Hockey is important, until it’s not.
When we arrived at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary this morning for skate, the Canucks were a light-hearted bunch. Despite trailing the Flames 2-1 in the best-of-seven Western Conference Quarter-Final series, they were loose. Smiling. Laughing. Normal.
No, when times are tough they don’t run around with their arms in the air, screaming, like Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone when he realizes his family left without him.
Cool, calm and collected, consistently.
The focus was on the Flames and winning Game 4 as the Canucks took to the ice for morning skate. Thirteen players attended, including Alex Burrows, who was his usual grinning self.
Then, out of nowhere, to my right Burrows was being helped down the Canucks tunnel and into the team medical room by team personnel. He was in noticeable pain and groaning loudly; he was overheard saying “help” as he made his way closer to the dressing room.
And just like that, the game being played in Calgary tonight became way less and way more significant all at once.
There’s still a lot of mystery around what happened to Burrows and the only update we have is that he was taken to the hospital for the injury and nothing medical. That’s a relief.
Media speculation has called the injury everything from a broken wrist to a broken rib. We still don’t know for certain.
It’s injuries like this that help remind me I’m a hockey reporter. It’s easy to get caught up in the importance of this and that and who said what to who and when and where and why and how and and and and and…and none of that matters when a player and friend is wheeled out of an arena on a stretcher, into an ambulance, en route to the hospital.
It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. My dad used to say that a lot when I was young and it rings true now.
Hopefully the Canucks are able to douse the Flames tonight and win Game 4 to even the series, but what’s important is a healthy Burrows.
Should we find out pre-game that Burrows will be fine, then the focus shifts to topping Calgary and doing it for Burr.
Scary instances like this have the ability to bring teams together and that will certainly ring true tonight.
Fingers crossed Burrows is able to attend to cheer on the Canucks – he’ll be in their thoughts whether he’s in the building or not.
Derek Jory (@NoJoryous)