– The Vancouver Canucks will be without Alex Burrows tonight. The longtime winger was reportedly stretchered into an ambulance and taken to the hospital on Tuesday, after suffering a wrist injury at practice in Calgary (via TSN).
– Without Burrows, it looks like offensive project Sven Baertschi will draw into Vancouver’s lineup – probably on the team’s first or second line, given his playing style. Baertschi was picked up by the Canucks via a trade deadline deal with the Calgary Flames (hey, them!), who swapped the former Portland Winterhawks star for a second-rounder in June’s draft. (No word on whether Linden Vey would draw in for Burrows, but that’s of course a possibility, too.)
– Baertschi played in three games for the Canucks this season, and scored two goals in the team’s season finale, a 6-5 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
– The goal above is nice, but this one below (his second of that same game) might be a little juicier given the physical tone of the current series.
– Through three games, it’s been a perfectly even series… if my score’s correct. I’d give the Canucks and Flames each 1.5 periods from Game 1, the Canucks all three periods from Game 2, and the Flames all three stanzas from Game 3. But of course, Calgary has a 2-1 series lead – they’ve timed their scoring better, it seems, with each team also even on goals for (seven).
– Burrows is a disappointing loss for the Canucks and our legion of fair-weather fans, since he just escaped suspension for his Instigator Penalty in Game 3.
– Also, any injury to Burrows exposes the pure class of hockey’s Twitter nation:
Call me insensitive, but if Burrows never plays again because of some heart issue, I’m betting 29 teams are thrilled. Good riddance.
— Moshtradomus (@GreekGoalie35) April 21, 2015
(Call you insensitive? Okay. You’re insensitive.)
– I’ve never quite gotten the hatred for Burrows, as a player. Yes, I know he’s a pest. So I’m aware he gets under the skin of his opposition and, therefore, their audience. But he’s never been a dirty player – not once has he levelled any sort of outside-the-game garbage that Duncan Keith or Dan Carcillo or Brad Marchand or even Shea Weber has. Tweets like the one above tell the tale of an uneducated hockey observer, but there are thousands of them.
– The Calgary Flames of course have all the momentum in this series, but not just because they won Game 3. They won it at home, after all, and they still have one more to go before they have to give the series back to Vancouver’s hand. But by then, the Flames could be up 3-1. Shows just how crushing that Game 1 loss was for Vancouver, even if you think the Canucks were the better team in the series’ opening 60.
– Go figure. Mark Spector is tossing the Canucks a bone: “Vancouver had better find another level, or this series won’t make the weekend. But the Canucks realize that and they’ve done it before. So, if you’re a Canucks fan, maybe it’s time to trust these guys.”
– Henrik Sedin on his ice time, or lack of it: “We would love that, but they (coaches) have their game plan… It’s been successful and it’s why we are where we are, but in the playoffs there are times when they could use us more (ice time) – maybe for offensive zone faceoffs. You pretty much know how much you played and we always want to play as much as we can, if we’re up a goal or down a goal.”
– Tony Gallagher says Derek Dorsett’s the only Canuck who consistently puts pressure on the Flames’ net, or anyone’s net. Here’s his diagnosis of the rest of the roster: “Ronalds Kenins hits, but doesn’t go near the net much. The Sedins get close at times, but rarely to the point of being an obnoxious screen. Radim Vrbata can’t get any further away; the boards won’t let him. He’s out where Mason Raymond used to play when he was in Van.”
– Lastly, from the other side of the barbed wire, here’s Calgary Herald reporter Scott Cruickshank on the opposite of what Gallagher was saying, giving props to Flames forward Joe Colborne for his “rugged” play:
The Flames veteran appears bent on expanding his colour palette.
At six foot five, Colborne is throwing around his slender carcass more than ever. Which, for the league’s lightest team, helps in no small way against the Vancouver Canucks in the opening round of the National Hockey League playoffs.
“It’s just a maturation, I guess, and being more confident in my body, knowing that I can go out and play that role,” said Colborne. “For a few years now, I’ve been looking at different guys. You look at guy like David Backes, who I think is one of the top overall players in the league, especially for a guy with a big frame. He’s someone who I’ve really tried to look at and bring parts of his game into my game.”