Burish rips Vancouver 'clowns'

Updated: May 7, 2010, 3:11 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

VANCOUVER -- Chicago Blackhawks winger Adam Burish accused Vancouver Canucks forward Alex Burrows and defenseman Shane O'Brien of being "clowns" for roughing up Blackhawks skill players during their Western Conference semifinals.

"The thing that upsets me about O'Brien and Burrows is they go and target [Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews]," Burish said Friday morning. "The clown Burrows goes after [Brian] Campbell in the middle of the ice.

"Give me a break. If you want to target someone, come find me or [Ben Eager]. You guys want to pretend you're so tough, and yet you go and try to pick a fight with those guys. If you want to hit them and play hard, fine. But those clowns are pushing them after the whistle and punching them."

Burish implied O'Brien acts tough only when Burish and Eager -- the Blackhawks' enforcers -- aren't on the ice.

"We call O'Brien a 'spot picker,' " Burish said. "He picks his spots pretty nice. He knows who's on the ice and when he can be a tough guy and when he kind of has to shut up."

Burrows' hit on Campbell drew an unsportsmanlike penalty midway through the second period of Game 3 on Wednesday, shortly after the Canucks grabbed some momentum and narrowed the Blackhawks' lead to 2-1. Dustin Byfuglien scored his second goal of the game on the ensuing power play to make it 3-1. The Hawks won 5-2 to take a 2-1 series lead. Game 4 is Friday night in Vancouver.

"You have to be careful at this time of the year," Burish said. "I go into a game and I have a plan. You know who you want to go after, and who you want to target.

"You know who the refs are, too. Some of the refs have no tolerance. Bill McCreary, every time I step on the ice, he says, 'Don't you mess around tonight.' Then you know you have to be careful. Sometimes they let you go a little. Burrows took a stupid penalty and cost them the game."

The Blackhawks were successful in creating traffic in front of Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo, and Burish expects the Canucks to complain about crashing the net.

"They're going to be complaining to the refs. They're going to be in the refs' ear about going to the net, or pushing a guy after the whistle," Burish said. "So you may have to back off at certain times. But when you're playing, and you're going, you still have to get in front of them.

"This is the playoffs. It's borderline annoying how much they're going to complain about going to the net. You look at any series, there's going to be guys going to the net. Give me a break, this is hockey."

ESPNChicago.com's Jesse Rogers contributed to this report.

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