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Hawks vow not to forget Canucks' hair-pulling ways
By Tim Sassone | Daily Herald Staff

Vancouver Canucks winger Alex Burrows grabs a handful of Duncan Keith's hair -- for the second time in Sunday's skirmish. "That's never happened to me before," Keith said.


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Published: 3/31/2009 12:01 AM

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The Blackhawks aren't going to forget what happened in the third period of Sunday's 4-0 loss to Vancouver.

The brawl that erupted at the 5:50 mark might have been triggered by Dustin Byfuglien plowing into goalie Roberto Luongo and Adam Burish grabbing anyone and everyone, but the worst came when Canucks winger Alex Burrows pulled the hair of Duncan Keith during their tussle.

In the NHL's unwritten code for fighting, hair pulling is about as low as it gets - an unmanly way to settle scores, so to speak.

"It's silly. There's no spot for that," Burish said Monday. "That's stupid, the way he's pulling Duncan's hair. I didn't see it at the time or I'm sure I would have been more mad."

Almost as silly as the act was all four officials missing the hair pulling by Burrows, who somehow escaped a penalty from referees Paul Devorski and Mike Hasenfratz, who appeared overwhelmed at sorting out the mess.

"That's never happened to me before," Keith said. "It's pretty blatant; he's pulling my hair. I don't know what more to comment."

The Canucks don't play until Tuesday night so it's possible the league will review Burrows' actions for a suspension.

Rule 75.2 says a minor penalty should be assessed for hair pulling, and referees can also apply a match penalty.

Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault was livid with Byfuglien for running at Luongo and could be seen jawing at the Hawks' bench in the direction of Joel Quenneville.

"Hockey is a physical and emotional sport, and sometimes boys will be boys," a calmer Vigneault said later. "We were boys also."

Hockey also is a sport where messages get sent for the future, and there's a good chance the Hawks and Canucks will see each other in the first round of the playoffs.

Burish said he definitely was on the ice looking to stir the pot in the third period with the Hawks behind 3-0 and playing a bland game.

"Getting beat and embarrassed 3-0 like that, I didn't want to go to sleep," Burish said. "I wanted to make sure that they knew if they're going to beat us like that, they're going to pay a price and it's going to be hard and it's going to be tough on the Sedins, it's going to be tough on their tough guys like (Kevin) Bieksa, it's going to be tough on everyone.

"If they have to see us in the playoffs, you're going to see a tough team every night."

Quenneville was asked if he would have liked to see the Hawks respond in the manner they did a little sooner.

"It's all timing," he said.

"You wouldn't want a four-minute 5-on-3 against in the first period," Burish said. "The game wasn't quite out of hand at that point, but you need to play with that intensity from the start. Somehow we didn't have that right away and you need to find that.

"If we had that same kind of bite in our game in the first period, maybe the result would been a lot different and we wouldn't have needed to have that kind of response in the third period."

Quenneville didn't think those were bad penalties by Byfuglien and Burish, down 3-0 with 14 minutes to play.

"I'm not complaining about what happened," Quenneville said.

Blackhawks vs. Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre, 6:30 p.m.

TV: Comcast SportsNet

Radio: WGN 720-AM

At a glance: This is the Hawks' final game of the season against a non-Central Division team. The Canadiens are desperately trying to keep the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, which they own by 1 point over Florida. Cristobal Huet starts in goal for the Hawks against his former teammates.

Next: St. Louis Blues at the United Center, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.