Welcome to Cage Match, a new article series pitting the fantasy merits of players up against each other and seeing what shakes out. The first rule of Cage Match is you definitely do talk about Cage Match. Spread the word, I love the attention!
Now I won't lie, I'm feel a little bit like Shang Tsung from the Mortal Kombat series. Maybe I don't have my own private island, and I'm definitely not eating anyone's soul (or so you think!) but I do have this column, and a proverbial cage within which I will pit the greatest combatants in our world against each other in a fight for supremacy.
Milan Lucic – LW – Boston Bruins – 6'3" 228 lbs. Drafted 50th overall 2006.
Alex Burrows – LW – Vancouver Canucks – 6'1" 190 lbs. Undrafted.
This is an interesting match because this is one of the few comparisons where we'd rather see these guys literally thrown into a cage to do battle. It's actually a shame they play in opposite conferences. They've only played each other three times over the course of their careers and have never fought. That's one I'd pay to see!
Both Lucic and Burrows broke onto the scene three years ago (2008-09), combining the ability to mesh with the elite players on their respective teams with their well established propensity for pugnacity. This pushed their point production well beyond their preconceived limits. Lucic and Burrows quickly became rotisserie monsters. A LW who could get you 20 goals and over 100 PIM was (and still is) pure gold but the fact you almost certainly were able to pluck them for free off the waiver wire for free had you falling head over heels.
After that season, some bought the koolaid but others didn't and it's really been a mixed bag ever since. Beyond that fabled 2008-09 season Burrows and Lucic have alternated disappointing injury plagued seasons with ludicrous stat stuffed ones.
In 2009-10 Burrows became the "Third Sedin" as he compiled a rotisserie season for the ages with 35 goals, 67 points to go along with all his juicy peripherals. That season, however, Lucic took a step back, battling injuries and recording only 20 points and 44 PIM over a 50 game season.
2010-11 was a brand new season for both of them though. Burrows quickly discovered what the injury bug was all about, missing the first 10 games of the season with shoulder surgery and falling short of the lofty expectations he'd set for himself, reaching only 48 points and 77 PIM. Lucic went the other direction playing