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  1. So justice was meted out by Colin Campbell and the NHL tonight regarding Alex Burrows' comments pertaining to the officiating in Monday night's loss to the Nashville Predators. Burrows, for speaking his mind and accusing referee Stephane Auger of having a grudge against him, was fined $2,500 for doing so. According to Darren Dreger and Greg Wyshynski over at Puck Daddy, Auger is receiving no punishment and the matter is closed. Understandably, this has folks in Canuckland seething. The fact that Burrows would be punished for his transgressions while Stephane Auger would get off scot-free doesn't make sense. Unfortunately, there are very strict rules that pertain to criticizing NHL officials and Burrows, no matter how justified he was in making his comments, was breaking those rules. That Burrows was going to be taking a hit in the wallet should be of no surprise to anyone. What remained up in the air today was how severe Burrows punishment was going to be. As Wyshynski points out, league disciplinarian Colin Campbell could have dealt out far harsher punishment. One can't help but draw comparisons to Jeremy Roenick's on ice tirade from 2004, which came after on-ice officials completely missed a high sticking call that resulted in blood being drawn against good 'ol JR. After some rather enthusiastic protestations, Roenick was ejected from the game, which only further infuriated him, as he lobbed a water bottle in the direction of the referee and then spoke his mind afterwards. Incidentally, both the Burrows and Roenick incidents received widespread media coverage (gaining the attention of hockey-indifferent ESPN down in the United States) and both occurred at roughly the same point of the season. The result? A $10,000 fine and a 1 game suspension. This, after an official's negligence resulted in a player losing a tooth and requiring stitches and no penalty being assessed against the offending team. Burrows' $2,500 fine and being able to continue to play look rather tame in comparison and you can't help but wonder why. For all intents and purposes, it looks as though Burrows was only being punished because he had to be punished. The lack of a suspension or a more expensive fine, either to Burrows or to the Canucks organization speaks to that. This, of course, can be seen as Burrows post-game comments being granted validity by the NHL, that he may even be right that Stephane Auger had a score to settle with him. It follows, then, that if Burrows was telling the truth about what happened in Monday's game, why hasn't Auger been punished? Surely if the NHL is letting Burrows off easily with a minimal punishment following his rather serious allegations, they would be quick to punish an official who wasn't doing his job. Thus, the lack of punishment is a head scratcher. That is, until you realize that the NHL prefers to do everything behind closed doors. Players aren't supposed to comment about refs (hence Burrows' fine) and the refs aren't made available to the media after games (like the players are.) They're well protected and any sort of discipline pertaining to them is only whispered about, being about as elusive as a date with Megan Fox. It's hinted that playoff officiating can be used to reward or punish referees, although nothing concrete has been proven regarding that claim. I personally don't agree with the way the NHL handles things, and think the League would be better off if they made things more transparent in how they handle things like this and other questionable referee calls. Instead of protecting their officials, they should be making them accountable for their decisions on the ice. If a referee like Stephane Auger, who, according to Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun, 'has a reputation for inconsistency and arrogance' and who 'amongst peers is not especially popular' was thinking about visiting retribution down upon Burrows had to face the music in the form of angry reporters or from a public disciplinary hearing, chances are he wouldn't have gone over to Burrows and said anything and this whole ugly matter wouldn't have happened. It may have also prevented some previous incidents from occuring, such as his involvement with Shane Doan from a few years ago or the 'intent to whistle' no-goal call against Detroit earlier this season. Instead, Auger gets protected by the league and controversial incidents involving him continue to happen. Much has been said about how Alex Burrows and the Vancouver Canucks shouldn't expect much sympathy from the officials now as they will be under a microscope for the immediate future. Stephane Auger should expect to be placed under the same scrutiny, though, scrutiny which I would argue should and would exist if the NHL was more transparent in how it dealt with their referees. It shouldn't have to come about as a result of a player speaking his mind and getting fined for it, it should already be there. It may also help in other instances. Recall that NHL referee Dean Warren was fired for 'phantom calls' in two NHL playoff games two years after they had occurred. The resulting wrongful dismissal suit that Warren fired (he alleges that he was fired due to his activity with the NHL Officials Association and not due to subpar performance) has been in the Ontario courts for a while now and some embarrassing e-mails from Colin Campbell have come to light as a result. Had Warren truly been someone who, as ex-NHLOA director Stephen Walkom put it, 'cheapens the profession' dealing with him in a public manner would have saved the resulting legal battle and helped to keep other officials on their best behavior. One of Campbell's e-mails about another official has him saying "We look absolutely stupid when we call mysterious hooks as there were in this game." It'd be great to know if he shared this same sentiment about Stephane Auger and the calls he made Monday night against Vancouver. Sadly, given the NHL's closed door policy, we can only speculate on Stephane Auger's ultimate fate.
