CA Postgame: Kassquatch > CoHo

Dimitri Filipovic
March 23 2014 09:24PM

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 7.43.38 PM
Image via Nucks Misconduct

There were a handful of topics to focus on heading into Sunday's game between the Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres: Daniel Sedin was making his return to the lineup. As was teammate Ryan Kesler. Captain Henrik Sedin was being honoured with a pregame ceremony for reaching the 1000-game mark for his career a while back. 

But even with all of that in mind, we naturally couldn't help but be drawn back to the Zack Kassian v. Cody Hodgson discussion, which I figure will never stop being a thing. Not that one random regular season game in March means anything in the grand scheme of things, but let the record show that Kassian decidedly laid waste to his contemporary, much like the Canucks did to their (even more) beleaguered opposition. 

The Rundown

If you missed it, we documented all of tonight's events in GIF form with a running thread throughout the game. It's something that we'll hopefully do at least a couple of more times over the course of these final couple weeks of the season. If anything noteworthy - whether it was a goal, injury, or random play worth discussing - happened, it's there. You can thank @SchneidersTeeth for that.

The Numbers

Via Extra Skater..

Fenwick chart for 2014-03-23 Sabres 2 at Canucks 4

EV fenwick chart for 2014-03-23 Sabres 2 at Canucks 4

Good lord, the Canucks were absolutely and ridiculously dominant playing against the Buffalo Sabres, that much is clear. They held a 49-16 shot attempt edge in 5v5 score close situations, and a 79-42 advantage in total. That 65.3 Corsi For % is good for their 3rd best of the season, just slightly behind two early season games against the Stars and Oilers.

So with that in mind, you'd figure two things:

1) Eddie Lack likely had a quiet night.. and he did. Despite only giving up 2 goals and registering the win, he ended the night with a subpar .889 save %. A couple of unlucky early bounces followed by the puck constantly being on the other end of the ice will do that to you.

2) Everyone posted strong possession numbers.. which is sort of true, except for the fact that Top Sixtito and Zac Dalpe somehow wound up with a 25 CF% in just under 6 minutes of 5v5 time. Oh, Sixtito, you never cease to provide us with things to talk about!

But for the overwhelming majority, this was a banner night. David Booth - to go along with his goal! - was on the ice for 16 shot attempts for v. only 2 against. Kesler's line, despite not generating a goal, posted an ~75% corsi night. The Sedins topped the 70% mark themselves.

Kevin Bieksa had himself a remarkable line as well. He on the ice for an out-of-this-world 36 shot attempts for.. and yet somehow, none of them managed to find the back of the net. It happens.

Finally, Cody Hodgson managed a 27.3 CF%, while Kassian posted a 60.7% corsi night. There's a bunch of other great stats about how Kassian's 4 assist night was the first by a non-Henrik Sedin Canuck since Brendan Morrison back in '05, and how Kassian's assist output for the night matched Hodgson's over the past month in surpassing his even strength production for the season. But that's just beating a dead horse at this point, because we get it. This was a no contest all the way around.

The Conclusion 

With their win on Sunday, the Canucks have improved their playoff odds according to Sports Club Stats from 0.3 to 2.8%. It's still the longest of longshots at best, and they'll probably have to win their final 9 games to even have a shot at that final spot (to go along with some help from the team they're chasing).

They're currently only 1 point behind the Stars for 9th, and 3 behind the Coyotes for 8th, but those teams have 2 and 3 games in hand on them, respectively. In case you're looking to do some scoreboard watching: the Stars host the Jets tomorrow before going to Chicago on Tuesday. The Coyotes have a back-to-back vs. Rangers and Penguins the next two days. 

It's conceivable that the Canucks could head into their next game on Wednesday in Minnesota being within striking distance against the two teams ahead of them with those games in hand out of the way, but it's all about that "perspective" we've been preaching from a while now.

Despite the fact that the efforts have been noble lately, they've also come against some very mediocre teams, and that'll soon change once the Ducks, Avs, Kings, and Rangers appear on the schedule. Meanwhile, the Devils and Jets are still close enough in their rearview mirror that getting a pick where a legitimate asset will be on the board is still conceivable.

Let's not sight of the real short-term goals amidst a little misleading stretch of success.

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Dimitri Filipovic writes about hockey on the internet, and is the Managing Editor of Canucks Army. You can follow him on Twitter @DimFilipovic, and email him at dimitri.filipovic@gmail.com.
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#1 Austin Wallace
March 23 2014, 10:21PM
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My girlfriend saw that and the first thing she saw was Kassquatch's 3rd leg.

