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Deep Blue Sea: Brent Burns, the right winger

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In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it performance, Burnzie returned to the front end last night.

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at San Jose Sharks Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, Brent Burns started as a forward for the first time since 2014 because the front lines for the Sharks are, admittedly, battered and bruised right about now. We’ve been talking about the Sharks’ injury front on Fear the Fin for days, probably weeks now. When you’re out guys like Joe Thornton, Tomas Hertl, and Joel Ward, you look in unconventional places, and last night saw one unconventional move come to life, even if only for roughly one period. After Dylan DeMelo tumbled into the boards in the second period against the Vancouver Canucks and had to go off the ice to get a wound on his forehead looked at, Burnzie moved back to his familiar spot and gave them a goal to boot!

Pete DeBoer’s decision to start Burnzie at forward last night apparently came highly endorsed by Joe Thornton, who is still expected to be out for who knows how long. I suppose it’s nice to know that if we can’t have Jumbo on the ice, DeBoer is still including him in coaching decisions.

If there’s anything we can take away from Burns starting up front and then moving back to the blueline, it’s that this move was never intended to be permanent. It was nice to get a taste of Burnzie at Joe Pavelski’s wing, but his usefulness was limited in last night’s game against the Canucks. Both his goal and the assist he recorded on Chris Tierney’s goal later in the game were notched from the blueline, and that’s ultimately where he should stay. Don’t let this talk fool you, though; I’m glad Pete tried it!

If you missed the game last night, be sure to check out our recap. Here’s some other Sharks news, too:

Now for some news around the league as well as the Olympics:

  • NHL trade deadline: sellers open for business, but will buyers pony up? - CBC
    The trade deadline is only ten days away, and there are too many veterans available for so little to have happened so far. The Ottawa Senators have made some moves, but everything else has seemed a bit too quiet. What’s going on, and who’s giving away what?
  • Wingels, Blackhawks embrace Hockey Is For Everyone movement - NHL.com
    I know we all love to hate the Chicago Blackhawks, but it’s always fun to check in on former Sharks, isn’t it? Tommy Wingels is the Blackhawks’ Hockey is for Everyone ambassador, and he is really embracing the role in a gesture that means a lot to many hockey fans who are usually kept out of the sport because of a lack of acceptance and understanding of their identities.
  • Pacific Division at the trade deadline: Vegas the ultimate X factor - ESPN
    A guide to who’s buying and who’s selling in the Pacific Division. The Vegas Golden Knights are, as always, going to be unpredictable—buyers in just their first season, perhaps?
  • Olympic hockey daily: Canada has the teams to beat - ESPN
    Canada’s hockey teams are really out there doing that in South Korea, and by “that” I mean winning. A lot. The men’s team won 5-1 over Sweden, and the women’s team won all three of its preliminary games. The US women’s team is in much better shape than the US men’s team having only lost to Canada, whereas the men’s team was upset in its first appearance by Slovenia.
  • If Olympic men’s hockey is going to be this lackluster, bring back the NHL - Yahoo! Sports
    Harsh words in the title aside, this article is thought-provoking to say the least. Sweden’s game against Norway saw only half the seats in the hockey center filled, and Norway struggled its way through the game to even get a shot on goal. The Olympics should be about the most talented athletes getting to play the best game they can, and, right now, it seems the IOC can’t produce that without NHL players.
  • Rasmus Dahlin: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know - Heavy
    Although he was scratched in Sweden’s first game, against Norway, which they won easily, 4-0. Still, people want to see him play. Here’s some quick and dirty facts about Dahlin to peruse while we wait for Sweden to let him play.
  • The NCAA connection to Team Switzerland - The Ice Garden
    While Canada’s women’s team sits at the top of Group A with three wins, similarly Team Switzerland sits at the top of Group B, also undefeated. Team Switzerland has multiple players who attended or will attend American colleges. Six members played Division I hockey, three played Division III, and there’s one more player committed to DI next season.
  • 3 things Team USA has to fix before the women’s hockey Olympic semifinals - SBNation
    Team USA looked amazing against Canada during their preliminary match, but couldn’t crack Canadian goaltender Genevieve Lacasse. The Americans are headed to the semifinals and are favored to face the Canadians again in the gold medal match, but there’s a lot Team USA has to tighten up if they want to win the gold over Canada.
  • 30 photos that show how Team USA’s Winter Olympics uniforms have changed over time - Insider
    To end on a neat, cool, fun-fact-type reading, this article features photos dating back to the first Winter Olympics in 1924 in Chamonix, France. It shows uniforms for many different Team USA sports throughout the years, including hockey.