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Burrows in the middle for new-look Canucks

by Kevin Woodley

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- So much for Alain Vigneault’s theory about sticking with things that worked in the past as a way to overcome a short training camp.

The Vancouver Canucks coach has abandoned that philosophy after an 0-1-1 start, with the team calling up small, speedy center Jordan Schroeder from the American Hockey League for his first NHL game, and throwing his lines in a blender as Vancouver tries to record its first win against the winless Calgary Flames (0-2-0).

The biggest change is Alexandre Burrows moving from his spot alongside top-line twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin to center a new second line, between Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen.

Burrows has played the middle a handful of times in the past, and said his defensive responsibilities won't change much from playing with the Sedins, where he often was the first forward back and assumed down-low coverage in his end.

"A little bit more skating, less board work, and maybe a little more responsible making sure no one gets caught deep and we're not giving up any odd-man rushes, but there’s not a whole lot," Burrows said of the move to the middle. "I don't overthink things, still go out and put work boots on."

The biggest challenge may be faceoffs. Burrows has taken 34 draws the past two seasons, winning 13 of them (38.2 percent), and is 2-for-7 in the first two games this season. He will lean on faceoff specialist Manny Malhotra for advice -- and maybe help.

"He's one of the best and has been for a long time in this League, so he always has good pointers," Burrows said of Malhotra. "And I'm sure he's going to be taking the [defensive] zone faceoffs."

The other changes will see Zack Kassian start where he finished the last game -- on a line with the Sedins, which led to Kassian's first goal of the season. Schroeder will make his NHL debut on a line with Dale Weise, who was promoted from the fourth line, and Mason Raymond. Maxim Lapierre dropped from the third line to the fourth, with Malhotra sliding over to the wing on that new unit.

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Zack Kassian

Chris Higgins - Alexandre Burrows - Jannik Hansen

Mason Raymond - Jordan Schroeder - Dale Weise

Manny Malhotra - Maxim Lapierre - Aaron Volpatti

Dan Hamhuis - Kevin Bieksa

Jason Garrison - Alexander Edler

Keith Ballard - Christopher Tanev

Cory Schneider

Roberto Luongo

Injured: Ryan Kesler, David Booth

Scratched: Andrew Ebbett, Andrew Alberts, Cam Barker

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