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.