Burish stickin' to his story

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

Adam Burish isn't apologizing for cross-checking Rene Bourque.

Nor is he surprised he won't be suspended for it.

The Chicago Blackhawks winger said there was no way he hit Bourque in the head late in Game 3.

But the hit certainly wasn't an accident.

"I know the reason I did it," Burish said.

"There's nothing to be sorry about. I didn't cross the line. I did what needed to be done."

Flames coach Mike Keenan was livid late in Monday's game after Burish broke his stick over Bourque's shoulder.

The hit caused an immediate melee, with Bourque chasing down Burish and catching a punch to the jaw for his trouble.

Some of the Flames players called Burish's hit an attempt to injure, but Burish said it was nothing of the sort.

Since the hit, Bourque has been unavailable for comment because he is day-to-day from the incident.

"I heard Keenan say he had an injury from a cross-check to the head," Burish said.

"It wasn't near his head. I was around his arm. I don't think he's hurt. It's not my worry.

"Obviously, he's a friend off the ice. When the series is done, I hope nobody gets hurt. When you are playing, it's not about being nice to your buddies. It's about trying to win. He looked like he was OK during the scrum."

Keenan didn't back off yesterday, although he said he left it up to the league to hand out punishment.

The Flames coach seemed more concerned about the timing than anything else.

"I think the league is trying to keep an eye on all activities, particular those tactics that are used late in games," Keenan said.

"There's no place in the game for those tactics, so that's why I was expressing my displeasure with their approach at that point.

"The game doesn't need it and the emotional response I have is 'Why? Why engage in those tactics?' "

Burish argues his hit was just a retaliation to one before, which was a retaliation to one before ... and so on.

"It's playoff hockey. It's the same reason they are hitting our guys. It's the same reason they are coming at me. It's the same reason I'm going at them," Burish said.

"If wasn't doing that, I wouldn't be doing my job."

Bourque played an intense physical style in each of the first three games, dishing out some punishing hits as well.

The hardest collision of Game 3 came when Bourque went straight at Hawks defenceman Brent Seabrook.

Burish, who is a former teammate of Bourque's at both Wisconsin in college and with the Hawks, said his friend can dish it out so he must be able to take it.

"I haven't seen that edge from Bourque before," Burish said. "I responded. It stays on the ice. I hope to have a beer with him after the season is done.

"He's not my friend on the ice. I'm not here to make a friend. That's playoff hockey. I hope he can accept it. If he can't, I will just say it's part of the game."

In Game 1, the Flames were the ones who escaped a suspension when Michael Cammalleri drilled Martin Havlat off a faceoff.

But no one expects the physical battles to cease.

"Overall, for most of this series, it's been intense," said Flames captain Jarome Iginla.

"It seems to be growing more every game. I didn't like the cross-check on Bourque in the last minute of the game. I don't think, at that time of the game, it's appropriate.

"I'm sure they don't like some of our stuff, too. That's the way it goes."


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