  2. I think everyone's a little tired of the Stephane Auger-Alex Burrows incident. What had been said to Auger behind closed doors won't be revealed, but it'll probably be along the lines of, "well, you know, just keep your mouth shut before the game and watch who you talk to." The NHL was in a bit of a pickle here because they can't pick sides - whatever side they choose, it sends the message that the NHL acknowledges that they have refs who cannot stay impartial during a game but are really refusing to do anything substantial about it. That's not mentioning that the NHL Officials Association will be very unhappy if the NHL takes Burrows' side. I think by creating less of the situation the NHL really has avoided what could've been a big controversy - Burrows has a history and as does Auger. What really irks me though, is that some people are still willing to dig into Burrows. More specifically, Ron MacLean's telecast last night (part 1 and 2) against the Penguins. I agree with Alain Vigneault's post-game conference that MacLean (a referee by training but also ironically been one of the most critical observers of the lack of consistency in NHL-level refereeing in recent years) took some unfair potshots at Burrows. Colin Campbell joined MacLean in the telecast and a few of his answers also really shed light on the current situation in the NHL's discipline office. No one other than Burrows and Auger knew what happened on the ice in that January 11 game, but to me, I think MacLean delves into one assumption too many in his analysis (part 1, 1:50-2:15). He claims that Burrows embellished the hit (I think he did too) but stayed on the ice (or "played dead," in Ron's words) even when the Canucks trainers came onto the ice and stayed there long enough to ensure that Jerred Smithson got five and a game misconduct. The NHL made the right move and rescinded that game misconduct after Nashville GM David Poile filed a complaint, but here's where it gets confusing. Colin Campbell specifically says that it could've been a "two-minute penalty, no problem" (part 1, 3:05) and rescinded the misconduct also in part because that "two or three" (part 1, 2:38) could mean a future automatic one-game suspension. Okay, let me get this straight: Smithson's hit on Burrows could've been two minutes or fifteen minutes or one, two, maybe three-game suspensions? To me, while I don't think it is the most relevant factor, shows the inconsistent refereeing from top to bottom. The NHL doesn't really have a set standard for anything. Case in point, Campbell notes that Burrows was not suspended for his punch on Zack Stortini because he felt that it was unfair to Mike Gillis and the Canucks to not give them more warning (part 2, 0:27-0:45). Thanks for your sympathy Colin, but the NHL office would look more credible if they made sure there was a set standard for fines and suspensions. Forget about putting the opposition team in a pickle - it's their problem, not yours. I can hear Gary Bettman singing the same tune last year, "well, I just didn't think it'd be fair to the Flames to ice less than 18 skaters due to their own cap managing failures because I'm such a gosh-darn nice guy. By the way, can my forehead by any shinier?" MacLean doesn't help his own cause any further when he refuses to believe any part of Burrows' story: "I can't imagine he said, 'I'll get you.' I think we can all agree on that" (part 1, 4:40). No, Ron, I don't agree. At this point I think that whole "what he said" thing is circumstantial and there is a clear lack of hard evidence to prove either side's story. MacLean's a referee and I think even he would be hard-pressed to say that Burrows' interference penalty late in the third against the Predators was absolute junk. Burrows is an intelligent hockey player and he plays with a lot of emotion so I can't really see that something he said out of frustration and anger was completely false. Let's not delve into too much psychoanalysis, but to Burrows, it was more than just about "me vs. him." In his post-game he repeatedly said that it wasn't fair to the fans or the team. Taking a page from MacLean's Book of Poor Assumptions, I'm going to assume that Auger clearly saw this as a "me vs. him" incident. He was clearly upset that Burrows had make him look awful back in December - Auger even said so himself according to Campbell (part 1, 5:33). There haven't been any reports denying that. Auger refused to comment after the game and still hasn't said anything since. But never mind the whole incident, who was wrong or who was right, MacLean was more "upset that he [burrows] said it, that he implied that your referee, Auger, that night was out to get him and he actually might've influenced the outcome of the hockey game and the coach corroborates with the accusation" (part 2 3:11-3:23). From the get-go, it was clear that MacLean didn't have much respect for Burrows and is obviously