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#2 Cole Petersen
March 23 2014, 11:35PM
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It was like watching the ghost of Todd Bertuzzi! Felt like we finally got what we wanted when we traded for Kassian!

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#3 Lemming
March 23 2014, 11:46PM
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@Cole Petersen

You heard it here first: Kassian to score 47+ goals next season.

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#4 That's Offside!
March 24 2014, 03:13AM
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I feel compelled to point out that the Sasquatch in the header pic is an anatomically incorrect representation of the creature in frame 352 of the Patterson/Gimlin film.

The one in the film had massive breasts.

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#5 Cam Charron
March 24 2014, 06:08AM
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@Lemming

Well I sure as beans ain't hearing that anywhere else!

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#6 JFR
March 24 2014, 07:38AM
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The cat from the Province said it perfect on Sundays game " there are maturity issues" with Kassian.

Kassian is big fast and has a great passing touch. Anyone that watches the Canucks games will tell you that at least once a game Kass will feather a pass into an open zone, like Hank would. Unfortunately, he will make 3 more dumb plays in the same game and the risk of suspension is about 300x greater.

The fact is Kassian is an immature 23 yr old with loads of talent, but so is Hodgeson. Their immaturities come from totally different places though. Kassian is a knuckle headed jackass that does before he thinks.... Sounds like most 23 yr olds, including myself when I was 23. CoHo, as he has anointed himself, is arrogant. He not only believes he is better than he really is, he believes he is more important than he really is. Kass seems to be growing up a little by little, but CoHo is no where near close to maturing.

Good luck Buffalo, you have a 2/3 rd line center that believes he should have his line of CoHo gear right next to Crosby and Gretz. I will take immature with raw talent over delusional any day.

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#7 van
March 24 2014, 08:08AM
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Does it matter if Jensen only scores 30-40 points next year if the Sedins can still be a 55%+ possession line with him? They're not going to be elite scorers without fixing the PP anyway.

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#8 NM00
March 24 2014, 10:17AM
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@JFR

"CoHo, as he has anointed himself, is arrogant. He not only believes he is better than he really is, he believes he is more important than he really is. Kass seems to be growing up a little by little, but CoHo is no where near close to maturing.

Good luck Buffalo, you have a 2/3 rd line center that believes he should have his line of CoHo gear right next to Crosby and Gretz. I will take immature with raw talent over delusional any day."

Did Mike Gillis write this nonsense?

Hodgson is surely an imperfect hockey player.

But his character is beyond reproach.

Just ask the guy who drafted him in the first place:

http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/sports/story.html?id=2848a3bd-5591-47da-9305-bb64f3a2ebe1

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#9 PB
March 24 2014, 10:38AM
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@JFR

I think I'd still rather have Kassian than Hodgson but I'm curious as to what you're basing your assessment of Cody on re: arrogance. There's all the stuff around the trade and the (reported) trade demands, the prima donna reputation. But I don't know how much of that is true and how much is post-trade spin from the Gillis side.

What actual evidence -- interviews, quotes -- do you have of him being arrogant? Because he has the audacity to launch his own line of clothing? Please. If we started lambasting athletes because of their endorsements or business ventures we'd have a pretty long list.

Hogson is a very different player than Kassian. For what ails the Canucks I'd rather have the latter. Let's just leave it at that.

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#10 acg5151
March 24 2014, 10:50AM
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Tough, gritty winger who can score and make nice plays vs. playmaking center who can't win face offs, can't really hit, but scores more.

I'll take the Kassquatch any day of the week.

Plus he ended Ben Eager and that was cool.

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#11 NM00
March 24 2014, 11:01AM
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@PB

Actually I'd rather have a number of the other talented players selected behind Hodgson in the 2008 draft over both Hodgson & Kassian.

Stick the next 12 guys' names (Beach, Myers, Teubert, Boychuk, Karlsson, Colborne, Gardiner, Pickard, Sbisa, Del Zotto, Gustaffson & Eberle) in a hat and I'll take my chances over Hodgson/Kassian.

Hodgson may be overvalued.

But just look at how little it took to acquire fellow 2009 draftees Holland & Pirri and it's clear how little Kassian is worth.

Even though he appears to be turning into a nice 3rd liner.

And, of course, everything you say about Hodgson's "character" is 100% accurate...

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#12 Twispi
March 24 2014, 11:17AM
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NM00 wrote:

Actually I'd rather have a number of the other talented players selected behind Hodgson in the 2008 draft over both Hodgson & Kassian.

