Winger Jamie Benn
made his return against New Jersey last Tuesday after missing 10 games due to injury. Krys Barch also returned in last week’s win in Detroit and Dallas could get center Brad Richards and blueliner Nick Grossman back before the end of their current four-game road trip.
During this stretch, the Stars also got third-line right winger Adam Burish
back. He joined Barch to return for the win over the Wings. Not only is Burish a valuable member of the team and a key component of the Dallas’ penalty kill but he also brings something else this team hasn’t been short on for much of the year, positive energy.
In 55 games, the 27-year-old winger has 7 goals and 5 assists for 12 points and is a solid plus-4 for the season. But one reason he was brought in from the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks after last season was the positive effect he can have in the room as well as on the pond.
“Well, Adam is an energetic guy. He’s a hard-working guy,” Stars head coach Marc Crawford said. “He hasn’t got the most talent in the world but he tries to get every ounce of his ability out that he possibly can. I think that he’s kind of infectious around the room. We like him because he’s a straightforward player and I think his attitude is a very straightforward attitude. You push yourself first and you lead a bit by example. He’s a guy who speaks his mind and again, that straightforward attitude is very resemblent of how he plays too.”
Burish acknowledges his positive attitude does play a role in the room but he also realizes that such positive vibes are prevalent throughout the entire roster.
“I just want to bring a good attitude to the rink. I think that helps a lot,” Burish said. “You bring that attitude into the locker room before the game during the game and are encouraging. That can help bring some confidence back. I think more than anything, it was just bringing everybody back together again. It wasn’t just Barch and I coming back. It was just when we did come back it gave us a more full lineup like what we’re used to all year.”
And getting the likes of him, Barch and Benn back allowed Crawford to lighten the workload of several Stars regulars who had seen more ice time during the rash of injuries.
“You’re back with the guys that you’re comfortable playing with and you’re not asking more of guys. You’re not asking the Ribeiros and Morrows to play 25-26 minutes or whatever minutes that they’re not used to. That’s hard on guys night after night,” Burish said. “I think more than anything, it was getting everyone back together and getting a consistent rotation of lines going out one after another. It’s a combination of things. That’s what I wanted to bring. I wanted to bring just some positive energy back to the group.”
The veteran winger gives his teammates a lot of credit for helping create such a fun, positive atmosphere in the room but he also knows that vibe all starts at the top with Crawford.
“He’s given us a lot of confidence this year with the way he’s approached practices and the way he’s approached games. You’re going to make mistakes. He’s said that,” Burish said. “He doesn’t want to stifle you or take that creativity away from a lot of guys. He’s brought that structure into our game where you want to play the right way and if you play the right way, it’s a simple way to play. You’re going to have success. He was firm on it but it was almost that sense of if we do this guys, I’m telling you we’re going to win. We got that confidence from that, knowing this is the way we need to play. We’re going to play this way and sure enough, we started winning.”
And like the rest of his teammates and the Stars coaching staff, he knows that such close team chemistry has been a key component of their success to date.
“This is a fun group to be around. I’ve had so much fun with these guys. Every day, we all give each other so much,” Burish said. “That’s part of the reason why we’ve been winning. You don’t come to the rink with a mopey attitude. This is always a fun room to be around. Before games, the locker room is loose. The locker room is fun. Guys are talking and when you have that, it makes it much easier to play.”
Burish and the Stars return to the ice on Friday night in Anaheim.