Thursday, June 2, 2011
Alex Burrows took a hard road to Canucks
By Scott Burnside
Alex Burrows was certainly a hot topic of discussion Thursday, given how he displayed a game with "bite" in his encounter with Patrice Bergeron. But Burrows has traveled a hard road to become a key forward for the NHL's top regular-season team.
"You know, you talk about perseverance, hanging in there, finding a way to get yourself to be a player. You got a great example in Alex Burrows," head coach Alain Vigneault said Thursday. "There's a guy that played in the Quebec junior major league as a 19-year-old and 20-year-old, went to the East Coast, came to Winnipeg with me, and in Winnipeg signed a contract with Vancouver, found his way on one of the best lines in the NHL, can contribute both offensively and defensively, is a very big part of our team."
"I think he's done that through hard work. He gets the game. He understands what you need to do out there. He does a great job for us."
Burrows has found a great chemistry playing with Henrik and Daniel Sedin, and the twins were certainly happy that Burrows wasn't going to be suspended for his nibble on Bergeron.
"He brings a lot to the line. I think people in the past thought we need a big body that goes to the net and stands there," Henrik said Thursday. "But, I mean, he's good in the forecheck. He turns a lot of pucks over for us. He knows where to go. He's involved in our game and he finds those spots where he can get shots away."
Torres makes most of clean slateThe lone goal scorer in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals, Raffi Torres, wasn't made available to the media on Thursday, but Vigneault had nothing but praise for a player that has bounced around the NHL since the New York Islanders made him the fifth overall pick in 2000.
"Surely we knew we were getting a very motivated player," Vigneault said. I mean, went very late before we signed him. One of the things that we did as soon as we met Raffi, Mike [Gillis] and I, was to tell him he had a clean slate, just to come here and work hard, play to his strengths.
"We know Raffi sometimes plays a little bit outside the box, and we knew that. But you got to let him go to his strengths. His attitude and his overall commitment have been real good since day one. We've had no issues with him."