The annual Every Goal series will run Monday to Thursday through July and August, remembering every goal scored by the Canucks, player by player. Today, we look at Andrew “Cash, Credit, or D” Ebbett.
When the Canucks announced the re-signing of Andrew Ebbett this offseason, I was thrilled. Ebbett is, in many ways, an ideal thirteenth forward, the kind of player who can step into almost any problematic situation and provide an effective, albeit temporary solution.
In his injury-shortened 18-game stint with the Canucks last season, Ebbett played minimal minutes, but played those minutes in every situation. He had a bit of time on the penalty kill, a bit of time on the second unit powerplay, and was a very strong possession forward at even strength, despite starting the vast majority of his shifts in the defensive zone against fairly tough competition.
Ebbett is a utility player, the type of player who has every tool in his tool box, but isn’t good enough with any one of them to overcome his lack of size and earn a full-time role in the NHL. He is good enough with those tools, however, to be a useful part-time player. One of those tools is goalscoring; he managed 5 goals last season, putting him on an 82-game pace of 23 goals. While I doubt he’ll be a 20-goalscorer next season, he may get a chance to to make the opening day roster with Kesler on the IR and no third-line centre in sight.
Ebbett’s first goal as a Canuck was also his only powerplay goal of the season. Alex Edler’s cross-ice pass to Ebbett is lovely, but it’s on his backhand. As a result, Ebbett can’t one-time it, so corrals it and tries to feed the puck to David Booth, who is battling with Willie Mitchell for position in front of the net. Fortunately for Ebbett, like a traffic cop with an illegally parked car, Mitchell boots it.
Ebbett gets lucky once again, as Chris Higgins’ shot deflects off Alex Plante’s leg, then the inside of Ebbett’s knee, and past Khabibulin. The star of the show on this goal is Kevin Bieksa, who executes a beautiful rush through neutral ice, but take note of Ladislav Smid, who skates directly from the penalty box to the bench, instead of noticing that the Canucks were setting up a dangerous offensive rush and helping on the backcheck. In fact, he skates directly past Bieksa and makes no effort whatsoever to get the puck off him.
Ebbett scored a significantly less lucky goal later in the same game, finishing off a great pass from Jannik “Always Passes On a 2-on-1″ Hansen. Cody Hodgson makes a nifty play to spring the pair on the 2-on-1 and Ebbett finishes it off in fine fashion, diving out to deflect the puck on net with Ben “Completely Bloody Useless” Eager mouth breathing down his neck.
Bieksa is once again the star of the show, rushing the puck up ice on a 2-on-1 in overtime, then following up with two more shots after his initial attempt is saved. Ebbett tips in the game winner, and is so excited that he skates directly into the corner to celebrate, while everyone else on the team mobs Bieksa by the bench. Poor Ebbett is late to his own goal celebration and is so tiny that the mass of Canucks barely notices when he jumps into them.
Ebbett didn’t score again until near the end of the season, after breaking his collar bone against the Boston Bruins in early January, but when he did, it was another tip-in for an overtime game winner. This time, however, the team skates to him to celebrate.Tags: Andrew Ebbett, andrew ebbett exists, Every Goal, every goal 2011-12