When the Dallas Stars signed Adam Burish to a two year contract in July he was quoted saying "I'm the kind of guy where if I have to block a shot with my face, I'll do it,'' he said. "And I think that can be contagious on a team.'' Five months later we're really starting to believe it, and belief, it turns out, is a big part of why Adam thinks the Stars are succeeding.
"For me it's an attitude," Burish said when I asked him about their recent play. "It's an attitude toward a couple different things. The first is going into games expecting to win and believing that this is a good team in here. A lot of times when you haven't won a lot and you haven't made the playoffs or you win one and you lose two, etc, and you go on that kind of string all year... you start to lose a little bit of confidence and lose a little bit of faith in each other and start not to play the right way."
He only played 13 regular season games last year but was a big part of their Cup run, playing in 15 post-season contests, officially qualifying him to be a Stanley Cup winner. It's a winning attitude he brings into the Stars locker room every day.
"For me, I came in with an attitude that we're going to win every game, and that's how I approached every game in Chicago the last two years. You just get that confidence going into a game, or maybe's it's a swagger, I don't know what you want to call it but that's what I wanted guys to try and get here."
His positivity and energy are contagious in the locker room and his tremendous work ethic on the ice is evident. As he returns to face his old team it's only natural to ask: Why they didn't then want this guy, again?
Adam is looking forward to his return to Chicago...
"I am looking forward to it. It will be a lot of fun for me. I've got a lot of friends and family coming in and it'll be good to see those guys again and kind of rough 'em up a little bit."
ESPN Chicago reported that Burish (jokingly) claimed Patrick Kane (injured earlier this week) must have "Burish flu," in anticipation of his return to United Center. While Turco and Burish will be happy little reunions on Wednesday night, Adam is focused on the task at hand: Winning hockey games for the Dallas Stars.
"Let's believe that this is a good team in here," he told me. "Let's tell each other we're a good team and let's practice the right way and play the right way, and that will translate into wins. So far we've had that."
Marc Crawford has spoken very highly of his versatile right wing this year. Burish has been asked to play a role on the Ribeiro and Morrow line, kill penalties, take face offs, play on a checking line, stir the pot with Steve Ott, and hasn't blinked an eye. He has a great respect for what Crawford is doing with this team this year.
"Crows done an awesome job of putting the structure in place," said Burish "and in this league if you have skill and you have structure, you're going to win games. He's done a good job of getting us all to play the right way."
Despite their shootout loss to the Blue Jackets on Monday night the Stars have earned points in nine of their last ten games dating back to November 18th. A busy December is at hand and the game in Chicago is the second part of four games in six nights. Burish likes the work.
"Playing every other day right now is helping us out a lot. If we were to get a 3 or 4 day break then it kind of kills your momentum."