Logan Couture wrote his second Players Tribune article on Thursday, expanding on his best centers post from a year and a half ago. This time, Couture broke down who he thinks are the toughest defenders in the NHL. Unsurprisingly, Brent Burns received high marks.
Fun fact: Burnzie got his first tattoo when he was 11 years old. It’s a Canadian flag with two hockey sticks going through it. And his dad took him to get it. He’s added a few more over the years, including a tattoo on his leg of Harry Potter battling a giant blue dragon. So it should be no surprise that the first word that comes to mind when I think of Burnzie is beast.
Couple things here: 1) I can’t believe Burns waited that long to get his first tattoo. 2) Burns’ new nickname is Hagrid. 3) Kelsey Grammer should play Burns in the movie.
The whole post is worth reading as Couture offers unique insight into who he thinks the best NHL defenders are. I particularly enjoyed what he had to say about what makes Burns such a force in the offensive zone.
At the point, he likes to use the half-slapper. When I see him open, I try to bank the puck off the boards so it will pop out to an area where he can one-time it off the bounce instead of having to gather it. One thing that people might not realize is how important a defenseman’s reach can be. With Burnzie, you can make a poor pass and he’ll still be able to get a shot off because his “area” is so big.
Couture also mentions Roman Josi and Mark Giordano as defenders he doesn’t like playing against, while giving passing praise to the usual suspects (Drew Doughty, P.K. Subban and Erik Karlsson). It’s nice to see Couture misses hockey just as much as the rest of us.