You don’t need me to tell you just how cruel a mistress the 2013-14 season has been to the Vancouver Canucks. Basically everything that could’ve gone wrong, has. Injuries, losing, dissension, in-house power struggles and back-stabbing. Sounds like a terrible soap opera, which is basically what it has been.
Amidst all of it, there has been one individual subplot that has been hanging over the season like a big ol’ rain cloud: Alexandre Burrows’ slow march towards futility.
You can check that one off of the list of things remarkably depressing about this team at the moment. We now have reason to smile, at least for a few minutes. If only that you can now sleep easy tonight knowing that you favourite team didn’t get shut out by Ondrej Pavelec.
“And finally, it was Ryan Kesler’s power play tally that put the cherry on top of this game, making it 3-0 for the Canucks. Poor Alex Burrows. For what seems like the 1218212912102109th time this season, he was within inches of scoring his first goal of the season.. but once again, he couldn’t pull the trigger and finish it off.
I feel like I’m caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to him – on the one hand, he comes across as such a nice guy off of the ice, and it must be excruciating for him at this point. But the selfish blogger inside of me wants this to continue, so that when he breaks the record for most shots on goal to start a year without a goal by a forward, I can be there to write about it.”
That was from Monday’s gamer. Now that it has actually happened, though, I’m genuinely glad it has. If I’ve learned anything from this saga, it’s that you want to make sure that you don’t enrage the hockey gods in any way. Wishing for someone’s struggles seems like a good way of doing just that.
So good for Burrows, who has clearly had this thing chewing away at him all season. Heck, the whole team was pretty visibly thrilled for him, as they surely enjoyed having something to cheer about for once.
But for a second, let’s just try to put the unfathomable run into perspective. Some facts:
- Burrows averaged 29 goals/season from ’08-’12
- With signing bonuses being taken into account, he’s making $8 million dollars this season.
- 661 players scored a goal in ’13-’14 before he did. Tom Sestito, himself, has 5 goals.
- He had played nearly 650 minutes, and taken 81 shots on goal before finally scoring.
As you can see from Hockey-Reference’s chart above, only Craig Adams (amongst forwards) had ever taken more shots in a season without scoring a goal. With just 14 games left, Burrows finishing the campaign without a goal was becoming more and more feasible.
It wasn’t just that he was getting shots, though. He was legitimately getting a healthy dose of chances and just getting brutally unlucky. Here are some of the best examples I could find of chances he had managed to flub, somehow, someway.
How he hadn’t scored yet, I do not know. But now he finally has one, and only needs 12 more to be 3rd on the team for the season!