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Press Round-Up: NOV.16.07

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks

Burrows rewarded for strong play

Ben Kuzma said that Coach Alain Vigneault is taking his chances with Alex Burrows matching him up with Matte Cooke and Brendan Morrison.

“Consider it a reward for the grinder and minimal risk for the coach. Burrows was skating on thin roster ice at training camp with five players vying for three fourth-line spots. But he has responded to being called out by Vigneault with two game-winning goals, six points and a team-leading plus-5 ranking,” said Kuzma.

“With only 15 of their 41 goals coming on home ice, the Canucks can't keep talking about out-chancing teams, they need to start outscoring them.”

"Any time you get a chance to move up a line, you want to make the best of it," Burrows said Thursday. "Alain is an honest coach and will give guys chances that he thinks that are playing well and right now I'm happy about my game.”

Kuzma said that Burrows may be the key that will add a spark to this line.

"Cookie is a great forechecker and we'll try to get in there and if we can get the puck to Mo, he can work his magic and maybe find us," added Burrows. "We need to get some dirty goals, but defensively we've been playing much better.

"If we keep playing that way, we'll get our breaks and get our goals."
Kesler trade rumour nixed by Nonis

Ben Kuzma said that there are rumours Dave Nonis may trade Ryan Kesler, by far one of the best Canuck player, to the Philadelphia Flyers, but then again, they’re only rumours.

“Ask Dave Nonis about Kesler and you get the same reaction,” said Kuzma. “That's why it's hard to fathom a TSN rumour that has Vancouver interested in swapping Kesler and either Luc Bourdon, Alex Edler or Cory Schneider for Philadelphia Flyers centre Jeff Carter.”

"I'm not close to a deal with anybody and there are always rumours out there and a lot of speculation," said Nonis, the Canucks' general manager.

Kuzma said, “Kesler, 23, has nine points and his plus-2 rating speaks of an ability to shut down top opposition centres. Of late, he's centring Taylor Pyatt and Brad Isbister. More importantly, the Canucks have Kesler under contract for two more years at $1.75 million annually.”

"That's been one of our best lines and for the last four games they've been going head-to-head against top lines and have been generating chances," said Vigneault.

“Carter, who turns 23 in January, has seven goals and 11 points. He'll be a restricted free agent on July 1 when his $942,400 contract expires and open to offer sheets.,” Kuzma notes.
Middle of the pack suits Luongo for now

Iain MacIntyre said that there is little separating between the best goalies of the decade and this season’s top goalies.

“In that case, about 25 goaltenders separate Roberto Luongo, Martin Brodeur, Marty Turco, Miikka Kiprusoff and Dominik Hasek from the NHL leaders,” said MacIntyre.

“Just so you know, the guy with the league-leading 1.35 goals-against average is Ellis. We're pretty sure that's his last name. Apparently, he plays for Nashville. Dan Ellis. Another leader is Thomas, and that definitely is his surname, Tim Thomas of Boston. Other leaders include Pascal Leclaire and Henrik Lundqvist.”

MacIntyre said, “As for the potential Hall-of-Fame candidates, Luongo's 2.52 GAA may rank 29th, but the Vancouver Canuck has a healthy lead over Turco (2.76), Hasek (2.76) and Brodeur (2.86). And the Calgary Flames' Kiprusoff (3.12) is at the Martin Brochu end of the rankings.”

"If it was three of four years ago, I would say it bothered me," Luongo said Thursday of his middle-of-the-pack numbers. "Not anymore, to be honest. I look at the game differently now."

"Obviously, there are going to be guys who have hot starts," Luongo continued. "But in the course of a season, it all evens out. You've heard many times: 'It's not where you start, but where you finish.' We'll see after 82 games where we are."
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