This Week in Canadiens History: April 4th – April 11th

MONTREAL, QC - 1971: Jean Beliveau #4 Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - 1971: Jean Beliveau #4 Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images) /
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April 11th

Happy Birthday Alex Burrows!

On this day, the year of our Lord 1981, Alexandre Ménard-Burrows was born in Pincourt, Quebec.

Burrows has one of the most inspiring hockey journeys that you can find in the NHL. When he began, Burrows played three seasons with the Shawinigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He wasn’t selected in the draft and signed with the Greenville Grrrowl (yes, spelled with three rs) of the East Coast Hockey League.

His strong play caught the eye of Craig Heisinger, the General Manager of the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose, and he was offered a two-way AHL contract. In 2005, just two years after signing in the ECHL as an undrafted player, Burrows was signed to a two-way NHL contract with the Vancouver Canucks.

Burrows split time in the 2005-06 season between the Moose and the Canucks, but would become a full time NHLer after that. Known primarily as a checker in the junior leagues, Burrows broke out in the NHL, registering 4 straight 25+ goal seasons, the best of which was a 35 goal, 67 point season in 2009-10.

After retiring, Burrows returned to his home province to become the assistant coach of the Laval Rocket. In February 2021, Claude Julien and his staff were let go from their coaching duties, and the Laval Rocket’s coaching staff, including Dominique Ducharme and Alex Burrows.

A Pair of Apples

On April 11th, 2004, the Montreal Canadiens played the Boston Bruins in the third game of their Eastern Conference Quarter Final series. The heavily favored Bruins won the first two games of the series at home, but lost in the first game in Montreal 3-2. Alex Kovalev had two first period goals and Andrei Markov scored the game winner.

On both Kovalev goals, the secondary assist belonged to Jose Theodore, the Canadiens’ goalie. It was just the third time in NHL history that a goalie recorded two assists in a single playoff game. The Bruins would win the next game, but the Habs would win three in a row to comeback from a 3-1 series deficit to win the series.

Those 2 assists would be the only points that Theodore would register in the NHL playoffs. Grant Fuhr holds the record with 14 points (all assists) in 150 playoff games. The only two goalies to score a goal in the NHL playoffs are Ron Hextall and Martin Brodeur.

Happy Birthday Trevor Linden!

On April 11th, 1970, in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Trevor John Linden was born. Selected 2nd overall, behind Mike Modano, in 1988, Linden made the Canucks and made an immediate impact. As a rookie, Linden was tied for the goal-scoring lead on the team, and was second in Calder votes behind Brian Leetch.

Linden played 10 seasons in Vancouver, being named captain as a 21 year old, one of the youngest captains in NHL history, before injuries began to slow his offensive output. He was traded to the New York Islanders, who traded him to the Montreal Canadiens after two years for a first round pick, Branislav Mezei.

Linden played just 107 games in 2 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, before being traded to the Washington Capitals, and eventually finishing his 19 year career with the Vancouver Canucks.

Must Read. Montreal Canadiens: Three Reasons To Watch a Dead Team Skating in April. light