Canucks’ Zack Kassian’s bad dangle nets him new nickname after failing to 'Bure' scoring chance
Notebook: ‘The guys are giving me the gears now’
Vancouver Canucks winger Zack Kassian tries to kick the puck back onto his stick in a scoring bid, but is stopped by goalie Nikolai Khabibulin of the Edmonton Oilers during Thursday, April 4, 2013 National Hockey League game at Rogers Arena.
Photograph by: Rich Lam, Getty Images
VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks want Zack Kassian to be more “professional” but, hopefully, they won’t take away his talents as a quote machine.
Kassian is a media-friendly teddy bear who hasn’t mastered the art of the Nuke LaLoosh cliché-ridden answer. So ask him about his bad dangle Thursday night against Edmonton Oilers netminder Nikolai Khabibulin and he spills all the beans.
“To be honest, I saw that Pavel Bure clip during the TV timeout,” he explained. “I saw him put the puck in his feet and kick it back to his stick and, for some reason as I was skating to the net, I just decided to try it. I had never ever tried that move before and it didn’t work out too well for me. My skate didn’t even hit the ice and the puck went right underneath it.”
Kassian, 22, admitted he received an interesting reception when he returned to the bench after the whiff.
“There were some blank faces, definitely, and guys just kind of staring,” he said sheepishly. “It’s a move you’re not going to try all the time obviously. In fact, I’ll probably never try it again in my career. It was just one of those things. I did it without really thinking.”
His teammates apparently aren’t letting him forget about it either.
“The guys are giving me the gears now,” he smiled. “They’re calling me Pavel a little bit.”
As for the coach, did he have a chat with Kassian about the bad dangle?
“Uh, yeah,” replied Alain Vigneault. “Everything is good.”
FLAME GAME: The Canucks will face the new-look Calgary Flames, minus the superb Jarome Iginla and minute-munching defenceman Jay Bouwmeester, on Saturday night and Henrik Sedin figures it will be strange not seeing Iginla in the Flame lineup.
“He hasn’t missed a lot of games so he’s always been on the other side,” said the Canuck captain. “He’s a tremendous player and it will be good for him to get a chance to win the Cup in Pittsburgh. It will also be good for us not playing against him.”
Goalie Cory Schneider was in complete agreement on that point.
“It will be different,” noted Schneider. “It’s strange to see him in a Pittsburgh uniform but it will be nice not to have him lurking over there with that one-timer and quick snap shot. It’s kind of tough to see him leave Calgary but, obviously, it’s probably the best thing for both sides. It is what it is.”
Vigneault, too, was full of praise for the departed Iggy.
“It has been a lot of fun going up against him,” the Canuck coach said. “He’s such a competitor. He played hard every night and you had to make sure you had a plan for him. It’s going to be different without him but I’m sure they’ve moved on and we have to deal with our situation here.
“I don’t think we’ve had an easy game against Calgary and I don’t think Saturday night is going to be any different. They’re a proud group of individuals.”
The Canucks are 2-1-0 against the Flames this season, one of the victories coming via shootout.
SICK BAY WATCH: A trio of wounded Canucks – Mason Raymond (shoulder), Dale Weise (shoulder) and Keith Ballard (foot) – all participated fully in Friday’s practice and two of the three are expected to play against the Flames. Centre Ryan Kesler (foot) did not skate Friday but his absence was due to the flu, according to Vigneault.
“Both Mason and Dale looked good and said they felt fine after practice so we’ll see how they react overnight,” said Vigneault. “Depending on how they come in Saturday morning, we’ll make that call. Keith is close. He looked really good today but I don’t see myself putting three injured guys back in the lineup at the same time here.”
Ballard skated with Andrew Alberts during Friday’s practice, not usual partner Chris Tanev, so that appears to be an indication which way Vigneault is leaning.
QUOTABLE: “You ever skate in goalie gear?” – Cory Schneider to a certain Vancouver Sun reporter when asked why he was ‘pretty tired’ after coming out of his net halfway to the blue-line to play a puck against the Oilers. (By the way, the answer is ‘no’.)
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