Hockey Headlines

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Burrows Looking Snacky

The Stanley Cup Final opened yesterday with a game that was for the ages, especially if you're a fan of goaltending. Roberto Luongo pitched the shutout for the Vancouver Canucks, and Raffi Torres' goal with 18 seconds remaining in the game was the difference as the Canucks took the 1-0 victory. The city of Vancouver was in party mode as the hometown Canucks gave them something to be happy about, but it seems the real story was Alexandre Burrows sampling the "finger food" that Patrice Bergeron brought along with him to Vancouver.

There have been other recorded cases of NHL players reportedly biting one another in a scrum. In 2009, Ottawa's Jarkko Ruutu was suspended for two games for chomping down on Buffalo's Andrew Peters. In the 2009 NHL Playoffs, New York's Brandon Dubinsky claimed to have been bitten by Washington's Shaone Morrisonn, and had to get a tetanus shot after the game! Morrisonn, by the way, was not suspended and denied using his incisors on Dubinsky.

By all accounts, it's clear from the imagery that Patrice Bergeron's finger was inside Alexandre Burrows' mouth. No one is denying that it didn't happen, and it's hard to believe otherwise when the evidence is so damning. The question for the NHL to ponder was whether Burrows deliberately chewed on Bergeron's fingernails or not. The Bruins thought that the nibble was deliberate; the Canucks and Burrows are holding firm that it was not intentional.

"I don't think so," Burrows said, according to The Province. "He had his fingers in my mouth, but I don't think I bit him. He put his hand up and put it in my face and his fingers in my mouth and that's what happened."

According to the NHL's findings today, they could not conclusively determine that Burrows' sampling of fingers was deliberate enough to warrant a suspension. NHL senior vice-president of hockey operations Mike Murphy said in a statement, "After reviewing the incident, including speaking with the on-ice officials, I can find no conclusive evidence that Alex Burrows intentionally bit the finger of Patrice Bergeron."

The NHL's findings, or lack thereof, mean that Burrows will be in the line-up once again on Saturday despite the vast amounts of evidence that seemed to prove that he did, in fact, bite down on Bergeron's finger with some intent. Hopefully, Burrows' mid-game snack cravings will be over because I'm sure the NHL will be watching for any sort of biting through the rest of this series. And if Burrows is identified once more as a biter, I'm sure the NHL will be far less lenient.

When asked about the incident on Thursday, Patrice Bergeron was already focusing on Game Two. "I'm over it," he said. "I'm looking forward to the next game. It's the league's decision. I have nothing else to say about it. He did it, but I'm over it."

That's good for the Bruins who need to find a way to crack Luongo. The Canucks lead the Stanley Cup Final 1-0 in the series, and the Bruins have yet to score a goal in the Final. Their only concern should be on taking a bite out of the Canucks by putting pucks behind Luongo.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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