some numbers. And some words describing the numbers, as otherwise it would just be a whole bunch of numbers with no context, which would be really weird. Here are some odd and interesting numbers and statistics from the Canucks season so far.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks are taking far too many penalties this season. At least, that’s what it feels like just 18 games in. It doesn’t help that the Canucks are currently 19th in the NHL in penalty killing at 79.4%. Penalties tend to be a lot more memorable when a goal is scored during the subsequent powerplay.
Sunday’s game against the Red Wings is a good example. While there were certainly some questionable calls by the officials, it was the Canucks’ lousy penalty killing that helped make them part of the story of the game. With some better penalty killing in the second period, the Canucks would actually have had a chance to get a point out of that game instead of it becoming an 8-goal debacle.
Over the past couple seasons, the Canucks have had one of the league’s best penalty kills, which played a big part in their back-to-back Presidents’ Trophy wins. This season, the Canucks have given up 15 goals while shorthanded. At 5-on-4, they’re tied for the second most goals-against in the league. That has to be a combination of their poor penalty killing and taking too many penalties.
The biggest culprit so far has been Alex Burrows, who has found himself in the box far too often this season. This just makes matters worse, as he is also one of the Canucks’ best penalty killers.
Over at Backhand Shelf this morning, I looked at the trends in penalty minutes across the entire NHL. I’m going to do the same here, focussing on the Canucks.Continue Reading —›
Tuesday night’s contest between the Canucks and Wild may have been lacking in overall entertainment value, but the few highs made up for the many lows. All three goals scored in the game were top-notch, pretty goals, with Jannik Hansen’s tally the prettiest of them all, thanks to the efforts of Mason Raymond, Keith Ballard, and Jordan Schroeder. (Back off, Bieksa, you didn’t do anything. You just stood there.)
But there was one other thoroughly entertaining moment in the game. The Wild tried to get Alex Burrows off his game all night, starting in the first period when Zenon Kenopka tangled with the Canucks winger, leading to coincidental minors for the two of them. That was a bad trade-off for the Canucks, as Burrows has 131 more goals in his career than Kenopka. But Minnesota’s plan to agitate culminated in the oddest moment in the game, when Mikko Koivu straight-up jacked Burrows’s glove right off his hand.Continue Reading —›
Not long ago, the Canucks’ acquisition of a big power forward with a right-handed shot would have resulted in one reaction from fans: finally, someone to play with the Sedins.
It’s a testament to how well Alex Burrows has played with the Sedins that Canucks fans did not have that reaction when the Canucks traded for Zack Kassian. Instead, Kassian was projected as, at best, a second-line winger on the Canucks, someone to play alongside Ryan Kesler and David Booth. At worst, he could be a physical presence on the fourth line.
But now Kassian has been promoted to play on the top line and the early returns are impressive. Kassian leads the Canucks in goals with 5 in 7 games and is, in fact, tied for second in the NHL in goal-scoring. The thing is, most of that goal-scoring hasn’t exactly come as a result of playing with the Sedins, but there’s reason to believe that he will have success with them in the future.Continue Reading —›
Over the past few years, Alex Burrows has established himself as one of the Canucks’ surest things on breakaways and penalty shots, most of the time by virtue of his “Blue Steel”, his go-to backhand move. We’ve celebrated it several times here on this blog, most notably in this post, which features a compilation of every single instance in which Burrows has used the move successfully.
Burrows is known for the move at this point, but as he himself said, it doesn’t matter — if he does it right, he’ll score. But it’s not entirely true. After all, the move only works because there’s still a possibility Burrows might do something else. If his going backhand shelf was 100% assured, goaltenders would simply overcommit to the right post and wait to get hit in the chest.
All that said, you can understand why Burrows might occasionally want to give goaltenders another look, and he certainly did so Monday night versus the Los Angeles Kings. His move — which involved a spin and a stutter-step before a hit post — seemed forgettable at the time, but a day later, people are still talking about it, debating both its legality and ridiculousness. So let’s take another look.Continue Reading —›
There is no better hockey-related Tumblr account in the entire world than NHL Players as Kids. Seeing pictures of big and tough hockey players as adorable, cherub-faced children is inherently hilarious. Making it even better is how many of them haven’t changed in the slightest and look almost exactly the same as they did when they were kids.
