Alex Burrows tries not to think about shoulder problems

For the previous three seasons, Vancouver Canucks power forward/pest Alex Burrows kept getting better and better, especially from a stats perspective. He went from 12 goals and 31 points in 2007-08 to 28 goals and 51 points in 08-09 to 35 goals and 67 points last season.

Burrows had one thing going his way in those seasons that he lacks right now: remarkable health. In fact, before this season, he missed only one regular game in the last four seasons.

The talented forward missed the first 10 games of this season after recovering from shoulder surgery, but it seems like it’s taking longer than that for him to rebound to full form.

You can read about his troubles here, which includes a first paragraph that features Gordon McIntyre’s bizarre choices explaining how Burrows is struggling with the mental side of his comeback.

Like Seinfeld’s, um, libido playing chess with his brain, or that Pizza Pop commercial where the stomach chases the girls out of the thinking organ, Alex Burrows is having a to-and-fro with his grey matter.

Stomachs chasing girls? What? Moving on …

“I’m getting closer,” he said after skating on a line with the Sedins again at Tuesday’s practice. “Obviously it’s going to be a process. As long as I keep working hard, things are going to happen.

“I feel my legs are getting better every game.”

In 10 games, Burrows only has one goal and two assists for three points. He went through eight of those contests without a single point. The Canucks are currently on a four game losing streak and ceded their Northwest Division lead to the Colorado Avalanche this week. Chances are, if Burrows gets his game together, he might just lift his team along with him.

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    CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

    The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

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    Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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    ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

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    The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

    Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

    The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

    Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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    TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

    The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

    “This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

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    Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

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    TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

    The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

    “Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

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