Agitator keeps eye on Iggy

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:52 PM ET

Adam Burish has heard all the warnings.

They come from everywhere.

Even Don Cherry got into the action Wednesday night on CBC when he suggested the Chicago Blackhawks agitator avoid firing up Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla.

"You should leave Iginla alone," he said on Coach's Corner. "He'll fall asleep a little on you. Now (Burish has) got him going."

Burish doesn't buy the theory.

"The media always wants to bring this story up, 'Oh, you're going to tick off Jarome Iginla,' " said Burish.

"Why would he not play with an edge? Why would he not be ticked off? It's playoff time. He wants to be the best player on the ice. He wants to show he's the best player on the ice every night."

Iginla scored two goals in Game 4, but Burish doesn't believe it had anything to do with the way the Blackhawks were treating him. He saw the same player he always sees in Iginla -- a fiery competitor.

"He scored a powerplay goal and an empty-net goal, so did he do anything extraordinarily different than he normally does? No," said Burish. "Did he make a difference out there? Yeah, he makes a difference out there every night.

"I saw the same guy. Every time I said something to him, he'd say something back to me -- he'd get angry right back at me."

The series has seen some nasty moments. From trash talk to stickwork, and a one-game suspension for Flames tough guy Andre Roy for a pre-game pushing match at centre ice.

Still, Burish believes they can continue to push the envelope.

"I think it can continue. It can get more physical," he said. "We can still walk that fine line, and I think we can still inch closer to that line.

"You've got to still get in guys' faces. You've got to still challenge guys. You've got to still be confrontational.

"I'm still gonna get in guys' faces -- I know that."

Even Iginla's?

"You still can't give a guy like Jarome Iginla a free pass on a night," said Burish. "He's too good to give him a free pass. If you don't challenge those guys, you're gonna get burned, you're gonna get hurt."

On the subject of pain, Burish was taken aback by the suggestion the Blackhawks can't keep up with the Flames physically.

"People want to say that because we're young we don't know how to handle the physical play. I think all our guys are still healthy. I think a lot of our guys still feel pretty good," said the 26-year-old Burish.

"They've played physical, but our guys are finishing games. Our guys are fine. They've obviously got some guys that are nicked up and banged up.

"It's not an issue in here."

STEVE.MACFARLANE@SUNMEDIA.CA


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