Sharks win in shootout as Burns returns just in time to extend his ironman streak


Brent Burns took a milestone Tuesday night and continued a franchise-record streak in the process.

Getting there was not easy.

The Sharks defenseman left the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol just in time to play his 1,200th career game and extend the club’s record-breaking streak to 628 straight games in San Jose’s 8-7 shootout win against Arizona at the SAP Center.

“Very lucky,” Burns said, repeating to insist. “Luck comes into play in a lot of things. “

He could say it a third time, and it wouldn’t be too much.

Captain Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl turned into a shootout as Burns led the team plus-4 as the hosts ended a two-game losing streak playing for the first time in 12 nights.

Burns had to quarantine for 10 days after entering league health and safety protocols on December 16. His ironman streak – which began in November 2013 – would have ended if the games scheduled for December 21 and 23 had not been postponed as the virus swept through the league.

Training diligently in his home gym but unable to skate or train, Burns received better luck when Monday’s game in Anaheim – just 11 days after testing positive – was also postponed.

Burns, 36, warned he would not answer questions related to COVID on a Zoom call and was reluctant to even speak about the achievement. He knows things were out of his control, and it took more than sheer determination to get there.

“I was really lucky to be around some really, really great people on and off the ice who have helped me change the way I think about training,” said Burns.

An avid fitness enthusiast, Burns thanks Mike Potenza, who is in his 16th season as the Sharks’ Director of Strength and Conditioning. President of the NHL Strength Coaches Association, Potenza is renowned for creating specially designed programs to best meet individual needs throughout the year, whether a player is injured or in good health.

“Having Potsy has been a huge blessing,” Burns said. “For many of us, it has prolonged our careers and our health.”

Acquired from Minnesota in June 2011, Burns was fourth in the league heading into Tuesday’s games with 25:54 in average ice time, third on the team in assists (15), shots (77) and had the fifth most large number of points with 17. He is the first in franchise history to score six times in a row while recording more than 26 minutes of ice time in each game, from October 30 to November 30. 11.

Towards the end of that streak – when the Sharks had a number of regular players in protocols – Burns passed Sergei Zubov on November 9 for the most points by a defender with a team after being traded (549).

Soon after, Burns surpassed Patrick Marleau’s mark of 624 straight games with San Jose. Marleau, the all-time NHL leader with 1,779 games played, inspired Burns and his ex-teammate Joe Thornton.

“I always say it, but to be with Jumbo and Patty, there are two people who have really taught a lot of us how to take care of ourselves off the ice,” Burns said, “and do the little things. who help us along the way. “

“I think every guy in this room, whether you’ve played with them for 10 games or a few hundred, you’ve always learned something from these guys.”

Ross McKeon covers the Sharks for The San Francisco Chronicle. Twitter: @rossmckeon


About Author

Comments are closed.