2009-2010 Player Preview: #37 Adam Burish

2008-2009 Recap

What can we say about Adam Burish that your girlfriend hasn’t already?

Yes, ladies, a leaked threesome video featuring him and Patrick Sharp could rival the Pam & Tommy video, but that won’t get you very far in a “Player Preview.”

As I see it, Burish’s 2008-’09 season was a good news/bad news proposition. As my grandpa used to say, “Bad news first.”

Bad news: Other than a two week stretch in January and February, the best parts of Burish’s regular season came in a series of videos on the Blackhawks’ web site, in which Burish and Sharp played pranks on the unsuspecting Hawks’ captain and his young gun roommate. One thing’s for sure: you prank Patrick Kane next season, you or your grandpa will get a serious beat-down.

Good news: Mr. Burish increased his offensive production in 15 less games, which served as part of the reason Joel Quenneville felt comfortable rolling four lines.

Certainly, Burish finally played last season as though he belonged. After all, he had a “One Goal” commercial dedicated to him, something only stars Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Brian Campbell and Patrick Sharp could also boast. But, for a fourth line winger whose only job is to supply energy, playing as though one belongs isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Gone during last year’s regular season was much of Burish’s customary feistiness. His fight total – thankfully for everyone in the rink but his fight night opponent – decreased from 16 fights during the previous season to 5 fights in ’08-’09, and his hit total declined from 89 to 47, albeit in 15 less games. All the while, it appeared the fourth line winger sought to establish himself as an offensive contributor on a team full of them, while leaving the energy production to Ben Eager.  And, with six goals, it didn’t turn out as he seemed to plan.

But, the playoffs were another season for the youngish agitator. Burish established himself as an energy line force when the calendar turned to April, and his feistiness reappeared, helping ignite the Hawks’ scoring lines and driving opponents wild. When the physicality of the season was ratcheted up by the playoffs, so too was Burish’s game, bringing the grinder mentality and the momentum and excitement that goes with it.

All in all, with a solid performance in the playoffs, including a very impressive five points in 17 games, Burish made up for any apparent regular season shortcomings.

Burish’s 2009-’10 season will be a success if…

He is fresh come playoff time. Sure, he largely took last regular season off, but for a team that will most certainly make the playoffs as a high seed, it’s important for this grinder to hit the ground running come Cup time. The playoffs were a time filled with much excitement in Chicago, and Burish supplied much of it.

Burish’s 2009-’10 will be a disappointment if…

He decides he’s Tie Domi. Sure, grabbing the biggest guy on the other team and holding on for dear life sometimes gets teammates excited, but too much of that for Burish may land him on an opposing team’s highlight reel a la Eric Nystrom at the United Center. Worse yet, his face may come to have more steel plates in it than his composite stick. For Burish, it’s true: many of the game’s best “agitators” don’t fight.

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7 Responses to 2009-2010 Player Preview: #37 Adam Burish

  1. Lou says:

    Here’s one for you. If Sharp doesn’t wear the A this year Burish or Seabrook are the guys that may get it.

    I like him on our team, he knows his role and plays hard every minute. I also hope he gets a piece of Alex Burrows this year!!!!!

  2. Dave Morris says:

    Gentlemen, another fine foray by you into the forest of feathers in Hawkland.

    If the loquacious Mr Burish can add more whap and less yap this coming season, all the better.

    …in other words, fuggidabout being Affable Adam, he of the “I don’t know who Sidney Crosby is” soundbites and flinging of octopi in TV spots conjured up by ad agency eggheads.

    Just give us more smash n’ score hockey from Atomic Adam AKA Killer B. Oh, and those PK skills he showed from time to time would be good too…on a regular basis.

    Kyle Beach is watching and waiting for his turn at bat.

  3. Jamie says:

    I am astonished you overlooked the only reason Burish is in the NHL: his penalty killing. He doesn’t have great hands but he is very fast and very agile, making him extremely effective on the pk. Any goals or agitation of opposition is just frosting on the cake. He is here to kill penalties, which is why you saw him fight less and hit less. He can’t kill penalties when he’s in the box. This oversight is really glaring, I thought this point was obvious. What team are you watching?

  4. blackhawkbob says:

    While I agree that Burish is perhaps the best penalty killer of the Hawk forwards, the idea that he was less aggressive because he was waiting to kill penalties is a stretch. As I mentioned in the piece, when the playoffs came around, Burish ratcheted up the intensity – enough to place him second on the team in playoff penalty minutes behind only Ben Eager.

    If you’d like me to admit Burish is an excellent penalty killer, I have absolutely no problem doing that. I agree.

  5. Jamie says:

    There is a difference between fighting and aggressiveness. I never said Burish was less agressive last season. I said that he fought less last season in order to increase his availability to fulfill his penalty killing role.

  6. John says:

    Not so sure about that. You might be giving Burish more credit than he deserves. I think it had more to do with he was tired of hanging on for dear life every time he dropped the mitts with someone.

  7. blackhawkbob says:

    You originally said that he fought and hit less; to me, that combination means aggressiveness. But, if you indeed thought Burish was as aggressive last season as 2007-08, I’d say you’re dead wrong.

    Thanks for the comments, though.

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