I’m A Burrliever
It’s quite the achievement for the undrafted ball-hockey player who has blown every expectation pinned to him out of the water. When he played his first game for the franchise, no one could have guessed he would one day be a 30 goal scorer and the missing Sedin triplet. No one.
If you disagree you’re lying. He’s the feel good story that keeps on giving.
He has 102 goals and 82 assists in his last 249 games for 184 points.
Though admittedly not loved by the rest of the league, Alex Burrows is a folk hero in Vancouver not just for his rags to riches story, or his unintelligible accent, or his hometown contract, but mainly for his clutch goals.
The kid has gone from the ECHL to scoring some of the biggest goals in franchise history, and in honour of Burrow’s milestone today we count down the top 14 goals of Alex Burrows’ career.
This is going to be a lot of fun.
We start with a goal that defines Burrows’ value to the team. This one is a shorthanded marker, out of nowhere, to tie the game at two with a minute left in the period. Clutch. Another theme introduced with this goal is John Garrett simply saying “woah”.
This one also introduces another theme re-visited on this list: never forget that Alex Burrows’ was once a ball hockey player. Here we see the advantages it brings to his game.
The puck is bouncing around like a live animal but Burrows deftly stays with it and bangs it home on the other side of the crease from where he started from.
Anyone can play with the Sedins, but Anson Carter and Jason King never had those kind of hands.
Here we introduce the patented Alex Burrows deke. It’s not the last time you’ll see it on this list, and this goal is it’s purest form. This is also my go-to deke in NHL 12.
I’m cheating on this one because there’s actually seven goals in this clip but the importance is that they were all scored in a 15 day span and captures his initial breakout with the Sedins.
A couple of themes are re-introduced in this goal, namely that it’s a breakaway, it’s shorthanded, and once again the puck is bouncing around but Burrows handles it perfectly because of his ball hockey background.
This one also comes all the way back from 2007, a glimpse into the future.
This one is similar to the Edmonton goal but arguably a lot prettier. This time Burrows doesn’t even get to the puck until the high slot and he also changes it up with a forehand deke.
Try to ignore that Kevin Weekes calls him Ryan Burrows.
I have nothing to say about this one except damn son.
This one was Burrows’ first goal in 47 games and once again John Garrett is saying “woah”. Alain Vigneault can barely believe this one and neither can Miika Kiprusoff who has a made a career against the Canucks of drinking his water in frustration after a beautiful goal.
There isn’t anything inherently pretty about this goal except for the Sedin passing that washes over Canucks fans these days, but it also gave Burrows his second hat-trick in as many games.
It’s a textbook Burrows from the Sedins goal, he just gets position a few feet from the net and waits for the impossible pass to land on his stick. Easy peasey.
Our final regular season goal of the list is also the biggest (makes sense). The Canucks were mired in an eight game losing streak and the outcry to fire Vigneault and blow up the team has never been louder.
Enter Alex Burrows. In the late stages of a 3-3 tie, Ryan Kesler pokes the puck ahead for Burrows to get yet another shorthanded breakaway, and there again is the patented deke.
There’s some comedy in this clip too as Burrows attempts to snap his stick across the knee to symbolize busting the slump but can’t. The Canucks would take off and never look back at Vigneault is still at the helm today, thanks largely to this goal.
But it’s not the last time a Burrows goal would save his coaches job…
Spoiler: this is the last goal on the list to be scored in regulation. I’m sure I don’t need to remind anyone of the context of game 7 against the Blackhawks last year, and Burrows finding the twine early set up the script for the rest of the game.
This time the set-up came from Ryan Kesler but the ethos is the same: go to the net with your stick down and good things happen.
Nobody knew it at the time, but this was the high-water mark of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Let’s move on, the tears are shorting my netbook.
Late in overtime, Alex Burrows surprises everyone with this game and series winner, most notably Chris Mason. Here too, as we’ve a few seen a few times on this list, Burrows pays tribute to his late friend and teammate Luc Bourdon with the bow + arrow celebration.
Just another playoff OT goal for Alex Burrows, no biggie.
I could watch this goal over and over and over and over. It’s the biggest goal in franchise history, a goal that saved Vancouver from the longest summer of their lives.
Make no mistake, without Alex Burrows using his ball hockey skill, again, to control a bouncing puck, there exists an alternate timeline where Alain Vigneault is gone and the team is gutted and, well, there’s probably still a riot in there somewhere.
The Canucks were staring deeply into the abyss and Alex Burrows pulled them out.
Winning this series is the closest feeling I’ve ever experienced to winning the cup and as Jim Hughson so excellently puts it.
It was “a wonderful day for an exorcism“. I will always love you for this Alex Burrows.