Alex Burrows quickly became a villain for Boston Bruins fans during the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.
The Vancouver Canucks forward allegedly bit Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron in Game 1 of the series and wasn't suspended. Burrows caused the Bruins even more pain in Game 2 when he scored the winning goal in overtime to give the Canucks a 2-0 series lead heading to Boston.
The Bruins won the next two games at home and ultimately the Stanley Cup with a 4-0 victory in Game 7 back in Vancouver. It was Boston's first championship in 39 years.
The Canucks are still searching for their first Stanley Cup title, and even though almost a decade has passed since that heartbreaking defeat, Burrows admits some of the pain still exists.
“I’ve kind of got over it now, but it still stings, that’s for sure,” Burrows recently told Ben Kuzma of The Province. “Boston was a good team. They played well and played us tough and hard and found a way. For us, starting better on the road in Game 4 and Game 6 — being better out of the gate and getting early leads — and maybe that crowd turns on them and it changes the story."
Burrows makes a good point about Game 4 and Game 6. The Canucks were brutal in those losses in Boston. Vancouver led the series 3-2 and had a chance to win the Stanley Cup with a Game 6 win at TD Garden. The Canucks should've gone ahead 36 seconds into the first period when Henrik Sedin had an open net off a set play used to score the only goal in Game 5, but the puck bounced over his stick in a stroke of bad luck. Bruins forward Brad Marchand opened the scoring five minutes later and everything went downhill for the Canucks from there. Boston went into the first intermission leading 3-0 and won 5-2 to force a decisive matchup in Vancouver.
Game 7 wasn't even a contest. The Bruins opened the scoring with a Patrice Bergeron goal in the first period and cruised to a shutout win. The Canucks were beaten physically and mentally at that point in the series, and it didn't help Vancouver that Bruins goalie and eventual Conn Smythe Trophy winner Tim Thomas was playing at a level rarely seen in Cup Final history.
Burrows also went into detail on what he did after the Game 7 defeat.
“A lot of guys were crying and I didn’t spend much time at the rink — I just got out of there and left pretty quick,” Burrows told Kuzma. “I didn’t live far from the rink and everything was blocked. I had to take the Cambie Bridge and then come back into the city through Granville and then got home to see my family, but nobody was there. I just went to my bedroom and cried and cried and cried until everybody showed up. Some guys went for a bite at the Opus Hotel, but I was so crushed I didn’t want to see anyone. I just dealt with my grief. I was just devastated.”
Burrows disappeared after scoring his Game 2 winner. He didn't tally a single point over the final five games of the series. He retired after the 2017-18 season without a Stanley Cup ring.