It’s PITB’s annual Every Goal series. This year will be really easy.
This isn’t actually every goal Shawn Matthias scored last season. The title is a lie, as Matthias arrived in Vancouver a few days before the trade deadline having already scored nine goals.
But we don’t concern ourselves with the goals he scored elsewhere — just the ones he scored in Vancouver, and Matthias had three of those, bouncing around the bottom three lines as the Canucks played out the string on a season that was already pretty well gone by the time he arrived.
It’ll be interesting to see what comes of his first full year in Vancouver. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s got some skill — but where he slots in, and whether or not he even plays at centre — remains to be seen. What doesn’t remain to be seen, however, are the goals he scored last season. Well. At least I’ve seen them. You haven’t yet. Get on that, you.
Was there a coach that deserved to be dismissed after last season more than Adam Oates? (Actually, nevermind.) The Capitals’ defensive posture — a very coachable element — was terrible all year, and it definitely is on this goal, as Chris Higgins somehow manages to suck all four Capitals in the offensive zone towards him, leaving the middle of the ice wide open for Matthias. Higgins hits him, and Matthias has all the time and space he needs to finish the play. And, as always, goals versus the Capitals give us a chance to play “What was Alex Ovechkin doing?” In this case, drifting by Higgins with no real plan when he probably should have been patrolling Matthias’s lane.
Towards the end of the year, Zack Kassian finally found his playmaking touch. The big winger has always had soft hands, but until the home stretch, he’d been unable to translate his great vision and hands into assists. Finally, it seemed to clunk into gear, and you can see evidence of it on this goal, as he spins out of the corner with his head up, then finds Matthias drifting out to the faceoff dot for a lovely one-timer.
Once again, Kassian sets up Matthias, this time on a breakaway down low after an Oilers giveaway along the wall. The puck comes to Kassian, who spots Matthias streaking towards the net behind the Oiler defence, and hits his centre with a lovely saucer pass. (Be sure to watch the reverse angle, where you can see how perfect Kassian’s pass really is.) After receiving the feed, Matthias charges in on Ben Scrivens, who goes for the pokecheck a split-second too early, allowing Matthias to slide the puck in effortlessly.Tags: Every Goal, Shawn Matthias