May 1, 2013
Forward-thinking Brent Burns turned Sharks' season around
Moving defenceman up to the wing key to San Jose's turnaround
By RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

Things started going in San Jose's favour after the Sharks moved Brent Burns from defence to the wing. (BECK DIEFENBACH/Reuters)

VANCOUVER - As turning points go, it was a strange one.

But it sure moved the San Jose Sharks forward.

Brent Burns, who has been a defenceman all of his NHL career other than a few short spells here and there, was moved to the wing at the mid-way point of the Sharks’ season.

The end result didn’t just affect the scoreboard and the standings. It made an impact on the club's attitude.

“It kind of changed around our season, to be honest with you,” said Sharks captain Joe Thornton. “We were hovering around ninth or 10th spot and Burnsie comes up to forward. He’s such a big load to handle.”

Certainly the Vancouver Canucks, who are facing the Sharks in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs starting Wednesday night at Rogers Arena, will quickly learn what Burns adds to the San Jose attack.

Size was not in short supply among the Sharks forwards before the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Burns was moved. He just added a physical element to their game.



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