What a turnaround for the San Jose Sharks’ Brent Burns, who started the year on the injury list after having a sports-hernia operation in the off-season. Burns got into only six games in the first half, but he’s been on fire of late, with eight goals in total, all of them since coach Todd McLellan moved him to forward on the top line with Joe Thornton and most recently with T.J. Galiardi. Burns is the quintessential power forward, who has spent most of the past half dozen seasons playing defence, but he seems right at home there now and is one of the galvanizing factors in the Sharks’ turnaround. The other is goaltender Antti Niemi, who has quietly inserted himself into the Vézina Trophy discussion and is tied for the NHL lead in wins (22) with Marc-André Fleury (Pittsburgh) and Niklas Backstrom (Minnesota).
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