he third annual Every Goal series will run through the remainder of the summer, remembering every goal scored by the Canucks, player by player. Today, we take a look at Zack “Mama” Kassian.
Zack Kassian started strong for the Canucks, scoring five goals in the month of January and looking like he might be on his way to an outright theft of Alex Burrows’ job as the third Sedin. Unfortunately, he fell out of Alain Vigneault’s favour and down the depth chart shortly thereafter, spending most of the season tarrying in the bottom six forwards while frustrated fans, thinking of his hot start, grew to see Vigneault as the reason it was no longer January. (Really, their beef was with Numa Pompilius, who added February to the Roman calendar in 713 B.C.).
But while Kassian’s season eventually turned into a disappointment, it still had its fair share of bright spots. Seven, to be exact. Let us relive them now.
1 | January 20 vs. Edmonton Oilers
Kassian is the beneficiary, as he will be in several of these goals, of some excellent work from Daniel and Henrik Sedin. The twins gain the zone and make space beautifully at the best of times, and this is one such time. You can forgive the Oilers for watching them so closely they forget about Kassian, who finds a seam down the middle of the zone and heads to the net. Watch at 0:35, where the reverse angle on the goal showcases all four Oilers in the frame watching Daniel, while Daniel makes a quick glance and sees Kassian out of the corner of his eye. A brilliant pass-o-rama later and the puck’s in the goal.
This is a set play, as Kassian cuts across the top of the circle after the faceoff hoping to take the puck from Henrik and head into the corner. Instead, the puck gets tied up in the skates of the two centremen, and Henrik comes up with it while his counterpart goes down. He feeds Kassian, who goes to work, attempting a wrap-around after Daniel gives him a lane by impeding (read: hooking and interfering with with like a boss) his check. Kiprusoff makes the spot, but Mark Giordano is kind enough to give the puck back, and Kassian gets it to go on the third try.
Good Lord, the Sedins are good. This is one of their prettiest goals of the season. It comes on the powerplay, as Daniel and Henrik work the puck in the corner before working it out of the corner and towards the goal. Henrik frees up some space for Daniel by drawing a man to him then feeding his brother with that gorgeous no-look backpass they do all the time. But Daniel one-ups him, dragging the puck sweetly around the Duck down low and feeding Kassian on the other side of the goal for the finish.
This one happens so quickly it stuns both the Kings and legendary broadcaster Chris Cuthbert. Off a won-draw, the puck comes back to Alex Edler, who blasts it towards the goal. It never gets there, instead bouncing right to Kassian, who finishes like he’s playing Mortal Kombat.
Kassian’s fifth and final goal in the month of January is another relatively easy one, as he redirects a slick Dan Hamhuis pass home to give the Canucks a 3-0 lead. Great eye by the Community Man.
Why yes, that is relief on Kassian’s face, and it’s easy to see why there would be: note the date — it’s been over two months since his last goal. It comes courtesy a lucky bounce. After Max Lapierre attempts a pretty stupid pass across to Andrew Ebbett on the other side (who actually thinks this slow-moving puck is going to get behind the defender, past the goalie, and onto Ebbett’s stick?), Devan Dubnyk bats it out to Kassian for some reason. Kassian makes him pay.
Finally, Kassian hooks back up with the Sedins for another pretty one. Again it’s Daniel Sedin getting the primary assist, coming out from behind the goal and centring for Kassian in traffic. I love the way he shows backhand at first, getting Keith to put his stick down on that side of the goal, then adjusts in a hurry when a man comes down after him. It takes Keith longer to adjust and in the time it takes him to move his stick around Corey Crawford and onto his backhand, Daniel has already hit Kassian. Kassian is strong, and he does well to fight off his check and knock this one in.Tags: Every Goal, Every Goal 2012-13, Zack Kassian