Seven questions with ... Alexandre Burrows
Alexandre Burrows is in his fourth NHL season, all with Vancouver, and has enjoyed a breakout campaign. The undrafted free agent from Pointe-Claire, Quebec, is second on the Canucks with 28 goals and third in plus-minus with a plus-23. Burrows spoke to NHL.com the day after a big home win against division rival Calgary in the final week of the season.
Here are our seven questions with Alexandre Burrows:
1. NHL.com: Coming off a career-year, you have to expect you'll have a bigger bulls-eye on your back -- you will be watched a little closer by the opposition -- in the playoffs. How will you overcome it if that scenario plays out?
Burrows: "I don't think I'll be the main focus on my line. If we're playing well, the credit goes to Henke (Henrik Sedin) and Daniel (Sedin). They'll have the bulls-eyes you mentioned. I'll just try to help them out the best I can and score some big goals, put less pressure on them. They deserve all the credit. They're the world-class players. I just work hard and go after the loose pucks. They make the nice plays."
2. NHL.com: Are you aware that you're one of only five players in the League with 25 goals and 100 penalty minutes, joining David Backes, Ryan Getzlaf, Scott Hartnell and Corey Perry?
Burrows: "I didn't know. When you're mentioned in talks with guys that won the Cup, like Getzlaf, and young guys like Backes -- and he'll be good for a number of years -- it's always nice to hear. At same time, you can't lose focus on the main goal. My teammates helped me achieve all that I've achieved. We're only playing for the Stanley Cup."
3. NHL.com: Describe, if you can, the mindset of the team heading in to the playoffs, the confidence level and overall play?
Burrows: "We're not as good defensively as we want to be. At the same time, we're now tied for the Northwest lead (with two games to go). If you had said that to us at the start of the year, we'd have been happy with that, but we have to tighten up defensively."
4. NHL.com: Assess for me your own overall performance this regular season?
Burrows: "Obviously, I've been a little bit better. The last 25 games or so I've played with Henke and Daniel, and they're as good as anyone at making plays, coming out of the corner, on the cycle, beating guys one-on-one or two-on-one. I knew I'd get more chances playing with them."
5. NHL.com: Did you set any personal goals coming into this season, and did you meet them?
Burrows: "I think coming into a new season, you make sure you play well for team success. You're always trying to be better than the year before. Numbers-wise, I've been better off playing with the twins. It feels so good to be in the big dance, especially after missing the playoffs last season, and you never know what is going to happen once you get there."
6. NHL.com: Name a few teammates the media and public don't give enough credit to, as far as intangibles and team chemistry.
Burrows: "One guy who is under the radar is (defenseman) Willie Mitchell. He doesn't score a lot of points, but every night he's playing against the top forwards, he always battles, his plus-minus shows his value, and that's one guy who deserves a lot of credit. But most of all, it's a team effort, and we've been pretty good. Everyone steps up at different times."
7. NHL.com: What is it like playing for coach Alain Vigneault?
Burrows: "He's a fair coach. He doesn’t shy away if you're not playing well, he'll let you know. If you're going well, he'll give you lots of ice time. That's all you can ask for, and he's fair that way. He understands our tough schedule, all our trips and flights. He's good at giving us days off and managing the way we're practicing."