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Daily Dosage - Apr. 20, 2009

Daily Diarrhea 

Nabokov Evgeni Nabokov and the Sharks continued their fiendish plan to ruin playoff pools all over the land last night.  Nabby stopped 23 of 26 but the Sharks lost their second straight home game and are in big time trouble.  Any Duck you drafted in your pool is looking like a great pick right about now...  especially Jonas Hiller as the Ducks tender stopped 42 of 44 shots last night and sports a pretty crisp .975 sv% through the first two games. 

With only two goals in two games, nobody on San Jose is doing your team any favours right now.  Patrick Marleau, Milan Michalek, Dan Boyle and Joe Pavelski are all still looking for their first playoff points.  One bright spot last night (we're really grasping for anything here) was that Jonathan Cheechoo was moved up to the 1st line with Thornton and Roenick and was pretty active last night with a beauty goal and was in Chris Pronger's face constantly.

We gave Claude Giroux a hard time after the first two games of the series but he gave us a giant F-U yesterday as had a goal and an assist to help the Flyers climb back into the series.  Everyone should get a good look at this kid cause you're watching one of the dynamic offensive talents in the league and he's not going to be under the radar for long.

Parise Zach Parise moved into a tie for second in playoff scoring with a big 1+1=2 night last night.  He set up Travis Zajac for the OT winner and now has five points in three games.  Btw, Geno Malkin had two goals yesterday to maintain his two point lead at the top of the playoff scoring race & if all the Eastern Conference series' hold then we could see a sweet NJ-Pittsburgh 2nd round match-up.

Brian Rolston got the call up to the big line last night thanks to Jamie Langenbrunner's injury.  He didn't pick up a point but was +2 on the night.  Rolston should get another chance to hit the scoreboard with Travis Zajac and Zach Parise in Game 4.

Milan Lucic got suspended one game for a crosscheck to the head of Maxim Lapierre in Game 2.  He'll be in the press box for Game 3.  With the way the B's have been playing it doesn't look like they'll need him anyway.

Loved this story... one, cause its by Larry Brooks and he tells good stories and two, cause it would have shut Brian Burke up real good.  So the story goes that after Burkie's little act about going after Tavares he called Islanders GM Garth Snow who said he'd loved to make a deal... but instead of giving Toronto his 1st rounder, he's willing to take the Leafs 1st rounder off their hands... would have been priceless to hear Burkie's reaction, "ahhhh, there's no way we're trading our 1st rounder", to which Garth says, "Likewise" and hangs up.

Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):

Sundin Mats Sundin didn't suit up with the Canucks last night due to a groin injury.  Word is it isn't that serious but with a 3-0 series lead the 'Nucks might be sitting him for game four as well. 

Paul Kariya has been practicing with St. Louis but was not ready to make a game #3 return last night but with the Blues on the verge of elimination we'd expect to see him back for game #4. 

Daily Distraction

What's distracting us today?  With a goal in Game 2, Alex Burrows continued his breakthough regular season into the playoffs.  Since we're all about the breakouts here at FHS we thought it would be a good time to look a little below the surface of this 28-year-old winger.

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Talk about a 'Rudy-esque' story. 

Alex started out in the QMJHL with the Shawinigan Cataractes.  He scored a fairly ordinary 100 points in 127 games...but showed a grit that would eventually catch the attention of NHL scouts (289 PIM's).  After his time in the junior, he didn't get drafted by a single NHL team and went on to the ECHL.

He played for the Greenville Grrrowl (yeah it really does have 3 r's), the Baton Rough Kingfish and the Columbia Inferno.  He scored only 32 points in 66 games in his first ECHL season.  Ugly.  He picked it up in his second season with 73 points in 64 games.  That season earned him a ticket to the AHL.

As in the ECHL, Burrows had a brutal first season in his new league.  Only 26 points in 72 games for the Manitoba Moose.  He second season saw Burrows pick up 30 points in 33 games.

In 2005-06, the Canucks offered Burrows a two way contract and he would never see the minors again.  He started out with the Canucks as a checking winger and played on the penalty kill.  He scored only 12 and 9 points in his first two seasons with the Canucks but picked up 31 points in season three...playing mostly with Ryan Kesler.  This year, Burrows got the plum assignment to play with the Sedin twins and made it count...28 goals, 23 assists and 150 PIM's.  That's fantasy breakout gold.

Burrows finally hit the big time as the Canucks offered him an $8 million four year deal.  Nice.

That's a cool story.  But it's even better when you realize that Burrows attributes his conditioning to playing ball hockey in the summer.  He's played for Canada in several international ball hockey tournaments (they really do exist) and was even named the best ball hockey player in the world in 2006.

If that wasn't enough, he even totally nailed the Marc Crawford impersonation on CBC earlier this season (around one minute in):

We think Burrows might be challenging TJ Oshie for our man-crushes next year.