ST. PAUL, Minn. – They don't play American football in Denmark, but you wouldn't know that if you saw receiver Jannik Hansen run his deep post pattern and gather Mason Raymond's bomb for a touchdown Thursday against the Minnesota Wild.
OK, it was actually a flip pass that Raymond lobbed about 100 feet to Hansen, who gloved it down and scored on a second-period breakaway to finish off the Wild in the Vancouver Canucks' 4-1 win.
“It was an amazing pass,” Hansen said. “You're obviously trying to catch a couple of D-men cheating a little bit and Mace was able to pretty much put it perfect for me – for not only getting it by the D-men, but to have enough time to settle the puck down and come in on a breakaway. It was nice to see it go in, as well.”
So, Hansen plays football?
“We don't play that sport in Denmark,” he said.
Well, they play it in Calgary, where Raymond's from.
“To be honest, we've practised it at times,” Raymond said. “It works well. He pulls the D-back or they don't honour him and I can give it to him (over the top). It's not a pass you can fire on the ice. It's a pass you have to throw in the air like that. He did a good job of batting it down and then putting it away. Whether it's a direct pass or an icing pass, as I call it, it can be good.”
Raymond flipped the puck from well inside his own blueline and hit Hansen in stride near the Minnesota blueline, behind Wild defenceman Marco Scandella.
After the morning skate, as Canuck players amused themselves in the locker room the way hockey players do sometimes, Raymond lobbed a pass of similar trajectory over a few teammates to winger Alex Burrows, sitting about 20 feet away.
Screened, Burrows stuck out his hand and Raymond's tape ball landed gently in his palm, drawing cheers from teammates.
“That's a good omen for tonight,” Burrows said.
It turned out that way.
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