Stick the next 12 guys' names (Beach, Myers, Teubert, Boychuk, Karlsson, Colborne, Gardiner, Pickard, Sbisa, Del Zotto, Gustaffson & Eberle) in a hat and I'll take my chances over Hodgson/Kassian.

Hodgson may be overvalued.

But just look at how little it took to acquire fellow 2009 draftees Holland & Pirri and it's clear how little Kassian is worth.

Even though he appears to be turning into a nice 3rd liner.

And, of course, everything you say about Hodgson's "character" is 100% accurate...

Wha?? a couple of 4th liners who are healthy scratches/waiver fodder on bad teams are worth more than Kassian or Hodgson?? Out of the list you cited, the only names I'd take over Kass or Cody are Karlsson, Eberle.. Some of them aren't even NHLers.. and then there's a few toss-ups that would have been tough to identify at the time

Maybe Gardiner, maybe Myers.

But just look at the list of busts that you mentioned...

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#13 PB
March 24 2014, 11:22AM
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@NM00

Karlsson, Eberle and Myers no doubt. But a lot of the other players in that list are complete busts (Beach, Pickard, Gustaffson), while others have had pretty inconsistent careers to date (Del Zotto, Colborne, Boychuk, Teubert, Gardiner, Sbisa). Other than those first three I don't think I'd take any of them over either Hodgson or Kassian.

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#14 Senrik Hedin
March 24 2014, 11:24AM
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Kassian = beast. Great game.

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#15 NM00
March 24 2014, 11:29AM
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@PB

You would rather have Kassian over Gardiner?

Coho/Kassian have had "inconsistent" careers as well.

Point being, acquiring someone like Kassian does not require much in terms of assets.

Look at how little it took to acquire Steve Bernier even after he had shown some scoring touch on his ELC.

Strictly in terms of Hodgson/Kassian, I'd take Hodgson right now simply to flip him for other assets...

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#16 NM00
March 24 2014, 11:32AM
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@Twispi

I'll take either Holland or Pirri over Kassian.

Finding centres with some scoring touch is not easy.

Sure, there are some busts in those 12 names I listed.

But that's the point.

Finding servicable checkers like Kassian is not difficult compared to top 6 forwards/top 4 defenseman...

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#17 Ted
March 24 2014, 11:57AM
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Twispi wrote:

Wha?? a couple of 4th liners who are healthy scratches/waiver fodder on bad teams are worth more than Kassian or Hodgson?? Out of the list you cited, the only names I'd take over Kass or Cody are Karlsson, Eberle.. Some of them aren't even NHLers.. and then there's a few toss-ups that would have been tough to identify at the time

Maybe Gardiner, maybe Myers.

But just look at the list of busts that you mentioned...

He's a moronic troll. Just ignore him. I do suspect Idiot00 is one of the blog writers and is just here to stir it up. That has to be it. There is no way anyone can be that stupid.

Kassian is developing and it's a process. Anyone following hockey knows, for the most part, bigger players take longer to develop. The jury is still out. CoHo doesn't really impress me a ton anyway so who knows. I was Kassian to become that top 6 guy and you do see flashes of it. I'm hoping he puts it all together in a year or two - he could be a catalyst and turn this team into a regular playoff threat again.

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#18 NM00
March 24 2014, 01:56PM
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Ted wrote:

He's a moronic troll. Just ignore him. I do suspect Idiot00 is one of the blog writers and is just here to stir it up. That has to be it. There is no way anyone can be that stupid.

Kassian is developing and it's a process. Anyone following hockey knows, for the most part, bigger players take longer to develop. The jury is still out. CoHo doesn't really impress me a ton anyway so who knows. I was Kassian to become that top 6 guy and you do see flashes of it. I'm hoping he puts it all together in a year or two - he could be a catalyst and turn this team into a regular playoff threat again.

"He's a moronic troll. Just ignore him."

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#19 Fred-65
March 24 2014, 02:49PM
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Here's the point of the Hodgson deal IMO. He was a player with high expectations for his future and was drafted by a team that had at that time 2 outstanding centres ahead of him. He was not willing to waite. While Vcr has two quality centres at that time they understood only to clearly thay were lacking in power forward (s) it helped both clubs. Vcr got what they wanted and Buffalo and more importently Hodgson got what he wanted...a # 1 centre positon ( which in time will be a #2 or 3 role ) but he's happy. I'm not impressed with Kassians hockey IQ but he is getting better ( Monkey see Monkey do ) and if he graduates to a genuine power forward role then vcr wins out by a country mile. Currently it's a draw. Hodgson looking good because he doesn't have any competition and Kassian being trained to play the NHL game

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#20 NM00
March 24 2014, 03:01PM
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@Fred-65

The amount of money on Kassian's next contract will show you it's not a draw.

