SAN JOSE- Mainstream media consistently flock to star players for quotes for their stories. However, many star players often have little to say outside contrite answers involving many a sports cliché. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard Joe Thornton say “good two points” I would have, well, maybe only like 10 bucks. But you catch my drift.
This is where outspoken and chatty role players like Adam Burish come in handy. It still surprises me how other media aren’t huddled around the first year Sharks forward on a daily basis.
Prior to San Jose’s 3-2 shootout victory over the Colorado Avalanche, I sat down with Burish again to get his thoughts on a number of topics, including his squad’s frequent residence in the loss column. The following is the Q and A from our conversation:
Q: “How was it facing your former club for the first time since signing here?”
A: “It was the first time playing against Dallas, it [was] fun. It’s always fun playing your old buddies. It’s fun you know just kind of looking across at a face-off or warm-ups, they’re shooting pucks at you, skating by and saying inside jokes, so it’s fun but it’s competitive though. When you play against your old team it means a little more to win those games than some other games might because you want those bragging rights, you want to stick it to them a little bit. So back-to-back losing to my former teams, it stings a little, it hurts a little more. You go into the game and you’re a little more juiced up because you want to stick it to these guys, you want to have the last laugh, so [losing] was frustrating but it’s good to go back and see some old buddies but it makes it a lot sweeter when you can find a way to beat them and laugh at them.”
Q: “Which play caused your current shiner above your right eye?”
A: “That happened in Chicago. Happened in the third period, I think Bickell took a penalty, stick got up in my face, my helmet cut me, boards cut me, stick, everything, but that’s alright.”
Q: “When things aren’t going well, is it hard for players to sort of put aside their own personal opinions on strategy, if they may differ from the coaching staff, and focus on the task at hand?
A: “Sometimes [it is]. For me that kind of comes back to being a good teammate, being a good person in the locker room, being a good friend, being someone your teammates can count on and if you start deviating from the course and kind of maybe think I’m going to try this my own way, it throws everything off. You know what the guys are staying the course, the coaching staff’s done a good job reminding us that. I mean you look at teams that have won cups, when I was in Chicago we had a streak where we lost a bunch, LA was terrible last year at this time, I mean they were horrible. And for me, I think we’re a more dangerous team than LA was last year, if you look at our offensive weapons and the guys we have. So finding ways to get some confidence back is I think the biggest thing for this team. It’s a heck of a team in here, it’s not a joke the talent that’s in here. There are plenty of goals to go around here so it’s finding ways to get some confidence back but again just being a good teammate, supporting each other, looking out for each other, helping each other when it’s tough, encouraging each other on the bench, those are things that kind of get you through some tough times and we’ll do that here.”
Q: “Will getting Matt Irwin back help the transition game, including defensive zone breakouts?”
A: “Yeah maybe, you know what the last two or three games actually we’ve probably come out of our zone better than we have in a long time. The D have been doing a good job, we have great puck moving defensemen. Matty Irwin did a great job when he was here last time, so yeah it’s nice to have him back but the guys we have, the last few games have actually done a real good job with getting the puck up, probably better than the start of the year. So our D, they are very good puck moving defensemen, top to bottom, from the guys you make think are the checkers and the hitters, they can move the puck and make a play and they’ve done a good job. Now it’s a matter of once we get it out, now let’s make some plays, let’s get it to the net, let’s find a way to get some goals. And again the weapons in here, from defense to offense, the weapons are all here. We just got to put it together and when it comes it’s going to be fun again.”
Q: “People say you build from the net out, so you could make the case that if you had to choose one end to struggle at, you would choose the offensive end. And being a team like you guys are in terms of being near the top of the league in goals allowed, once the offense comes around, this team could be special considering the offensive firepower is still here from recent seasons?”
A: “That’s how I feel. Being a guy that hasn’t been here a long time, and being a guy that’s not one of the big three or big six on this team, from playing against them and watching them in practice everyday I just hope that they can understand how good they are. How good they really are, how dangerous they really are and our defense is fine. Our goaltending is the best in the league. Even throughout this stretch, if you throw out the Columbus game, other than that we’re not allowing much. We’ve lost some games 0-0 in overtime, we’ve lost some 1-0 games. We’re playing defense great. Our goaltending is the best in the league, now we just need some confidence up front. And that’s part of us as teammates helping those guys, encouraging them and supporting them and letting them know that you guys are as good as anyone in the league. Our forwards, our top three, our top six, there as good as anyone in the league. They’re just as dangerous, they’ve got plenty of goals to go around to lead us all the way deep in the season.”
Q: “ Certainly nice to know that the third and fourth lines are getting healthy again with James Sheppard and Andrew Desjardins getting back?”
A: “Yeah you know what that’s going to come as well, once we get some consistency in the lineup and maybe get a little bit of comfort with who you’re playing with and guys getting healthy. We can chip in a little bit here and there or be solid defensively, maybe get some offensive shifts where we’re grinding it out down low, give our big guys some rest, get some momentum that way, get some excitement or kill some big penalties, get the guys some rest that way, whatever it may be. It’s little things that go into winning a game, for those bottom two lines, it’s not always sexy but it’s important to winning. You got to have it, you got to be deep, you got to count on minutes from those guys. Hopefully we’ll get everyone back, get some rhythm and consistency and we can help be leaders that way.”
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