As a fan, you always have to stand by your team.
And given how Alex Burrows has been driving the offense alongside the Sedins more than usual lately, who wouldn’t stand by one of their team’s best players?
But in Burrows’ case, everything needs to be put in perspective. It’s not as though a Lady Byng candidate questioned the integrity of referees after a loss – it was a frustrated Burrows, known as an agitator and who was flustered after being in the box for a key goal late in the game against Nashville.
Should Burrows’ accusations be taken seriously? Absolutely. The NHL should – and did – look into the matter and if there was any game-rigging going on there’s no way any league would stand for it.
So should the relative silence from the NHL and Stephane Auger be assumed as a cover up? Not a chance. Everything being equal, I’d believe the referee’s word over that of Burrows any day of the week.
The first game after the infamous Nashville tilt, Burrows gave a little shot to the midsection of one of the Minnesota Wild players after the final buzzer sounded. It wasn’t serious enough to be a suspension or to cause injury and it’s the type of thing players of Burrows’ ilk pull all the time.
But it’s also exactly why he, nor any of his counterparts, should not and will not be given the benefit of the doubt in any situation.
The fact the exasperated words he spoke after such a frustrating loss were taken as the undeniable truth is laughable. Remember who we’re dealing with here folks: An antagonist vs. a professional hockey moderator who gets accused of bad calls all the time. The next time a referee makes a bad call in the last few minutes that leads to a game-changing power play goal, are we all to assume the fix is in?
What a joke.
Don’t get me wrong, Burrows is a good player and plays a gritty, in-your-face style I love and employ myself on the ice. But it’s also common knowledge that by playing such a game you’re opening yourself up for borderline calls here or there because of your reputation and you just have to live with it when it happens – much like refs live with you when you get carried away. Jan. 11, 2010 wasn’t the first time this ever happened in hockey.
So while any fan will back their favorite players, here we are eight days later and feathers are still ruffled over this non-issue. Even the fans have to get some perspective sometimes and come to the realization that their boy doesn’t have the cleanest background and that there’s more to this picture than a single interference call late in a mid-season game.
This article also appeared in the Vancouver Metro newspaper.
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