engaging in some one-sided politics here. For me, the bigger issue is that a NHL player who has been in this league for some time is calling out a ref for some awful calls by insinuating that he was targeted but yet the league hasn't done anything but dish out a measly $2,500 fine and a good ol' talking to with Auger. I'm not MacLean-level outraged with the situation but I'm not particularly happy with it either. With the type of punishments being handed out these days, this is about as fair as they come. Auger won't be reffing another Canucks game for quite some time so the NHL seems to think they have little to worry about. In the end, I don't think MacLean's telecast with Campbell really solved anything. We only re-discovered what we knew already: that Burrows is a diver, Ron is not a fan, and that Burrows' criticism of the officials seems to be more important than the fact that the NHL may have a problem with biased referees. Sorry, Mr. Auger, but I couldn't help myself. <img src="http://www4.pictures.gi.zimbio.com/2007+NHL+Headshots+g3Ww7DZGk9xm.jpg"class="imageFloatRightFramed"><img src="http://img.thesun.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00459/SNF2788I_280_459087a.jpg"class="imageFloatLeftFramed">
  3. Between Ref-gate, Fight-gate and The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (whoops, wrong forum), there was certainly no shortage of controversial topics this past week. Here on Number Crunching, we certainly don't shy away from controversy as we take a look at the best and worst statistics from the week that was in Canucks hockey and answer that burning question of just whether the refs really do hold a grudge against the boys in blue. And as always, read on to find out who takes home this week's coveted Number Crunching Player of the Week Award. ZEBRA WATCH <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/01/jan0910_ryptwo_t.jpg class="imageFloatLeftFramed">We can't imagine Alex Burrows or many others in Canuck Nation are too thrilled with the crew in stripes this week particularly in light of everything that happened last Monday against the Nashville Predators. In fairness to the zebras, however, up until this recent week Canuck Nation was probably pretty happy with the way things had gone with the officiating overall on the season. Including the games from this past week's games, the Canucks have earned more power play opportunities versus their opponents in exactly half of the 48 games they have played this season. In five of the 48 games played, the Canucks have had an equal amount of power play chances as their opponents and in the remaining 19, the Canucks have had fewer power play opportunities compared to the other team. Here are Vancouver's respective records this season in each of the three scenarios: When getting more PP chances than opponent: 15-9-0 When getting fewer PP chances than opponent: 10-8-1 When getting equal PP chances as opponent: 3-1-1 Interestingly, until Saturday's contest against the Penguins, the Canucks had not received more power play opportunities in a game compared to their opponents since the turn of the calendar to 2010. ALL GIVE AND NO TAKE <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/01/jan1310_wild02_t.jpg class="imageFloatRightFramed">Without a doubt Vancouver's worst showing of the week came in Minnesota on Wednesday as they took one on the chin in a 5-2 loss to the Wild, which was about the only thing they managed to take away in that game. For the first time all season, the Canucks were completely shutout in the takeaways column as they were credited with a grand total of zero. Vancouver's previous low for takeaways this season came way back on October 19th in Edmonton when they were credited with a measly two takeaways in a 2-1 loss to the Oilers. Through 48 games this season, the Canucks are averaging 7.375 takeaways per game. Their best night as far as takeaways are concerned came about two weeks ago on January 7th against the Coyotes when they recorded a season-high 12 takeaways. Those looking for a correlation between takeaways and wins will probably be a little bit underwhelmed going solely by Vancouver's numbers this season. In the 11 games where the Canucks have recorded ten-or-more takeaways as a team, their record is 6-4-1. As far as best "takers" on the team, Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows are the runaway leaders with 54 and 43, respectively, this season. Behind them in a distant third place tie are Mikael Samuelsson and Henrik Sedin, who each have 25 takeaways each so far this season. THE BEST OF DEMO <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/12/122808_hankpavol_tt.jpg class="imageFloatLeftFramed">Without a doubt, the best part of the week for the Canucks had to be seeing jersey No. 38 out on the ice in a game for the first time since last May so in honour of Pavol Demitra's triumphant return to the Vancouver