There are several Canucks represented on NHL Players as Kids and many of their pictures are awesome and need to be shared. So here I am, sharing them with you. That’s just how we roll here at PITB.
Without further ado, here are the 10 best pictures of current and former Canucks as kids:Continue Reading —›
Alex Burrows is apparently a fashion icon. Canadian clothing store RW&Co. targeted the French-Canadian fashion maverick to headline their “Perform At Your Best” campaign, along with So You Think You Can Dance Canada champion Nico Archambault and entrepreneur Jeremy Gutsche.
Burrows reveals the secrets of his imitable style, describing it as “trendy but comfortable” and that he doesn’t “like to wear things that make a statement.”Continue Reading —›
Like Judy from “Family Matters”, Alex Burrows is best known for going upstairs. (Okay, maybe not best-known. You might remember him from such incidents as biting a guy, kneeing a guy in the groin, pulling a guy’s hair, getting revenged upon by an official, or taunting Mike Richards by miming a little recreational drug use. But after those things, Burrows’s forehand-backhand-roof deke totally has to be one of the first things that comes to mind.)
Burrows’s trusty forehand-backhand deke, which he uses so often we’ve taken to calling “Blue steel”, has resulted in some of the clutchiest clutch goals in Canucks’ history. Streak-breakers versus the Carolina Hurricanes and Detroit Red Wings come to mind, but those are just two of sixteen times Burrows has turned on the red light with blue steel in his NHL career, according to blogging newcomers Bure’s Triple Deke.
But the gents at BTD didn’t just count them up: they compiled them in your must-watch Youtube video of the day.Continue Reading —›
Undeterred by his impending expendability, Alex Burrows re-upped with the Vancouver Canucks Friday, signing an extension worth $18 million. Fans were delighted to learn that they’ll get at least four more years of the finger-biting, dragon-slaying, hair-pulling former ECHLer.
The Canucks were likely delighted too, and not just because Burrows complements the Sedins so well, but because they were running out of time to get this one done. While it seemed like the two sides might be far apart earlier this week, they managed to find some middle ground just in time, inking the deal a little over an hour ahead of the 2pm deadline. (If only other negotiations could go so well, perhaps this deadline need not have even existed.)
Then, pleased as punch, they tweeted an instagrammed photo of Burrows and Jedi Laurence Gilman sneaking the extension in.
But one look at the photo shows that Burrows putting the pen to paper wasn’t the only instance of sneakery taking place.Continue Reading —›
Earlier today, News 1130 terrified Canucks fans with the possibility that the Canucks might not re-sign the beloved Alex Burrows. It must have terrified Burrows too, since only 3 hours later, the Canucks signed Burrows to a 4-year contract extension worth a total of $18 million, according to reports from Dan Murphy on Twitter.
Burrows has played his entire career for the Canucks and has shown a lot of loyalty to the team that gave him his shot in the NHL. Coming off a 28-goal, 51-point season in 2008-09, Burrows gave the Canucks a hometown discount, signing for 4 years at $2-million per year. He rewarded the Canucks by becoming one of the best bang for the buck players in the NHL, scoring 89 goals over the first three years of that contract.
It wasn’t just the quantity of goals, however, it was the quality. Burrows scored important goals for the Canucks, none bigger than his game 7 overtime gamewinner in round one of the 2011 playoffs, finally sending the Canucks past the Blackhawks after being bounced by them in the previous two years. It was that tendency that endeared him the most to Canucks fans.Continue Reading —›
Canucks fans are on edge today, waiting to find out whether Shane Doan will be their new favourite player or not. With the news that Doan is down to deciding between Vancouver and Phoenix by 2:00 pm today, excitement and nervousness abound. While many are thrilled with the prospect of adding a player with Doan’s skill and experience, others have their concerns.
Doan will be 36 by the time the season starts; is he too far past his prime? He’s scored 30+ goals just twice in his career and has never scored a point-per-game; is he overhyped? He plays a hard-nosed, physical style; could injury problems crop up as his career comes to a close?
