Vancouver Canucks: Six Times Alex Burrows Played the Hero
On Tuesday, Alex Burrows scored twice to end the Vancouver Canucks losing. Burrows being the Canucks’ hero is nothing new.
For now, all is well for the Vancouver Canucks.
On Tuesday, the team ended their miserable run of nine straight losses with an upset win over the New York Rangers.
While the Rangers scored again with one minute remaining, the Canucks did not relinquish the lead. Burrows would also add an empty-net goal to seal the win for the Canucks.
Hopefully, those two goals will be the first of many for the 35-year-old this season. Last year, he managed only nine, and at one point he went almost two months without scoring.
He had one year left on his contract and was costing the Canucks $4.5 Million in cap space. There was some speculation the team would cut ties with their longtime winger.
Good thing they didn’t, or their losing streak might still be going on.
In his 12-year Canuck career, Burrows has been Vancouver’s hero on many occasions. Here are six more of them.
Jan. 5 and 7, 2010: Hat Tricks vs. Blue Jackets and Coyotes
To start 2010, Burrows made a New Year’s Resolution: score a hat trick every game.
He was able to keep it up for two games.
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On January 5th, the Columbus Blue Jackets opened up an early 2-0 lead against the Canucks at what was then GM Place. Soon late Canuck Rick Rypien scored one, before Alex Burrows scored another two to give Vancouver the lead.
Then in the third period, former Canuck Ryan Kesler set up Burrows for a shorthanded goal to complete the hat trick.
Two nights later, the then-Phoenix Coyotes came to town.
After Burrows opened the scoring on Ilya Bryzgalov in the first period, he added two more in the third en route to his second straight hat trick.
Sadly, he couldn’t keep his New Year’s resolution for more than a week. Don’t worry, Alex, it happens to the best of us.
Feb. 23, 2012: Ending the Red Wings Home Win Streak
Thursday night the Canucks will play their final game at Joe Louis Arena, which closes after this season.
In February 2012, the Detroit Red Wings were on a stellar 16-game winning streak at home. In a closely contested game, Burrows eventually won the game in a shootout:
Feb. 3, 2009: Short-handed Goal Ends Losing Streak
Tuesday wasn’t the first time Burrows has busted a long slump for his team.
Vancouver ended January 2009 with an eight-game losing streak. When the calendar turned, the Nucks looked to turn things around against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Things were heading south near the end of the game, though. Tied 3-3 with three minutes left, Vancouver took a penalty. Shorthanded late, they risked dropping a ninth straight.
But Kesler got the puck to Burrows, who buried the puck past Cam Ward on a breakaway.
That goal lit a spark in his team. The Canucks went on a 23-7-2 tear to end the regular season.
April 23, 2009: Overtime Winner to Sweep the Blues
Later in 2009, the Canucks met the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the playoffs.
Vancouver took a 3-0 series lead into Game 4 in St. Louis. Burrows put his team up 2-0, only to see the Blues come back to tie the game. They were not going down without a fight.
As the first overtime wound down, the puck was chipped out of the Canucks zone. Burrows collected it at the Blues’ line, and fooled goaltender Chris Mason with his shot. The Canucks completed their opening round sweep.
June 4, 2011: Giving the Canucks a 2-0 Lead in the Final
2011 was a magic ride.
Sure, the ending sucked. By all rights, Vancouver should have won their first Stanley Cup, if there were any fairness in the world.
After 2011, I no longer believe in fairness. But I digress.
Fans’ hope of glory reached its peak in Game 2. Vancouver had won a nail-biter in Game 1 on a last-minute goal by Raffi Torres. Could the Canucks sweep the Bruins at home before the series moved to Boston?
Manny Malhotra made a triumphant return to the lineup after a horrific eye injury earlier in the year. But it was — who else? — Alex Burrows who carried the team from start to finish in this game.
He opened the scoring in first period. After the Bruins scored two in the second to take the lead, Burrows set up Daniel Sedin to tie the game in the third.
It wouldn’t take long for him to come through again:
April 26, 2011: Slaying the Dragon
It was a wonderful day for an exorcism.
The Chicago Blackhawks had eliminated the Canucks from the playoffs the two previous years. They won the deciding games by a combined score of 12-6.
Vancouver still had a sour taste in its mouth, and was after a revenge.
It looked like they would get it early, as they took a 3-0 series lead. But Chicago eventually found their playoff mojo. They thumped the Canucks 7-2 and 5-0, then edged them out in overtime in Game 6 to tie the series.
Deja vu all over again.
But as he has so many times for the Canucks, Alex Burrows came through when it mattered most.
In Game 7, he opened the scoring. He missed a penalty shot, and watched the Blackhawks tie the game late.
In overtime, Burrows got a second chance to win it, and it was all he needed.
It might be the greatest goal in Canucks history:
Alex Burrows is Vancouver’s streak-buster. For fans, he’s our dragon-slayer, our exorcist.
Against the New York Rangers on Tuesday, he was once again the Vancouver Canucks’ hero.
What else is new?