Burrows says Auger targeted him

Updated: January 12, 2010, 12:15 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Vancouver forward Alexandre Burrows got a 10-minute misconduct for telling referee Stephane Auger what he thought of him late in Monday night's 3-2 loss to Nashville.

Burrows could be facing punishment from the NHL after sharing his opinion with the media after the game, including accusations Auger targeted him and promised to get revenge.

Burrows scored twice, but was in the penalty box for a second time when Nashville's Shea Weber scored the game-winner with 4:03 to play.

It was personal. It started in warm-up before the anthem. The ref came over to me and said I made him look bad in Nashville on the [Jerred] Smithson hit. He said he was going to get me back tonight and he did his job in the third.

-- Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows

He said Auger approached him before the game and told him he was going to get him back for embellishing a Dec. 8 hit in Nashville that left Burrows crumpled on the ice, and resulted in Predators forward Jerred Smithson receiving a 5-minute major penalty for charging.

"It was personal," Burrows said. "It started in warm-up before the anthem. The ref came over to me and said I made him look bad in Nashville on the Smithson hit. He said he was going to get me back tonight and he did his job in the third."

Auger and the officiating crew declined to comment when approached by The Associated Press as they were leaving the arena.

Burrows was called for diving early in the period, and then for interference with 4:45 left, just 4 seconds into a Vancouver power play. Linemate Henrik Sedin received his third penalty of the game 18 seconds later and Weber scored the winning goal on a 4-on-3.

"He called me on a diving call. I didn't think it was diving, he got me on an interference call. I have no idea how he could call that and it changed the game," Burrows said, adding his teammates "are battling hard for 60 minutes to win a hockey game because every two points are so huge, so important, and because of a guy's ego it just blows everything out of proportion and they're making bad calls and the fans are paying for it and we're paying for it."

Burrows received a third penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and a 10-minute misconduct with less than 4 seconds left in the game.

"After my second penalty I skated by him and he said, 'If you say a word I am going to kick you out,' so I didn't say a word because I still thought we could come back and win the game," Burrows said. "But with three seconds left and the faceoff outside the zone I thought I could tell him what I thought about him.

"I told him that's it's stupid that he takes it personal against guys and that he shouldn't be doing that. I think it's unfair to my teammates and to the fans."

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said the team would look into Burrows' allegations about Auger.

"There's a history there," Vigneault said. "We're definitely going to look into that. If those [allegations] are true, then they'll need to be brought up."

Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo, who also is the team captain, was surprised by some of Monday night's calls.

"I'm not the type of guy to make excuses, that's not who I am, but I have never seen anything like it in my whole career," Luongo said, according to the Vancouver Sun. "It's the first time I've seen calls like that, especially when the game is on the line."

Asked if he expects to be suspended for his comment, Burrows said, "Maybe, I don't know, but I think he should sit out the rest of the year making calls like that."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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