San Jose Sharks blueliner Brent Burns has consistently been one of the better offensive defensemen in the NHL over the past several seasons, and Saturday night the 30-year-old showed why he was a first-round draft pick as a forward in 2003.
Early in the second period, Sharks defenseman Paul Martin gave Burns a perfect tape-to-tape pass which he received and proceeded to tap through the legs of Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri. After embarrassing Kadri with the slick deke, Burns took the puck on his backhand and drove wide with a burst of speed around Dion Phaneuf. With Phaneuf in Burns’ rearview, the Sharks blueliner blocked a stick check with his hand before shovelling the puck past Toronto netminder Jonathan Bernier:
Burns’ goal kicked off an absolute rout by the Sharks, and they walloped the Maple Leafs 7-0 Saturday night. It was Burns’ 17th goal of the season — he leads all defensemen in that category — and his two-point night pushed him to 37 points on the season, good for third among all defensemen.
Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic led the Sharks in ice time Saturday night with 22:11 of ice time as the Sharks got back into the win column after a brief two-game losing streak.