On Alexandre Burrows and Stephane Auger

Now that everyone has had a chance to hash, re-hash, cry, grieve, mourn and appreciate the Burrows / Auger incident and come to a conclusion, even though they had already made up their mind the minute they saw the Burrows interview, let's take a look at what happened.  Stephane Auger had a conversation with Alexandre Burrows during the pregame skate, we have incontrovertible video evidence of the fact.  Auger calls Burrows for a dive and an interference penalty in the third period of the Predators game.  Burrows tells the media that Auger said "...I'm going to get you back tonight." during that pregame conversation.  Canucks fans go apoplectic, the media blames Burrows, and Colin Campbell essentially says that Burrows is lying, fines him and moves on.  Canucks fans get more apoplectic.

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via www.sportslogos.net

Oilers vs. Canucks Game Page

Nucks Misconduct

The thing about the entire incident is that nothing Burrows says is believable, and for a number of reasons.  In the SB Nation roundtable, I said of the incident:

Given Burrows' history and his penchant for the dramatic, I put almost zero stock in what he said. He's a dirty player, he dives and he whines. I fully believe that Auger came up to him and said "You got me last time. Good for you, but it ain't happening again." If he said anything else, Burrows would have reacted much more differently during pregame.

Lost in the hand-wringing over the incident is the fact that Burrows is a dirty player.  In reading the analysis of the incident from the Vancouver media, the articles seem like a wake or a memorial to Burrows.  They talk about "his long road" and how "he worked so hard" and "his tough journey" to the NHL.  The media and fans wailed about the "integrity of the game" and how Auger destroyed it.   Lost in all of this is the fact that Burrows has no integrity when he's on the ice.  He does dive.  He doesn't embellish, he dives, and he does it often.  He starts scrums and waits for the enforcers to arrive or clean up later.  Canucks fans call it "gamesmanship", everyone else knows the truth.  He's essentially a less-publicized and less-effective version of Sean Avery

If Auger would have said "I'm going to get you" during the pregame, Burrows would have told someone, anyone -- his coaches, his linemates the Sedins, some random player sitting on the bench.  He didn't.  Burrows waited until he dove, Auger didn't buy it and he made excuses in the post game.  Auger essentially told him during the pregame "Knock off the shenanigans", but Burrows couldn't.  He finally got called on it.

The lesson here isn't about a referee targeting the player, it's not about the media being "old guard" in defending the refs.  The lesson here is that if you are going to play the game the way that Burrows plays it, you should probably listen when a ref tells you that he's done buying what you're selling.

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