These are all valid concerns to discuss. Today, a new, completely invalid, concern was introduced to the conversation. Could the signing of Shane Doan signal the end of Alex Burrows?Continue Reading —›
Sometimes when I get curious enough about something to investigate it, digging up statistics and putting together charts, the answer turns out to be the obvious one. Fortunately, it can also turn up some other interesting information along the way.
Here’s the question I had: which wingers were most effective with Ryan Kesler last season? One of the big questions coming into this season is who should play on the second line with Kesler, once he returns too early? David Booth seems to have his spot all sewn up, but there are many competitors for the opposite wing, including Chris Higgins, Mason Raymond, Jannik Hansen, Zack Kassian, and Nicklas Jensen. Heck, if Shane Doan signs with the Canucks, you can add him and Alex Burrows to that list.
David Booth and Chris Higgins were Kesler’s most common linemates last season, but were they his most effective linemates? To get the answer, I did some WOWY (With Or Without You) analysis to see how Kesler performed with and without various linemates. In this case, the answer appears to be pretty definitively “yes.”Continue Reading —›
You didn’t think we could end the Every Goal series on such a positive note with Chris Higgins, right? You should know by now that things can never end well for Canucks fans. That is why the last post in our annual off-season Every Goal series will end with all 8 goals the Canucks managed to score during the 2012 playoffs versus the Los Angeles Kings.
On the plus side, we’re only looking back at the good parts, when the puck was going into the Kings’ net. If you squint and ignore the scoreboard, you can imagine that the Canucks won the series. While you’re at it, imagine that the NHL and NHLPA have concluded their CBA negotiations and that there won’t be a lockout to start next season.
In any case, the Canucks scored some pretty goals during the playoffs and they deserve to be remembered and highlighted. Seeing them outside of their disappointing context makes them a lot more enjoyable.Continue Reading —›
Good news and bad news, friends: if you’re expecting a whole lot of Henrik-to-Daniel magic, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Half of the goals in the final instalment of Alex Burrows’s “Every Goal” entry are scored after Duncan Keith concussed Daniel Sedin with an elbow to the face.
On the bright side, Henrik remains in fine form on many of these goals, especially Burrows’s 26th, which I’m convinced would have gotten a ton more play if it had happened on the other side of the ice where the boards didn’t hide all the spiffy stickhandling.
Plus Burrows does pretty well for himself too. A number of these goals are as self-made as Don Draper. Enjoy.Continue Reading —›
I’m sure you’re expecting a lot of Sedinery in part two Alex Burrows’s “Every Goal” entry, but it’s not their party. Today’s clips really underscore what a star Burrows has become, from his goal versus the Maple Leafs, who paid dearly for underestimating him all year, to a goal versus the Avalanche that really shows his place in the Canucks’ locker room.
But also there’s a lot of Sedinery. Enjoy.Continue Reading —›
Alex Burrows had a quiet year, but I don’t mean that quite the way it sounds. It’s not that he wasn’t good, or that he was ineffective — it’s that he was exactly as effective as he usually is.
Burrows’s role on the Canucks is so cemented now that he’s finally beginning to be listed as a right winger in some places. He’s a natural left winger and he’s even admitted to preferring to play that side, but for four years, he’s been the right winger for the Sedins. This year, people began to realize that three seasons as a right winger kind of sort of makes you a right winger.
It’s a small, but symbolic shift. This was Burrows’s fourth straight season above the 25-goal mark. He really is the guy he’s been for the last four years. But this means expectations change. A 28-goal campaign isn’t met with the surprise it was when he first did it in 2008-09. It’s about par. As a result, it seemed like a quiet year because we’re used to him surprising us.
It was still fun, though. Here are the first 10 goals of Alex Burrows’s 28 in 2011-12.Continue Reading —›
For a moment, it looked like Alexandre Burrows’ incredible story was going to have another amazing chapter. In Canada’s must-win quarter-final against Slovakia, Burrows scored his third goal of the tournament, putting Canada up 3-2. It looked like it might stand up as the game winner and carry Canada to the semi-final.
