It makes plenty of sense that Zack Kassian would be the enduring story from Wednesday night’s tilt between the Canucks and the Calgary Flames. After all, the winger looked great, scoring a goal, adding the shootout winner, and looking great on the first line with the Sedins. If you were handing out report cards through the Canucks’ first three games, Kassian would likely earn an A, and his game Wednesday was undoubtedly the best of the bunch.
But still, it seems odd to me that no one is mentioning that strange moment when Mikka Kiprusoff latched onto Kevin Bieksa’s leg like a squid or a leech and refused to let go.Continue Reading —›
Over four years after being drafted by the Canucks, Jordan Schroeder finally made his NHL debut. It was unspectacular: he didn’t score the gamewinning goal or make a game-saving defensive play. He didn’t even get a shot on net. But he must have done something right: in a tight game that went to the shootout, Schroeder had almost 15 minutes in ice time, including a shift in overtime.
Considering that Alain Vigneault is notoriously stingy with ice time when it comes to young players, getting 14:49 in ice time in a debut is quite impressive. Since I was watching the game as a whole, I didn’t necessarily see everything that Schroeder did during the game and he didn’t have much in the way of a stat line. He finished with 2 PIM, 1 shot attempt blocked, 1 hit, 1 takeaway, and was 1-for-4 in the faceoff circle.
So I decided to go back and watch every single shift from Jordan Schroeder and break them down. After I did so, it became very clear why Vigneault trusted him on the ice: his defensive responsibility.Continue Reading —›