Thursday, June 02, 2011

Alex Burrows, Henrik Sedin Embarrass the Game

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals was a lot of fun to watch, as Vancouver and Boston slugged their way through a classic hockey playoff pitchers' duel. It was no surprise to see these teams go goalless as long as they did, and that it took a broken defensive play and a great effort by Ryan Kesler to set up the game's only goal.

The Canucks have a 1-0 series lead after a win by the same score Wednesday, but we don't really get to talk about the fun we all had watching Tim Thomas and Roberto Luongo, or the Sedins and Zdeno Chara, or the inept Bruins power play.

Instead, we get to talk about physical play, penalties, diving, and biting.



Vancouver's Alex Burrows must have been hungry at the end of the first period.

Following Game 1, Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron had a lot to say about the scrum that took place at the end of the first period, where it appeared as though Vancouver Canucks forward Alex Burrows bit Bergeron's finger.

Bergeron was talking a lot about it after the game because he was the victim in this case. Bergeron described the scenario and he talked about the three French guys that were involved in it, including himself, Burrows and linesman Pierre Racicot.

The replay showed Burrows with Bergeron's finger in his mouth as the two got tangled up behind the Bruins net, with Racicot in between the two players.

Bergeron said that he asked Racicot why he wasn't calling a penalty, and that Racicot responded by saying that Bergeron had put his finger in Burrow's mouth.

Burrows denied that he bit Bergeron.


Burrows has a past. Not only has he thrown a few cheapshots and questioned an official's integrity, but he also has pulled hair.

"That's not something I've ever had happen to me," (Chicago's Duncan) Keith said. "My little sister never even pulled my hair when I was a kid. It's kind of comical when you have a grown man trying to pull your hair on the ice."

The league likely will take a look at the incident and Burrows could be suspended.

"I don't know what the ruling is," Keith said. "I don't know if the league reviews that or not. It's pretty blatant he was pulling my hair."

The pulling of hair is prohibited and normally would draw a match penalty. However, none of the officials on the ice saw it as they were tending to ther other fights on the ice.

"I think it's silly," Hawks forward Adam Burish said. "There's no spot for that. I think that's stupid the way he was pulling [Keith's] hair. Especially a nice haircut like Duncan has. I didn't see it at the time [but] I'm sure I would have been more mad than I was already."

So with hair-pulling and biting, Burrows is now officially the NHL's equivalent of a 12-year-old girl.

Oh, and the biting incident could lead to a suspension for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.

That wasn't the only time Wednesday that a Vancouver player did something disgraceful to this great sport. Enter Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin.

Naturally, the officials didn't have the guts to put Henrik in the box for this awful dive. That, of course, only guarantees that we'll see even more -- and possibly worse -- diving during this series.

It's one of my great irritations with hockey at all levels. There is a rule in the book governing diving. It's rule 64.1.

Any player who blatantly dives, embellishes a fall or a reaction, or who feigns an injury shall be penalized with a minor penalty under this rule.

For some reason, though, officials refuse to call it as a stand-alone penalty, meaning that any player who wants to embarrass himself, his team, and his sport knows that the in-game price for doing so is nothing worse than a two-minute period of four-on-four play, something most teams wouldn't mind.

That's not a deterrent.

You know what is a deterrent? When Henrik Sedin wants to pretend that he just got hit in the arm by a sledgehammer swung at full force, put his derriere in the box for two minutes and give the opponent a power play. Lather, rinse, repeat, and you've created a deterrent.

By the way, Henrik has a bit of a history of this.

No player with any semblance of pride or sense of team is going to want to watch his team give up a power-play goal because he decided to cross the line trying to draw a penalty. It's simply not worth the risk.

Then again, this might not work with Boston, considering the strength of their power play during these playoffs. But you get the point.

It also might not work with Burrows. He doesn't exactly have a history of being a stand-up guy.

But, again, you get the point.

1 comment:

Goon said...

Awesome post Bruce about the Vancouver Frauds.