NHL

KELLEY: Burns is now a winner

Share This Story

Jim Kelley

 
   
 
There was a point late in the question and answer session with New Jersey coach Pat Burns where it appeared for all the world that the ex-cop was going to cry. It came when he admitted he had been telling some lies. The question was personal, it went to the core of his professional being: "You tell yourself and you told other people that you thought your career would be complete even if you never won a Stanley Cup. Deep down, did you believe that and do you feel differently now?" "No," Burns said. " I never believed that. I said it often. I said it many, many times. I remember one particular team when I was out (of coaching) the first year, and my name came up and I guess a reporter asked one of the general managers, 'What about Pat Burns?' and the guy said, 'What did he ever win?" "So that right there was something that did spark me so today. I'm glad to say that; yeah, I've won something now. I've accomplished a lot in the years that I've been here (in the NHL) and I have not always been easy with the way I get on in these press conferences, but what I think is important is my team, how my team feels about me." That's an easy one. He's tough, demanding, relentless and a winner. "Well, Pat, as everybody knows, doesn't smile a whole lot. He just kept the pedal to the metal all season long and didn't allow us to get complacent," said veteran defenseman . "That was probably what was missing from the club in the past few years. It's so hard to stay on top and if you let up just an inch; you find yourself out in the first round (it happened to these last season under a different coach) just like last year. "He came in from Day 1 and was a no-nonsense guy. He did some things that sometimes you don't understand, but I guess that's why he coaches and we play. "Like I said, I didn't understand him putting me back in the lineup, but he was just a guy who stay focused throughout and kept our guys focused. Probably one of the tougher coaches I've played for, but well worth it, I'll tell you that." Probably one of the smartest, too. When Daneyko has the time to think like a coach, he'll probably understand what Burns did. He had kept the aging defenseman on the sidelines for the first six games of this series likely because he felt he had become too slow for the pace that this series would demand. Yet he knew that Daneyko was a pro's pro, a player who wouldn't carp about the stinging turn of events. He knew he was a player who would keep in shape, support the team in the room and be ready when or if he was called on. He also knew Daneyko was a team leader and his teammates loved him like a brother and would do anything for him. A good coach uses emotion as well as tactics and in putting the 39-year old in for the most important — and perhaps last — game he'll ever play, Burns knew Daneyko would give him his best game and his team would take an emotional lift from wanting to send him out a champion. It wasn't the only reason the New Jersey won the Stanley Cup Monday night against the , but it was one of the many little things that a good coach does to try and make it happen and Burns is that kind of a coach. "I was out of the game for two years," Burns said of his time out of coaching after winning coach-of-the-year honors three times with three different teams. "I read a lot of articles from people sitting right here, some of them saying I was done and I wasn't ever going to get back in the game and I wasn't the style of coach people wanted. "But Lou (Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello) believed in me. He came (to Burns' home) and we talked. When he left he said 'You know what, we're going to do well." "When I came here he had the passion to believe. He wants to win. He has all of that commitment that you want to (be able) to win and that, for a coach, makes it so much easier. When there's a commitment to win, it makes things easier. People never believed that we would make it ... We were not supposed to get by everybody, but we did. "This team worked hard." If you know Pat Burns, you know it's all about hard work, a commitment to defense and a commitment to team. If you know him really well, that tribute to the GM was also the back of his hand to the Boston who fired him for no truly good reason except that's what they do. Burns can live with that know. He knows the and a whole lot of other teams were wrong about him. What has Pat Burns ever won? How about the Stanley Cup. Can any GM who fired him say the same? Jim Kelley can be reached at his e-mail address: jkelley@foxsports.com.
Tagged: Bruins, Devils, Ducks

More Stories From Jim Kelley



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

Highlights: Blue Jackets/Penguins - Game 2 Posted: Apr 20, 2014
Watch highlights of the Blue Jackets' victory over the Penguins in Game 2.

Highlights: Wild/Avalanche - Game 2 Posted: Apr 20, 2014
Watch highlights of the Avs' win over the Wild in Game 2.

Highlights: Blues/Blackhawks - Game 2 Posted: Apr 20, 2014
Highlights of the Blues' overtime win over the Blackhawks in Game 2.

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt