Alex Burrows' Automatic Forehand, Backhand Deke

Thomas Drance
September 24 2012 11:06AM


Life's certainties: death, taxes and Burrows' forehand, backhand deke.

It isn't luck that has allowed newly extended pest and garbage goal master Alexandre Burrows to defy the odds in his hockey career, it's hard work. In the past decade, Burrows has gone from dominating international roller hockey matches and playing fourth line minutes on the Greenville Grrrowl, to being a fixture on a perennial contender's top-line while producing offense like an elite NHL forward.

Burrows' dedication to his craft shows through in his ability to feed off the Sedin twins' possession game, in his innovative trash talk and it's maybe most clearly revealed by his signature finishing move. Through sheer force of will, Burrows has perfected an unstoppable, go-to scoring deke.

Like how Reptile extends his tongue and removes his opponents head, or how Ermac breaks every bone in his opponents body using his psychic powers; when Burrows' is asked to "finish," everyone knows what's coming: the familiar, streak breaking, fore-hand back-hand breakaway move.

Read on past the jump.

A Canucks blog known as Bure's Triple Deke, recently devoted a whole post to Burrows' signature finish. They watched through Burrows' 149 goals over the past several seasons (including his shootout tallies) and discovered that Burrows has used his backhand deke on at least 16 occasions (or on 10.7% of his goals):

The now-trademark move has been pulled off more times than logic really should allow, but exactly how often are we talking here? Among his 149 regulation and shootout goals, no less than 16 times.

Of the 16 goals scored, 8 were in a shootout, 5 were short handed and 3 at even strength. Five happened this past season, 6 in 2010–11, 2 in 2009–10, 2 in 2008–09 and 3 in 2007–08. The most telling breakdown of the 16 goals, however, is that every last one was crucial to the outcome of the game. If it wasn't a shootout goal, Burrows either tied the game or put Vancouver ahead or within one (the lone exception being the Toronto goal in which he brought Vancouver within two), further cementing his reputation as a timely scorer.

Not only did the good folks at Bure's Triple Deke (their blog is now bookmarked in my browser, and I recommend you do the same) document the frequency that Burrows uses his fore-hand, back-hand deke - but they put a detailed video together, highlighting every time Burrows has used the move over the past several years. Predictably, it's pretty awesome:

As you can see, Alex Burrows has gone to the well so many times, and yet the deke still works! It's kind of amazing that NHL goaltenders haven't become wise to it, frankly. That said, according to Burrows, his familiar forehand, backhand finish is so reliable that it might not even matter if the opposing goalie is anticipating it:

That's quite the boast, but it really is a masterful move. So let us forgive Burrows his hubris and just enjoy BTD's excellent highlight package shall we?

Sticktap to Redditer Rhinoanon

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Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is an NHL News Editor at theScore, the ex-managing editor of CanucksArmy.com and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
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#1 Marda Miller
September 25 2012, 01:00PM
Trash it!
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It certainly has been working for him. I, personally, am very happy that Burrows signed on for another 4 years with the Canucks and can't wait to see more of his magic on ice. Maybe now he can try out some new moves though.

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