|THE VANCOUVER SUN
|Burrows bulks up to win
Brad Ziemer said that it was Alex Burrow’s summer diet that helped him improve his game and gain a bigger role on the team.
"Basically, I just ate all day long," says the Vancouver Canuck winger, who wanted to get bigger and stronger in the off-season.
Ziemer said, “He accomplished that goal, thanks in part to a six-meal-a-day regimen that was not as easy as you might think.”
"I was eating 3,400 calories a day and there wasn't much fat or anything," Burrows said Monday. "A lot of vegetables, fruit, chicken, proteins and carbs. I was eating all day, six meals a day, and drinking two litres of milk a day. I also worked hard in the gym. I think all that combined with good sleep and good nutrition has really helped."
“Clearly something has, because through 16 games of the NHL season you could certainly make an argument that Burrows is the most improved Canuck,” said Ziemer.
“He leads the team with a plus-five rating and has two goals and six points. And while those numbers may not be staggering, consider that Burrows managed only three goals and nine points in 81 games last season.”
"[Coach Alain Vigneualt] told me I had to be better this year and I had to work hard in the gym and get stronger and have a bigger role on the team, otherwise I wouldn't be here," Burrows said. "He really tried to be honest and I like him to be that way with me. I worked very hard in the summer."
Ziemer said, “Burrows' weight had dropped to about 180 pounds at the end of last season and he came to camp this season at a bulked-up 194.”
|Bourdon learns to play simple game
Jim Jamieson said Luc Bourdon is playing up to speed considering the amount of pressure he had when his team needed him the most.
Since being recalled from the minors three games ago, Luc Bourdon has been invisible,” said Jamieson.
“That's actually a good thing for the 20-year-old rookie defenceman, who's distinguished himself the last two preseasons with glaring positional errors and seeming difficulties in reading plays.”
Jamieson said, “But one of the pleasant surprises to come out of the Vancouver Canucks' three-game winning streak that followed the loss of two of their top-four defencemen to long-term injury is that Bourdon has been able to play some constructive minutes on the blueline without the sky falling.
“But with the Canucks tightening up their defensive system in light of the absence of Bieksa, Salo and Krajicek, a funny thing happened. Bourdon has put in three solid, under-control games while playing anywhere from 9:38 to 13:57 in selective minutes -- paired with veteran Aaron Miller,” Jamieson said.
"When I talk to him it's little things, like making simple plays," said Miller on Monday following practice. "Right now the situation with our team is we need to get the puck up the boards. Nothing fancy, just get it out of our end. Sometimes, he tries to do too much. You can't go running at guys down low.”
"This is a great situation for him. He's going to play. He's doesn't have to worry about making a mistake and getting pulled out of the lineup. He can relax a little bit and improve every night."
|GM Place ice a carnival-like circus of sorts at practice
Ben Kuzma said the Monday’s practice looked like a carnival with stations at every corner and a different activity for each. They were practicing puck handling from in their feet to ones in the air.
“There was lots of laughter, but there's nothing funny about a league low 24.2 shots per game and being ranked 23rd with 2.56 goals per game,” said Kuzma.
“In one drill, assistant coach Barry Smith passed pucks to players in their skates and they had to convert the feeds past the shooter-tutor attached to the goal. It was also a means to break the monotony of three-straight practice days before facing Edmonton on Wednesday.”
"When pucks are in your feet you can't really get at them," added Kesler. "So it was good to work on that and good on the coaches to break it up with this kind of practice."
|Morrison out to prove critics wrong
Ben Kuzma brings up the topic on the Canucks re-signing Brendan Morrison as he plays on the last year of his contract.
Kuzma said, “With Morrison in the final year of his contract, many are convinced the team can't wait to get his $3.2 million off the books. Critics also wonder aloud how many more years the 31-year-old Pitt Meadows native will continue to cash an NHL cheque.”
"You think about that a lot," admitted the injury-plagued Morrison, whose point totals the last three years have slipped to 60, 56 and 51 from a career-high 71 in 2002-03.
"Do you want to play until they kick you out of the game? Right now, I'm not going to do that and I want to do it on my own terms. My feeling is that if you can skate you can play -- especially in this new game. Who knows, down the road I may have a bit of a role change."
“Although only 16 games into the season, Morrison is making a compelling case for a contract extension or being more marketable in any trade scenario,” said Kuzma.
“With six goals and on pace for a career-high 30 as a third-line centre, Morrison is showing past flash and future promise.”