Instead, a series of poor decisions cost Canada the lead, then cost Canada the game.Continue Reading —›
Alex Burrows has scored his second goal in as many games since returning to the Team Canada lineup after his injury in the first game of the tournament. While it was a nice goal, it was just one of eight that Canada scored on Kazakhstan, who couldn’t repeat their gutsy effort from their overtime game against the US. It was probably too much to ask of the Kazakhstan to handle the US and Canada on back-to-back nights, and the game got silly in the third period as Kazakhstan simply looked worn out against Canada’s superior depth.
Fortunately, Burrows didn’t just score a goal. He also played a solid two-way game, seeing ice time in all situations, and was named the Best Player of the game for Canada. Even better, his wife, Nancy, and one-year old daughter, Victoria, were in attendance and got to see the whole thing.
Oh, and Burrows hugged Kazakhstan goaltender Vitali Kolesnik in the middle of the game.Continue Reading —›
The last time Alex Burrows scored a goal for Team Canada, he wasn’t wearing skates. Burrows was one of the best ball hockey players of all time, renowned for his offensive skill and on-ice vision, to the point that he was apparently called “The Goalmaker” by his ball hockey brethren.
On Friday morning, he made another goal happen, the first ever in his international career in ice hockey. In his first game since suffering a head injury against Slovakia, Burrows scored Canada’s first goal of the game, turning the tide against a Finnish team that was dominant early on home ice.
Burrows was the last forward added to the Canadian roster, likely for his ability to play a strong defensive role while still having solid offensive instincts and skill. He played both roles perfectly against Finland.Continue Reading —›
It looks like Alex Burrows’ tournament might already be over in his first stint with Team Canada. Six minutes into the second period against Slovakia, Burrows left the game after an unlucky collision in the offensive zone. While it has not been confirmed, Burrows bore all the hallmarks of a concussion and may be done for the tournament.
If he is indeed diagnosed with a concussion, the focus changes from representing his country to the potentially long and difficult recovery during the off-season. At bare minimum, he is expected to miss Saturday’s game against Team USA.
I didn’t end up watching Canada’s first game of the tournament until the afternoon. I was anticipating a “Burrows Watch” throughout the World Championship, chronicling his performance at the tournament game-by-game, but it doesn’t look like that will be happening. If his tournament is indeed over, it will be heartbreaking for Burrows, who was so proud to represent his country after his unlikely journey to the NHL.Continue Reading —›
Pass it to Comics is a regular collaboration between PITB and cartoonist Chloe Ezra, whose Tumblr page, Blue Soup, is a must-follow for any Canuck fan with an appreciation for quirk. Today, Alex Burrows and Duncan Keith get used to playing together.Continue Reading —›
The thirteenth and final forward for Canada’s entry in the 2012 World Championships is reportedly Alex Burrows of the Vancouver Canucks.
Burrows has represented his country on the international stage before, but in ball hockey. He competed in the 2003 and 2005 ball hockey World Championships, leading Team Canada to gold each time. Being named to Team Canada in ice hockey is yet another chapter in Burrows’ incredible success story.
This time around, he likely won’t be playing as integral an offensive role, however, as the team already boasts talent like Corey Perry, John Tavares, Jeff Skinner, Patrick Sharp, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Jordan Eberle. Burrows’ skill on the penalty kill and defensive acumen likely played into the decision to add him to the roster (or maybe just the fact that he said yes).
There may be a bit of awkwardness in the locker room, though: Duncan Keith is one of the defencemen heading to Finland and Sweden for the two week tournament.Continue Reading —›
With Duncan Keith scheduled to go before the Shanaban committee Friday afternoon for his elbow on Daniel Sedin, the Canucks flew into Dallas on Thursday with one goal and one goal only: play a hapless, soulless, sad-sack game of hockey that underscored just how vital Daniel was to their identity and how badly they missed him.
But, as usual, they choked. Led by a two-point night from Mason Raymond, who can never do anything right, the Canucks scored more goals than the Dallas Stars like idiots, winning the game and giving everyone — the Department of Player Safety included, unfortunately — the impression that they might survive without Daniel in the short-term. It was an unacceptable effort, since the team was supposed to be playing without any effort at all. Instead, they screwed up big-time and played a sound road game. And speaking of sound, I listened to this game. While I watched this game.Continue Reading —›