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Sharks bite back over Bieksa’s accusations

- May 7th, 2013

RANDY SPORTAK

Calgary Sun

SAN JOSE – Finally a little bad blood between the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks.

Although, you can’t really call it a war of words.

More of a skirmish.

Sharks players were amused to hear Tuesday that Kevin Bieksa a day earlier accused Logan Couture and Joe Thornton of embellishing infractions, and Adam Burish fired a few volleys back

If I was him, while he’s up on his soap box trying to save the integrity of the game and doing all that stuff, I’d swing by Player No. 14 and Player No. 17 – The Beast – and have a little talk with them about diving and the integrity. Then he can work his way over to our room,” Burish said after Tuesday’s morning skate at the HP Pavilion.

He was referring to Canucks forwards Alexandre Burrows and Ryan Kesler, who have the reputation of diving and embellishing.

It was silly to call out the refs and worry about what we’re doing,” Burish continued. “Please, keep worrying about us, but in our room we’re going to worry about our guys, what we’ve got to do, how we can be better and not worry about the integrity of the game and have props in interviews and act like a lawyer with video evidence.

Game 1 we were cheating on faceoffs, now Game 3 we’re divers. But just our Canadian guys. Our American guys, we’ve got integrity.”

Burish is from Madison, Wisc.

Vancouver is on the verge of being swept in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup playoff series, with Game 4 Tuesday in San Jose.

Bieksa, who didn’t speak to the media after Tuesday’s session at the HP Pavilion, raised a furor the day before when he said: “Those are two Canadian guys who are supposed to be playing the game with integrity. Maybe our team has to do more of that. Maybe we have to try and sell calls.””

Thornton, normally a chatty player on the day of games, responded on several occasions when told about the charges and following questions: “We just play.”

Couture, who had a four-point game in the last outing, said: “Everyone has their own opinion. He said what he had to say. I’ll just play the game. If they’re talking about me, I must be doing something right.”

Sharks head coach Todd McLellan lobbed a couple of shots back.

They used that word embellish. I haven’t heard that for a while. I think it was in vogue a couple springs ago,” he said, alluding to the antics the Canucks were known for during the 2011 playoffs.

We look at the series. We’ve been called cheaters after Game 1. We’ve been called embellishing Canadians after Game 3. If the series goes any deeper, we may be accused of biting eventually.

I don’t take any offence to it, but if I was an official, I probably would,” McLellan continued. “They’ve questioned the integrity of the linesmen after Game 1 and now the integrity of the referees after Game 3.”

Burrows, who has cleaned up his act the last couple of seasons, wasn’t amused about being brought into the fray.

I don’t think anybody’s taken a penalty on me yet, so I don’t know what he’s talking about. That’s away from the rink, away from the game,” he said when told of Burish’s statement. “The last three or four years, I try to stay on the ice and score goals, be more that kind of player.”

As for the game, the Canucks will again turn to Cory Schneider in goal.

Schneider missed the first two games due to injury, took the net in Game 3 and surrendered five goals, three in a 157-second span early in the third period of the 5-2 loss, and was given the hook.

I’m not going to dwell on those goals. It’s over with,” Schneider said. “It’s a big opportunity. It’s exciting being in those games and they are fun ones to play in, so I’m really looking forward to getting back in there.”

Cory, in my opinion, is our MVP,” head coach Alain Vigneault said of the decision. “He’s one of the reasons why we got into the playoffs. He’s had great bounce-back games. He’s been outstanding this year.

I think our group has total faith in both goaltenders, but they’ve got a lot of faith in Cory and I’ve got a lot of faith in him.”

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SunRandySportak

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