I may not have said it out loud, but ever since the rash of injuries hit the Stars and we lost players like Grossman, Burish, Barch, Benn and even Richards I have maintained to myself and my friends that Burish is the biggest loss.
The team has shown all season that when the going gets tuff the team gets scoring. Depth scoring at the forward position is the biggest plus this year’s team has, after all. You could say this fact is the “soul” of the team, but it isn’t the heart.
Richards is the leading scorer and the most talented player on the team. He’s an all-star center who will have his jersey retired in one or two arenas when he finally hangs up his skates. But, this years team is about heart as much as it is about soul, perhaps more. Pulling itself out of the gutter and putting itself back in a position to win. It isn’t the team of 99 or even the team of 08. Its a different breed of Dallas Stars. The Joe N. era, if you will.
You could see the team sagging in the middle of the slump. Maybe Richards puts the team on his shoulders if he’s in, but it started with him in the line-up and continued after. It didn’t seemingly end until Burish rolled back into the line-up and you could immediately see the attitude of the Stars team lighten on and off the ice.
Burish combined with a great training camp in Prince Edward Island is in my mind one of the biggest reasons this Stars team has played as well as it has this year. The team is closer than ever. Burish has even said its the tighted group he’s ever been a part of. Considering how close the Chicago Blackhawks were last year when they won the cup, that is saying a great deal. And its in no small part to Burish being brought into usher that feeling in from the Stanley Cup champions.
So here’s to you, Mr. Burish. A quality depth forward who skates, hits and takes fists to the eye for the team.
“Everyday, for each other.”