"(Burrows) can play better than what he has right now," Vigneault told reporters Thursday.
"For whatever reason, he had tons of chances in the first two games here where he didn't finish."
Although the Canucks are even with the Kings after a comeback victory Wednesday night in L.A., Burrows, who led his club with 35 goals in the regular season, remains pointless heading into tonight's pivotal contest at General Motors Place.
With Mikael Samuelsson thriving alongside the Sedin twins during the coach's line juggling act, Vigneault has moved Burrows off Vancouver's No. 1 unit and back with his former linemate Ryan Kesler -- a combination that is expected to remain intact in Game 5.
Burrows was also bumped off the power-play units in Game 4, when the Canucks suddenly remembered how to kill penalties after allowing six straight power-play goals en route to beating the Kings in their own barn.
Burrows, unselfish at the best of times, said he has no problem with the move.
"At this time of year, it's all about the team," he said. "I'm the last guy who's going to pout about something like that."
Vigneault said Burrows might be missing the same psychological element that goaltender Roberto Luongo, by his own admission, misplaced late in the regular season.
"He's the first unit on the penalty killing so I think he might have lost a little bit of his swagger and a little bit of the way he can play," said Vigneault.
The coach has a habit of singling out players publicly to light a fire under their skates. The tactics have worked previously with Burrows, whom he also coached in the minors.
In his first season in Vancouver, Vigneault described Burrows as "on the bubble." The comments motivated the Montreal native, who was never drafted and began his pro career in the East Coast Hockey League, to improve. Once considered a grinder and likely career third-liner, Burrows has developed into one of Vancouver's elite offensive players and an important cog alongside Henrik and Daniel Sedin.
Now Vigneault is looking for Burrows, a classic diamond in the rough, to shine again as the Canucks attempt to gain the upper hand on the upstart Kings, who are in the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Player for player, the Canucks have much more playoff experience than L.A. and are looking to avoid a repeat of last spring, when they also had a chance to post a third victory -- but were ousted by the young and inexperienced Chicago Blackhawks.
"We talked about (Burrows' missing swagger) briefly (Thursday) morning before getting on the bus In L.A.," said Vigneault. "Alex, in my mind, has always been real good in those pressure situations. He put a lot of pressure on himself for an incident we all know what he said about certain people and whatever, and he went on a tear ... so he can handle the pressure, he can handle the moment and he needs to do that for us, because we need him badly."
Burrows welcomed the pressure. He plans to bring more intensity to his game by working harder and getting more shots on net.
"Myself, I know I can play better," he said.