lineup, Number Crunching presents the following "Best of Demo" stats: Canucks record in 2008.09 when Demitra scores a goal (regular season): 14-3-1 Canucks record in 2008.09 with Demitra out of lineup (regular season): 6-4-3 Longest goal streak by Demitra as a Canuck: 4 games (Nov. 17 - 22, 2008) Longest point streak by Demitra as a Canuck: 6 games (5-5-10 from Nov. 15 - 24, 2008) MILESTONES <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/01/jan0510_twins_t.jpg class="imageFloatRightFramed">Number Crunching congratulates Daniel Sedin on reaching his 500th career NHL point on Saturday against Pittsburgh with his first assist of the game on brother Henrik Sedin's goal. Daniel became the second player this season to reach 500 points as a Canuck joining brother Henrik and officially became the sixth player to do so in all-time franchise history joining Markus Naslund (756), Trevor Linden (733), Stan Smyl (673), Thomas Gradin (550) and Henrik Sedin (527+). In honour of Daniel's latest achievement, here is a rundown of some of Daniel's more memorable career moments (courtesy of the Canucks Media Guide): First career NHL game: October 5, 2000 at Philadelphia Flyers First career NHL goal (and point): October 8, 2000 at Tampa Bay Lightning 100th career NHL game: November 23, 2001 at Boston Bruins 100th career NHL point: October 18, 2003 at Minnesota Wild 500th career NHL game: November 23, 2007 at St. Louis Blues 500th career NHL point: January 16, 2010 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins NUMBER CRUNCHING PLAYER OF THE WEEK <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/01/canucks3_205x115_011110.jpg class="imageFloatLeftFramed">Alex Burrows: Four goals in three games If there are any Timex executives currently reading this blog, we'd like to give you some free advice and suggest that you contact Alex Burrows immediately and offer him an endorsement deal because here is a player who clearly can take a licking and keep on ticking. In Burrows' case, the licking came first from referee Stephane Auger on Monday, followed by NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell on Tuesday in the form of a $2500 fine and then again on Saturday by Ron MacLean on Hockey Night in Canada in a segment that had about as much integrity as a house of cards. For his part, the 28-year old Burrows didn't seem to be phased much by the off-ice distractions this week as he continued his red hot streak by netting goals in all three games of the week and extending his season-high and career-high point streak to eight games dating back to December 31st (11-2-13). He enters action this week riding his third three-game goal streak of the season and will have an opportunity on Wednesday in Edmonton to match a career-high if he can find the back of the net against the Oilers. His last four-game goal streak came last season from March 9th to 15th. His current eight-game point streak is already double his previous career-high of four games. CRUNCHED BY THE NUMBERS <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/01/jan1310_wild08_t.jpg class="imageFloatRightFramed">Alex Bolduc: 6'8", 258 lbs. For those who follow the Canucks closely, you will know that the measurements listed above do not belong to Alex Bolduc. Rather, they belong to Minnesota Wild tough guy John Scott - who the 6'3", 200 lbs. Bolduc decided was a good idea to challenge to a scrap on Wednesday in Minnesota in what was a lost cause with the Canucks down 5-2 in the third period to the Wild with less than half a period to go. While you can't help but applaud the courage of the 24-year old Bolduc, one has to question whether it was the bright idea in light of the fact Bolduc had just recently returned from a shoulder injury. As it turns out, Bolduc was literally crunched by the intimidating physical numbers of John Scott and ended up re-aggravating the shoulder injury and is now out of the lineup indefinitely. Bolduc was averaging less than 10 minutes per game but was a key component on the Canucks penalty kill - particularly with Ryan Johnson also out of the lineup. Bolduc was also one of Vancouver's best players in the faceoff circle. Among Canucks who have played 10-or-more games this season, Bolduc ranked third on the team with a faceoff win rate of 54 percent - behind only Ryan Kesler (55.8) and Kyle Wellwood (54.3)
