Zack Kassian goes beast mode

Patrick Johnston
January 24 2013 01:29PM

Zack Kassian's goal to open the scoring against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday evening immediately became an obsession. Some goals are just, as Thomas Drance and Cam Charron might have it, another Corsi event. But some tell a story, a tale of strength, power, speed, skill. A collapsed defence. An exciting new partnership.

Kassian's goal on Wednesday was nearly a gorgeous wraparound, but became so much more. There was an ounce of luck - but what greatness doesn't have a touch of luck?

Click past the jump for a breakdown of how it all worked.

Puck drop and Zack's already off to the races. The Flames just have no idea what's coming. You've got to figure they're already thinking, "crap, Sedins, what are we to do?!"

So slow from Zack; it took him three seconds get around to the far side of the circle. What a bum.

Actually, no. Look at all the space in front of him. Want a better look?

That's tonnes of space (that is, in part created by the threat posed by Henrik Sedin streaking into the slot). Ok, Kassian, show us what  you've got.

A fake slapper!? From there?? Well Kipper believes, in part perhaps because he's being screened by Daniel. Kipper goes to his knees.

Daniel's made a mess in front and Henrik's drawn three defenders. The Sedins as decoys? Why I never thought I'd see the day. Meanwhile Kassian's got a crazy idea. Look at all that space. FIND THE SPACE.

There's just so much space on the fare-side at this point, and Kassian makes a good read by hanging onto the puck and taking it to a pillow soft area, that the Flames aren't even remotely covering.

Well, he's come up a touch short. Too bad. Would've been a helluva goal. (Poor Henrik by the way, he's about to get flattened.)

That's that, then. Mark Girodano, on his knees, having flattened Henrik, has found the puck. Evidently the earlier call on Alex Edler for "concealing" the puck wasn't taken seriously, because Girodano is about to fling the puck to safety with his hand:

Except look who's taking the inside initiative... It's beast mode Kassian.

Can he? Will he?

Kipper's really happy at this point. He's gone from post to post and now he's set himself for as good a shot as a goalie can face. How has Kassian found all this space? Well, three Flames collapsed to the goal line to check two former Art Ross winners, leaving Kassian the entire slot to walk in. If Kassian stays on the line, he'll find why Alex Burrows has been such a happy camper the last few years.

After getting away without being called for interference or concealing the puck, Mark Giordano got to his feet (see previous image) and he's now managed to get between Kassian and the net. As you can see in the above image, he's going to block the shot. By the way, thank goodness Jay Bouwmeester has the top of the crease on lockdown. Scramble defence needs an anchor.

The first shot is blocked, but Kassian wisely took advantage of all the time and space he had alone behind the net earlier in the shift and put magnets on the puck. How good is his current shooting position? This good:

Again, thank goodness JB put the top of the crease on lockdown. What's Kassian got left to shoot at? 60 percent of the cage?

BOOM. Mark Mancari, eat your heart out.

Atta boy.

By the way, how long did all this take? 

Eleven seconds. 11.

Here's the goal again courtesy CanucksHD:

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Patrick Johnston is a Vancouver journalist. In addition to regular contributions here at Canucks Army, his work has appeared in The Province, Hockey Now and on the CBC. Check out his blog and other writing at http://johnstonwrites.wordpress.com or follow him on twitter: @risingaction
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#1 elvis15
January 24 2013, 02:27PM
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*sniff* Brings a tear to the eye, doesn't it?

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#2 DCR
January 24 2013, 04:44PM
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But no opportunity to use those MMA skills Gillis mentioned...

Then again, that's a good thing.

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#3 Matt
January 25 2013, 02:15PM
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Brilliant analysis Mr. Johnston! (hat tip)

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