The journey Zack Kassian is on is an eventful one. We definitely haven’t seen it all yet and this circus is far from over. Since the trade that brought him to the Canucks for Cody “my dad says im the best” Hodgson, he has experienced extreme ups and downs. The hope that he would turn into the next Cam Neely or Milan Lucic isn’t much more than a wish right now. His play of late has given us a sliver of hope that he indeed is the player we hoped he will be. The Oracle said this would happen.
He’s given us funny gifs, viral memes and other notable internet shenanigans. Zack Kassian basically has gained the love of Vancouver and half of us thought he would be gone already.
His talent, although impressive at times, is still raw and Willie D and his staff are working to push the right buttons to get the beast within to roar on the ice. Zack has a prototypical power forward body and some pretty silky mitts. Up until recently, Kass hasn’t been able to put that all together for more than a game at a time.
But the tide is changing. Neo is starting to believe.
He has always been pretty good along the boards, it would take a gorilla to strip the puck off him most times in that area, he IS good, he needs to believe.
When Zack’s breaking down the wing he should be able to easily power past most defenders and go forehand backhand at will, like Todd Bertuzzi used to do. That underlying mean streak and that edge are one of the big things holding him back.
Tough love has finally been given to Zack with the healthiest of scratchings a week ago. The message was sent and for a lot of young guys like him, there is an “a ha” moment that acts as a wake up call. He was effing mad.
“Am I frustrated? You guys have no idea how effing frustrated I am. But that’s the way it is. I’m not going to sit here and sulk. I just have to find a way. It’s no secret I need to start scoring goals and I need to be more consistent. I have two goals this year. I came in and I had high expectations… it’s tough to score when you’re riding the bike.”
-Kassian on his benching
Taken from Elliott Pap of Vancouver Sun
Zack Kassian saw what his career could look like if he doesn’t realize his potential: free popcorn and Farmville game invites in the rafters. You don’t want that Zack, you know this road, you know where it goes.
The Oracle told Kassian the blue paint, shooting at will and playing with an edge will help him achieve his goals; Canucks goals in opponents nets. There has never been a better time for Zack to up his game.
There will be nights where dumb penalties will catch up to him, where he might show some disinterest or he’ll just punch someone out. Actually, the last one is ok, he can do that more.
Being a power forward isn’t easy I’m sure and being a star power forward isn’t something that happens overnight. A work in progress still? You bet. Giving Kass the chance to succeed? That’s a step in the right direction.
This is going to be the team that will turn heads for the next generation of Canucks fans. He’s not the One, heck he’s not even the Two; but Zack Kassian is on the road to realization and he might just be what we wanted all along.
If Willie, Jim and Trevor keep seeing improvements, Kassian can be great.
For now, we all are day to day with our theories. But the Oracle knows.