VANCOUVER, British Columbia — It just had to be Burrows, didn’t it?
While hockey fans in Boston — and probably most hockey fans outside this province — thought Alexandre Burrows, the Canucks’ pesky first-line forward, would be suspended for biting the Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron on the finger during a Game 1 scrum, NHL discipline-czar-for-this-series Mike Murphy decided that chomp did not warrant punishment.
Rather than sitting for Game 2, the Canucks’ pesky forward instead brought the Rogers Center crowd to its feet. Burrows scored twice — including a sensation wrap-around winner 11 seconds into overtime — and assisted on linemate Daniel Sedin’s tying goal midway through the third period as the Vancouver took at 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final.
“Annybody that follows our team knows he’s a really important part,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. “He plays five-on-five, he plays power-play, and he kills penalties. So, you know, he’s overall one of our go-to guys. Again tonight he came up big in key moments.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien said the winning goal was the result of the Bruins again turning the puck over in the neutral zone, something he has been emphasizing that his team cannot do against the gifted Canucks forwards.
“We tried to chip it in,” Julien said, talking about Andrew Ference’s turnover that sent Burrows in on goalie Tim Thomas. “They intercepted it. Again, whenever you turn pucks in the neutral zone, they went on a counterattack. I think Zdeno [Chara] came across. When Timmy was down, he had to go all the way around him. That gave
Burrows that extra leverage that he needed to tuck it into the empty net.”
Chara, who couldn’t prevent Burrows from wrapping the puck into the net, was the lone defender back. Julien said the reason was obvious.
“I think we’re going in the other direction,” he said. “I think it was more if we chip that puck in, we got support. I saw Marchand turning over and coming back. But Marchand couldn’t do anything as far as Burrows was concerned. I think we had some guys coming back to take away some of the options that he had.”
Julien said there is no additional frustration from the fact that Burrows wasn’t disciplined for biting Bergeron.
“That has nothing to do with that,” he said. “I never thought about that that way. They made a decision. We moved on. For us, if we start using that as an excuse, we’re a lame team.”