  4. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/11/nov1709_chbsmall_smallt.jpg" class="imageFloatLeftFramed">In light of this Burrows/Auger incident, upon reviewing it all, I think you'd be hard pressed to find Burrows wrong. The video evidence of what Auger did before the game and the blatantly weak calls as well as a history of very poor officiating makes this yet another controversy the Canucks find themselves in the thick of. Now homer bias aside, I think the overwhelming response from any and everyone with an understanding of the game (at least as seen on Twitter since last night) including Nashville fans who's team won the game last night, is a good enough sign the league should do something about this issue. We saw them give Toronto a slap on the wrist without so much as looking into the issue, hopefully things are different this time around. Burrows isn't the type of player to make a big deal just for the attention. He's not Sean Avery, he's not Chris Pronger, he's not that type of player. With that in mind what's worrying me about the issue is the fact Burrows in all likelihood is going to get a suspension from all this. The winger who's entire career has been a surprise is on pace for a career high 34 goals and over 60 points this season. He is playing the best hockey of his life and all it takes is someone or something to throw a wrench in the cogs and this high powered Canucks offense comes grinding to a very quick halt. Trust something like this to defuse the Canucks and the chemistry they've got going. We still have to wait for all of this to pan out, but with the Canucks top line clicking right now it would be unfortunate for the incompetency of a league appointed official to affect a team in the long run. With Auger's poor officiating, the turning of the game from a 5 on 4 in the Canucks favour to a 4 on 3 in the Predators' favour in a matter of seconds last night it couldn't have been more clear that the officiating was suspect. You'd be hard pressed to convince me that the top two goal getters on the Canucks last night were also the two most heavily penalized players in the game last night by coincidence. Henrik and Burrows only had point each last night and the fact that Henrik was in the box on three separate occasions on suspect calls is cause for concern. Not cause for concern because our top scorer is in the box. I'm all for penalize a player if it is due. However for a player who going into last night had 28 PIMs in 44 games to take 6 PIMs in one game without a fighting major or a double minor raises eyebrows to me. To put it into further perspective, Henrik had 6 penalty minutes last night. Prior to last night he had 6 PIMs in his last 15 games. You do the math. It's a tight Western Conference and the referees cost the Canucks 3rd place in the West last night dropping them to 7th overall. The conference is tighter than I have ever seen it and at the end of the season, should the Canucks be out of the playoffs by one or two points, or lose a tie break, this could very well be the game that could have changed everything. Again, at the end of the night this is not something I'm bitter about because of being a Canucks fan. The fact that so many people league wide support Burrows is testament to the fact that this is bigger than being bitter over a couple of lost points. I'm worried about the integrity of a league in which we play in if referees are allowed to get away with this. <img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/11/nov1709_mozy_small.jpg" class="imageFloatLeftFramed">Richard Loat writes for Canucks Hockey Blog and is a fan of the underdog – first Bryan Allen, then Alex Burrows, and now Jannik Hansen. His passion for the Canucks led to the Canucks Hockey Blog and a lot of #Canucks tweets on his Twitter account.
  5. A bizarre subplot emerged from the Canucks' <a href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/predators-turn-back-canucks/article1427877/">3-2 loss to Nashville</a> tonight, with <b>Alex Burrows</b> <a href=http://communities.canada.com/theprovince/blogs/whitetowel/archive/2010/01/12/alex-burrows-accuses-nhl-ref-of-having-a-personal-vendetta.aspx">claiming</a> [<b><a href=http://www.twitter.com/botchoncanucks">Jason Botchford</a></b>, <i>The Province</i>] referee <b>Stephane Auger</b> has a personal vendetta against him. Burrows scored both of the Canucks' goals, but was called for 16 minutes in penalties and was in the box when Nashville's winning goal was scored. At least two of the penalties were certainly debatable. According to Botchford, Burrows said Auger told him in advance that he was in trouble. Burrows said Auger referred to the Canucks' 4-2 loss to Nashville on Dec. 8, where Auger gave Jerred Smithson a game misconduct for charging Burrows. Here's the key quotes from Botchford's piece: <i>"It started in warm-up," Burrows said. "Before the anthem, the ref came over and said I made him look bad in Nashville on the Smithson hit and he was going to get me back tonight. "When Smithson hit me sideways he said 'I saw the replay you had your head up and weren't really hurt and you made me look bad and I'm going to get you tonight and it cost us two points.'" "He got me on a diving call that I didn't think was diving and an interference call. I had no idea how he could call that. It changed the game. Right now, for our teammates are battling hard to win. Because of a guy's ego, it just blows everything out of proportion and the refs are making bad calls and we're paying for it." "He comes into the game and he's going to make a call to give Nashville the advantage and I don't think that's fair for my teammates and for the fans."