Chicago's Burish calls Vancouver's Burrows, O'Brien 'clowns'


obrienburrows.jpgThe rivalry between the Chicago Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks keeps building. As much as modern athletes tend to get along with each other these days, it’s hard to find tension as legitimate as the beef between these two teams. 

So it’s not too surprising that Chicago tough guy Adam Burish shared some harsh words for Vancouver’s Shane O’Brien and Alex Burrows. Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago gathered these quotes from Burish.

“The thing that upsets me about O’Brien and Burrows is they go and target [Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews],” Burish said Friday morning. “The clown Burrows goes after [Brian] Campbell in the middle of the ice.

“Give me a break. If you want to target someone, come find me or [Ben Eager]. You guys want to pretend you’re so tough, and yet you go and try to pick a fight with those guys. If you want to hit them and play hard, fine. But those clowns are pushing them after the whistle and punching them.”

To be fair, though, I don’t recall seeing Shane O’Brien or Alex Burrows in garish face paint.

Anyway, Burish sheds light on a sub-set of NHL pests. The ones who seem to conveniently prove their moxie one moment and then when someone out of their weight class – or at their level – shows up, they suddenly turtle. From what I’ve read from angry fans, players such as Chris Neil and Matt Cooke develop reputations for “picking spots.”

The anger level in this series obviously rose last game. It’s rare, after all, to see someone as meek as Daniel Sedin throw some punches. Perhaps we can all blame Dustin Byfuglien, the man I like to call “Buffy the Hamburger Slayer.” Should be a fun one tonight.

(Yes, I shoehorned Byfuglien into the story to bring up that nickname again. You’re welcome.)

There’s ‘a real positive vibe’ in Buffalo, where Eichel will make NHL debut tonight

Connor McDavid
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Jack Eichel didn’t disappoint in the preseason, finishing with six points in four games, including two shorthanded goals.

Tonight in Buffalo, his NHL career will start for real when the Sabres host the Ottawa Senators in regular-season action.

“It’s something I’ve dreamed of my whole life, stepping foot on that ice and making the NHL,” Eichel said, per “It’s kind of been a whirlwind, but you’re finally playing hockey for a living and everything you’ve done your whole life is to get to this point. It’s pretty special.”

The 18-year-old’s debut was front-page news this morning in Buffalo, where the Sabres have been among the NHL’s worst teams since last making the playoffs in 2010-11.

Eichel front page

Granted, even with the additions of Eichel, Ryan O'Reilly, Evander Kane, Robin Lehner and Cody Franson, expectations for 2015-16 remain modest for the new-look Sabres. Certainly, a spot in the playoffs would count as a surprise.

But for the fans of a team that’s barely possessed the puck the past couple of years, it’s night and day.

“People are excited,” GM Tim Murray said earlier this week. “It’s great. They think we’ve improved, and there’s a real positive vibe, I believe.

“That’s what I said to our coaches, ‘I want everybody to be positive. I’m the only guy in the organization allowed to be negative.’ That’s the way I wanted it. If I’m the most negative guy in the city about the team, that’s pretty good.”

Sutter: Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

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Lost in the various controversies (see here and here) of last night’s game in Los Angeles was a pretty dismal performance by the Kings, a team that should’ve been especially motivated to start the season after missing the playoffs last year.

The Kings were hammered, 5-1, by the visiting Sharks. They were outshot, 32-20.

“If you don’t check, you don’t have the puck enough,” said Kings head coach Darryl Sutter. “If you don’t have the puck enough, you can’t score.”

“We were pretty sloppy. Sloppy on our rushes, sloppy in our D-zone,” said forward Dustin Brown. “That’s probably most of it, but the other part is compete – in the corners and making hard plays coming out of our zone, going in. We didn’t play very well.”

Obviously, much credit has to go to the Sharks. Like the Kings, they missed the playoffs last year and came into 2015-16 looking for redemption. But the Sharks haven’t won two Stanley Cups in the last four years, and they weren’t the home team.

“Gotta check,” said Sutter. “You don’t check, you can’t score. We had a lot of guys, especially top guys that weren’t interested in that part of the game.”

The Kings get a visit from the Arizona Coyotes on Friday. If they don’t dominate that team…