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[Video] Alex Burrows: The Backhand Deke

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Alex Burrows: The Backhand Deke


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It's as dependable as an NHL lockout every ten years or so. If Burrows is skating alone across the blueline, the goalie will still be playing the shot by the time the puck's been roofed on the backhand. Alternatively put by the Pass it to Bulis bloggers, "When Burrows challenges a man to a duel, he fakes a forehand slap before going backhand."

With his new four-year deal in hand, Burrows is Vancouver's most recent man of the hour in this current NHL off-season purgatory. Over the course of his present four-year bargain, he has honed his backhand deke into near-legendary status among Canucks circles – on par with say...Naslund's wrister from the half boards or Salo's blueline slapshot. Just wait til it happens against Mike Vernon in a playoff game and the internet will light up with blogs named in the goal's honour.

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.

Including the very first time he pulled it off, against Edmonton four years ago, here's every single one:

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.

Here's to 16 more breakaway dekes over the next four years...


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From a goalie's perspective, i'll tell you why we always get fooled by this and why its such a beauty of a move.

Yes, we know that Burrows is going to do it. All the time. But to save a backhanded move that is perfected to that calibre (moving us to the side and putting it top shelf), we have to be fully committed to pushing off and hugging that far post. Fully committed. Which means we can't decide last minute we want to do it because we won't get over in time.

What does that mean? That means if we're fully committed, a guy like Burrows will easily be able to tell by our position in the net, and he could shoot to score 100 percent of the time and beat us. So we have to somehow show that we're ready for a shot, but put ourselves so out of position we can get over to stop that backhander at the same time.

And the most beautiful part about the move is he does it at a distance that's too far for us to utilize our pokecheck. So our only hope? Pretty much that he somehow misses the net/fumbles the puck

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