Pat Burns laughs in the face of erroneous reports of his death


patburns1.jpgWhile Chuck Norris might be an inspiration to goalies and Internet memes around the world, one guy who’s managed to be tougher than everyone is former head coach Pat Burns. While Burns is struggling with terminal lung cancer and reported to be in worsening condition, it seems that some are in a hurry to be the first to report on the coach’s death.

Even before he’s actually dead.

Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy wrangled some of the tweets from media sources reporting that Burns had died from his battle with cancer, but TSN’s Bob McKenzie managed to get word from a source saying that Burns was, indeed, still alive. He got a phone call from Pat Burns himself and tweeted what the three-time Jack Adams Award winner had to say.

Pat Burns just called me Seriously. Here’s what he said. “Here we go again. They’re trying to kill me before I’m dead…

I come to Quebec to spend some time with my family and they say I’m dead. I’m not dead, far f—— from it. They’ve had me dead since June.

Tell I’m alive. Set them straight.” Done, my friend. Done. What a beauty. A great man, a great friend. Just leave him the hell alone.

If you wondered why hockey fans have a special place in their hearts for Pat Burns, those quotes right there sum it all up perfectly. After all, Burns is a guy that can get Bruins, Canadiens and Maple Leafs fans to agree on at least one thing. He coached the New Jersey Devils to a Stanley Cup, the Habs to the Cup Finals in 1989, and inspired a new generation of Leafs fans into loving hockey once again when he lead the Leafs to the Western Conference Finals in 1993.

Pat Burns doesn’t fear death, he laughs in the face of it and gives the finger to those in the media in a big hurry to put him in the ground. God bless Pat Burns.

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
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Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?