Two months ago there was no way I would have thought Micheal Ferland would be helping the Canucks in a playoff run.
Ferland, who has a well-documented history with concussions, battled concussion-like symptoms all season long. The low point had to be when he was unable to play a full period of hockey during a conditioning stint with the Canucks AHL affiliate, the Utica Comets.
On Ferland 👇🏼 https://t.co/nAlQoffb93
— Cory Hergott (@CoryHergott) February 15, 2020
Even at the beginning of training camp 2.0, Ferland was deemed unfit to play by the team and it was starting to look like seeing Ferland in a playoff game was a pipe dream.
It’s amazing how much can change in two weeks.
Just look at some of the reviews of Ferland during Friday’s final scrimmage of training camp.
I think that’s the quickest I’ve seen Ferland move in a Canucks uniform. Great hands. Encouraging to see. pic.twitter.com/Ar6xtri7Fr
— Jason Brough (@JasonBroughTSN) July 25, 2020
Micheal Ferland out there with PP2
— Harman Dayal (@harmandayal2) July 25, 2020
Ferland with some quick hands opens the scoring. Look out, here comes Ferland…
— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) July 25, 2020
Aside from Quinn Hughes, Ferland was the best Canuck on the ice at the final scrimmage. He looks fast and is having no problem processing the speed of these scrimmages.
Scrimmages are not full speed though.
On Wednesday night the Canucks will face off against the Winnipeg Jets in their one and only exhibition game before they compete against the Minnesota Wild in a best of five play-in series. This game will be the final test for Ferland, who has passed every preceding test thrown his way in the past two weeks.
Travis Green has mentioned that he has been happy with Ferland’s progression throughout camp and is excited to see what he can bring to the team.
Green: I'm happy Ferland is back from a personal standpoint. Been a long year for him. He looks good, he's getting better everyday. When he's on top of his game he's a handful. I've talked to Ferly, if he's ready to play and is playing, he has no intentions of playing differently
— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) July 24, 2020
Travis Green sounded impressed by what he’s seen out of Micheal Ferland.
Asked if Ferland was a consideration to play in the first game of the qualifying round considering how he’s performed, Green answered he’s been a consideration for a long time. #Canucks
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) July 24, 2020
Ferland averaged 14.5 hits per 60 minutes when he was in the lineup for the Canucks this season. JT Miller was the leader in that category for the Canucks this season with 123 hits. For comparison, Miller had 5.3 hits per 60 minutes. Tyler Motte had the highest hits per 60 on the team with his 15.9 hits/60. Imagine a bigger and strong version of what we saw Motte do on the forecheck this season.
Micheal Ferland can make a huge impact on this Canucks team if he is able to return to his previous game shape.
We won’t know if Ferland will be able to get that level. The only way to really find out is to see how it plays out.
Ferland was on a line with Antoine Roussel and Adam Gaudette on Friday night. The Roussel-Gaudette duo seems to be what Travis Green wants to go with for his third line. Ferland would really round out the Canucks top nine and if he is able to add a bit of scoring to go along with his bone-crushing hits, the Canucks will have an exquisite top nine group.
Hopefully, we’ll see more hits like this from Ferland in the postseason.
— 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 Faber 🤙🔥🎙 (@ChrisFaber39) July 25, 2020
I spoke with Micheal Ferland on a zoom call and he gave some great quotes about looking forward to playoff hockey. I will include a few quotes here.
Ferland on coming back strong: “Going into summer before going home we didn’t have ice for two months, that was the best thing for me. I kept pushing and pushing and wasn’t giving myself enough rest. The two months off was what I needed. I haven’t had any symptoms now.”
On recovering from his head injury: “It was a long year. I’ve been through this stuff before and I kind of know where I’m at now. I feel good.”
On his symptoms during his recovery: “The best way to explain it was like I was feeling drunk.”
When asked if he’s ready to play a physical style despite not being able to during scrimmages, Ferland said: “Once playoff hockey starts, I’m going to be hitting and I’m going to be hitting hard.”