SAN JOSE -- You’ve got to admire a hockey player who has no illusions about his abilities and has a sense of humor about what he does.
Sharks winger Adam Burish, better known as an agitator and penalty killer than a scorer, scored points for being funny Sunday when asked if he expected to return to the lineup for the first time since he broke a hand on May 7. The Kings will take a 3-2 series lead into Sunday’s Western Conference semifinal game at HP Pavilion and can advance to the Western Conference final with a victory.
“The plan is I’m going to play,” Burish said, “unless something changes. Unless I eat some bad chicken, I’ll be good to go.”
Presumably he had something other than poultry for his pregame meal.
Burish scored even bigger points when a reporter tried to ask about Burish’s style and suggested that the broken hand wouldn’t be a huge factor because he’s not a finesse player. The question was awkwardly phrased, but Burish gamely stepped in to respond.
“I’ll say it: My hands aren’t the most important part of my game. I’m realistic about that,” said Burish, who won the Stanley Cup in 2010 with the Chicago Blackhawks.
“To me, playoffs -- and especially a game like this -- it’s about attitude, and that’s what it comes down to, whether it’s an attitude on winning a faceoff, killing a penalty, scoring a goal. You can’t just go out there and play, just kind of waiting and seeing what happens. You have to have an attitude. You have to have the determination. When we play like that, everybody has seen how this team can play. When it’s not there, it’s not as good.
“But we’ll come with an attitude. That’s how I’m going to play. My hands aren’t going to make a difference tonight. It will be an attitude.”
Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said Burish could potentially have an impact for the Sharks. “He’s a veteran player that takes faceoffs and has won a Stanley Cup,” Sutter said. “Now they have another one.”
Goaltender Antti Niemi also won the Cup, with Burish as his teammate, in 2010.
We’ll have coverage of Game 6 later Sunday.
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