</i> (I have a brief video of Burrows talking to Auger in the warmup posted in my original entry at canuckpuck.com. Thanks to <b><a href="http://twitter.com/mattlee61">Matt Lee</b></a> for the link.) This is fascinating. Obviously, the league's going to take a look at this, and I'd guess that they'd at least find and probably suspend Burrows for making those kinds of comments about one of their officials. The question remains: what if he's telling the truth, though? Officiating in the NHL is often questioned, but there haven't really been many legitimate suggestions of particular grudges or suspicious behaviour from referees. That hasn't been the case in all sports, though. Both <a href="http://deadspin.com/5415679/tim-donaghy-has-found-a-publisher">basketball</a> and <a href=http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,4912571,00.html">soccer</a> have recently gone through massive scandals involving referees fixing games. There's no suggestion that Auger was out to swing this game for betting reins, but Auger's actions did swing the game; Nashville scored the winning goal with Burrows in the box. Auger's call on that play remains up for debate. There are three main scenarios that could have happened. The first is that Auger made the right call, in which case Burrows is spouting off for no good reason. The second is that Auger made a bad call, but he made it with the right intentions (i.e. he didn't have any specific motivation to get Burrows). The third is that events unfolded as described by Burrows, where that call was strictly made because of a grudge against him. The problem is that it will be difficult to figure out exactly which scenario happened. NHL referee supervisors can differentiate between scenario one and the other two by analyzing the tape and comparing it to their rulebooks and referee manuals, but we currently don't have any way to determine motivations accurately (unless <b>Mr. Spock</b> or <b>Counselor Troi</b> want to drop in). Video does suggest that one of the refs talked to Burrows in the warmup, but it will be difficult to figure out exactly what was said; I'm sure if events unfolded as Burrows described, Auger wouldn't exactly say that loudly enough to be overheard by anyone else. The NHL certainly should investigate this, though, and they shouldn't just flip it off with a "we stand by our refs." That can be the public statement, but they need to go deeper in private, interviewing Auger, the rest of his crew and Burrows in detail. They need to approach them skeptically, rather than from a position of faith, and perhaps even resort to lie-detector tests (this won't happen, but it would be one way to sort it out reliably). For the good of the game, fans, players and teams need to have faith that referees are approaching all situations fairly. If Auger did this, I can empathize with him; I worked as a softball umpire for several years and know just how difficult officiating can be. There's certainly motivation to "get" certain teams or players when they treat you poorly. To my knowledge, I always resisted doing so consciously, but that doesn't mean I didn't feel tempted. I'm sure there are certain refs who dislike certain players and have that influence their calls, either subconsciously or consciously (Tim Donaghy makes many claims to that effect in his <a href="http://deadspin.com/5415679/tim-donaghy-has-found-a-publisher">book</a>). Whether Auger falls into this category or not is still uncertain, though, and if he does, telling the player that he was out to get him would be incredibly stupid. What does this mean for the Canucks? Well, if Burrows' allegations are true, they probably lost at least one point and possibly two tonight, which could be important in the case of a tight playoff or division race. However, regardless of the truth of the allegations, Burrows' behaviour in taking them to the press could hurt the team even more. He's been one of the league's best players recently, and was <a href="http://www.nucksmisconduct.com/2010/1/11/1245527/burrows-nhl-1st-star-of-the-week">named</a> the NHL's first star for last week. He's been touted as a hot fantasy pickup by several esteemed writers, including the Fanball Network's <b><a href=http://www.twitter.com/BaseballGuys">Ray Flowers</a></b> in his <i>Sports Illustrated</i> <a href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/fantasy/01/11/crashing.net/index.html">piece</a> today. If Burrows is hit with any sort of suspension, that could hit the Canucks dramatically. We'll see what comes out of this. However, I'm sure it's far from over. Burrows may have fought the law, but in the end, the law usually tends to win.
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