Sure, Buffalo could have done a bridge deal for Hodgson for something like 2/6.

Kassian won't come near that and there's a reason for it...

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#21 Senrik Hedin
March 24 2014, 03:21PM
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kassian is a year younger than hodgson and generally power forwards take more time to develop, not to mention comparing the two is kinda dumb in the first place anyways. maybe talk about kassian's four assist performance without talking about a kid who hasn't played for the canucks in two years?

even dumber is the discussion about who we should have taken in the draft. yeah i would have done a few things differently if i had a crystal ball.

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#22 NM00
March 24 2014, 03:46PM
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@Senrik Hedin

Fortunately Gillis' apologists will be delivering him a crystal ball at his season ending presser.

Just in the nick of time...

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#23 Austin Wallace
March 24 2014, 06:44PM
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Kassian is not your average third line checker. He has better playmaking abilities than any 6'3 playmaker I've ever seen.

Show me someone his size who skates and passes as well as he does... Who was a career third liner.

Hint: You won't.

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#24 andyg
March 24 2014, 08:42PM
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@NM00

Using "Beach" as an example is not doing much to help your argument.

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#25 JFR
March 24 2014, 11:11PM
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PB wrote:

I think I'd still rather have Kassian than Hodgson but I'm curious as to what you're basing your assessment of Cody on re: arrogance. There's all the stuff around the trade and the (reported) trade demands, the prima donna reputation. But I don't know how much of that is true and how much is post-trade spin from the Gillis side.

What actual evidence -- interviews, quotes -- do you have of him being arrogant? Because he has the audacity to launch his own line of clothing? Please. If we started lambasting athletes because of their endorsements or business ventures we'd have a pretty long list.

Hogson is a very different player than Kassian. For what ails the Canucks I'd rather have the latter. Let's just leave it at that.

First of all the guy wasn't happy playing the 3rd line center behind Hank the MVP and Kess a Selk award winner. That right there should have been enough evidence that he has an inflated opinion of himself. I don't remember any player of any leadership consequence that believed he was getting short changed by not being given a spot.

And seriously, you don't think it's the night of arrogance to start your own clothing line when the only fans that know you are from the city that drafted you, the one you play in and maybe your home town.

The totality of someone's behaviors is open for interpretation and I believe he is arrogant. You may think he is a genuinely humble guy, and I don't care what Gillis says I think Gillis is arrogant also.

Of Hodgson was the junior leader he was painted to be he would have done what it took to fit with the team at the time and learned from the Twins and Kess. You have your opinion I have mine

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#26 PB
March 25 2014, 08:16AM
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@JFR

You're certainly entitled to have that view of him starting his own clothing line. I just think that -- as with many other players -- our assumptions of what is the appropriate behavior/attitude amongst them I think doesn't necessarily have a lot to do with the actual game. Is Toews a better player than Ovechkin because he's supposedly more humble? Was Bure worse than Linden or Mclean better than Luongo because of humility?

Looking at their actual performance seems to me to be the better measure. And I suppose I would throw in there whether or not people actually hold out (hello Yashin and Nedved) as opposed to starting their own enterprises or making trade and/or playing time demands. Even then I can't really fault a professional athlete for looking out for themselves. We seem to discard them pretty quickly when it suits us so I'm not sure why they should demonstrate more loyalty to the 'brand' then we do.

But as you say, to each their own.

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#27 NM00
March 25 2014, 10:42AM
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@andyg

Ignoring Karlsson is not doing much to help your argument.

You know, if you want to be willfully ignorant about all 12 of the players...

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#28 NM00
March 25 2014, 10:47AM
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Starting a clothing line to expand one's brand is not even remotely arrogant.

These are professional athletes with a limited window of earning potential.

Frankly, realizing that moving on from Vancouver was a wise career move and finding a new avenue to increase his earnings suggest CoHo is quite mature.

As opposed to the mouthbreather with a hockey stick who displays poor "character" on the ice for all to see...

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#29 Ted
March 25 2014, 02:18PM
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Austin Wallace wrote:

Kassian is not your average third line checker. He has better playmaking abilities than any 6'3 playmaker I've ever seen.

Show me someone his size who skates and passes as well as he does... Who was a career third liner.

Hint: You won't.

Who called Kassian a third line checker? I fully expect him to be a solid top 6 guy in two years. It takes time to develop players.

The draft is a crap shoot. Many teams use key trades to rebuild but not us! Gillis couldn't deal away a key vet for a couple of blue chip prospects (Burr, Edler etc).

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