2011 Stanley Cup Finals: Alex Burrows Bites Boston Bruins with Game-Winning Goal

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2011 Stanley Cup Finals: Alex Burrows Bites Boston Bruins with Game-Winning Goal
Harry How/Getty Images

Alex Burrows has been called a lot of things lately, in the wake of the biting incident in Game 1.

In the media, he has been vilified as classless, gutless, cowardly, and other adjectives not fit for print.

They forgot to include clutch.

Burrows came into Game 2 as a man on a mission. He decided, after speaking with his parents and friends, that the only way to shut up the critics was to score. 

And he did.

Burrows opened the scoring on a power play in the first period, with a nice wrist shot that handcuffed Tim Thomas.

Shortly after the goal, the big screen at centre ice showed Trevor Linden in attendance at the game. Linden is a Canucks icon, in large part for his iconic never-say-die efforts in the 1994 run to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Burrows embodies a lot of the same characteristics as Linden, specifically the work effort and ability to play in all game situations. And like Linden, he comes up with big goals when his team needs them.

After the Bruins went up 2-1, Burrows and the Sedins owned the Bruins for several shifts in a row, with Tim Thomas being both lucky and good to keep the puck out. 

Eventually the Bruins bent under the relentless pressure in the offensive zone, and Burrows was able to set up Daniel Sedin for an open-net goal.

Not satisfied with a mere goal and assist, on the opening shift of overtime, Burrows went one-on-one with Zdeno Chara on a Bruins turnover. 

Burrows beat the lumbering Chara to the outside, then deked Thomas out of the net. 

With Zdeno Chara hanging onto his back, Burrows circled the net and tucked the puck in on a wrap around.

Of course, after the dramatic OT goal, Burrows did his bow and arrow celebration in honour of Luc Bourdon. 

Final score: Canucks 3, Bruins 2. And Alex Burrows was involved in all three Canucks goals, finishing with two goals and one assist.

Of course, Boston fans are complaining that Burrows shouldn't of been playing, saying that he should have been suspended after the biting incident.

You can argue that Burrows should have been suspended, but he wasn't.

Speaking to the media after the game, Bruins head coach Claude Julien addressed the controversy:

"They (the NHL) made a decision. We moved on. For us, if we start using that as an excuse, we're a lame team. To me, it's not even a consideration."

Unfortunately, while Julien took the high road, many Boston fans and media are not, especially Mike Milbury of NBC, who was apoplectic after the first goal that Burrows scored.

There is a problem with that argument, though.

Nathan Horton.

Horton, the player who after Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals was caught on camera throwing a water bottle at Lightning fans, an act which in the past has drawn two game suspensions in the playoffs.

Horton wasn't suspended, and he went on to score the only goal in Game 7, putting the Bruins into the Stanley Cup Finals.

If anyone wants to complain about Burrows being in Game 2 and scoring those big goals, can they first please explain to me why the Lightning weren't playing in Vancouver instead of the Bruins?

Or maybe explain to me how Zdeno Chara wasn't suspended for his brutal hit on Max Pacioretty, but you think Burrows should have been suspended. 

If there is one thing everyone can agree on, it is that the NHL's justice system is garbage.

Hopefully that will change in the future, but until that time, all you can do is roll your eyes and deal with whatever they hand down, or not, as supplemental discipline.

Whatever people think of him, Burrows will keep on being the hardest working player on the ice. And he'll probably be the most hated man in Boston come the start of Game 3 on Monday.

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