Vasily Podkolzin scored a goal, killed penalties, and lived up to the hype in his AHL debut

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
By Faber
2 years ago
Vasily Podkolzin is an NHL player.
He is also a 20-year-old, on his entry-level contract with an NHL team that missed the playoffs and has the ability to send him to the AHL without worrying about waivers.
This is where we are at with Vasily Podkolzin. He joined the Abbotsford Canucks in California on Saturday and made his AHL debut in game one of the playoffs on Tuesday night. You can read a full in-depth recap of the game, courtesy of Cody Severtson here.
Simply put, Podkolzin was good. He played the bumper position on the first power play unit. He was the second winger out to kill penalties when the team was shorthanded. And he was arguably the best forward at five-on-five — Nic Petan made a case, but come on, look at the author, we are going to talk Podkolzin.
A source told CanucksArmy that Podkolzin made an extremely strong impression in the one practice he had with the team. This is a reason why Trent Cull decided to use Podkolzin on both special teams units and in a top-line role at even strength. No matter what happened up to this point with the Abbotsford Canucks, Podkolzin is now their most important player.
He showed why with just over eight minutes remaining in the third period of a 0-0 game.
It was also nice to see Podkolzin back on the penalty kill. That’s a spot where we always liked him when he was in the KHL. He shows an active stick that disrupts passing lanes and he closes in on opponents quickly, forcing them to make a decision before they are comfortable.
His play in the bumper on the power play looked good. There were some shot-passes that Podkolzin was able to deflect towards the net. He also had a quick double pass for a scoring chance early in the game.
Overall, it was a strong showing for Podkolzin, but aside from him, Spencer Martin, and Petan — the Canucks were not good enough.
This team is set up to be a team that goes very far in the playoffs but has to play up to their potential instead of just showing up.
It’s a great team but they aren’t good enough to not give full effort. Tuesday was a poor performance from the team and they need to be better if a long playoff run is in the cards for this Abbotsford team.
Podkolzin will need to be a big part of this team for them to go on a deep run. He played well on Tuesday but he is one of the players who needs to be great. Podkolzin has the potential to be the best player in every AHL playoff game this year. He will need to be even better on Wednesday night and it’ll be interesting to see how he looks at this elimination game. Podkolzin has always been the ultimate competitor but after just one practice, it didn’t seem like he was full-on “Playoff Podz,” like he was with SKA in the KHL. I expect to see a pissed-off Podkolzin on Wednesday and that once he feels the pressure, we will get an even better player out of him.
Puck drop on Wednesday is scheduled for 7:00 pm. Cody Severtson is on the postgame duties while I chase stories and tweet out goals from the game.
We have you covered with all things Abbotsford Canucks here at CanucksArmy.
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