Burrows goes from hero to new dad
Vancouver Canucks left wing Alex Burrows celebrates his game winning overtime goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during Game 7 of their NHL Western Conference quarter-final hockey game April 26, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia. (REUTERS/Ben Nelms)
VANCOUVER -- Sure, scoring the Game 7 overtime winner was a huge moment for Alex Burrows.
Amazingly, the Vancouver Canucks forward was able to top it the next night.
One night after his winning goal vanquished the Chicago Blackhawks in the opening round of the playoffs, Burrows became a father for the first time.
His wife, Nancy, gave birth to daughter Victoria just after 9 p.m. Wednesday.
"It was magical. It's all more than I could have dreamed of," Burrows said Thursday following a morning skate in preparation for the second-round series against the Nashville Predators. "She should be home Saturday, so I'm looking forward to it."
If life's big moments come in threes, you sure have to wonder what's next for Burrows.
The obvious prize would be the Stanley Cup, but that's too far on the horizon for him to think about.
"I don't think you can top it for now," a beaming Burrows said. "On a professional level and a personal level, it's two great things.
"On the professional side, we weren't in this for one round. We weren't in this for one game or beating Chicago. We're looking down the road.
"We're not satisfied only by beating Chicago. It was a tough matchup, but now Nashville's going to be even tougher."
The Canucks came close to being without their eventual hero in the Game 7 clash with Chicago. Had his wife gone into labour earlier, Burrows might not have played against the Blackhawks.
"We tried to plan it with the doctors so I didn't have to miss any games," he said. "There was a chance, but my wife knew to keep it in a little bit longer.
"I think the ride of emotions and the roller-coaster of emotions maybe triggered it a bit."
Instead, the timing was perfect.
"I was able to spend a few hours after the birth, and that was special, and my wife knew tonight was another big game for me," Burrows said. "She understands and supports me, so she let me go home just before midnight so I could get a good night's sleep."
He'll need it. The Canucks may be the Presidents' Trophy winners as regular-season champs and favoured in this series, but the Predators made it this far by being a tenacious squad.
Burrows usually has no problem playing with that same time of emotion and enthusiasm, but he may need to draw from the reserve tank.
"I've had a lot of support, great family and friends through all of this. I'm sure all the people who give me strength and energy will be there," Burrows said. "I feel fine and want to keep it going."
Coach Alain Vigneault doesn't see it as a potential problem.
"It's a pretty good day for a little Frenchman from Quebec," Vigneault said. "He was all right this morning. I talked to him briefly and he was ready to go."