Welcome to another edition of Monday Meltdown.
This week we take a look back at Duncan Keith's cheap shot on Daniel Sedin that outraged all of Vancouver and wonder, was it preventable?
Before you start yelling at your computer, of course we know it was preventable from the stand point of if Duncan Keith was not a dirty player and a complete idiot who cannot control his elbows the play would never have taken place. But what if there was a deterrent playing along side the Sedin twins, someone like Zack Kassian?
When trade deadline day came a huge shockwave was sent through Canuck Nation when fan favourite Cody Hodgson was shipped to Buffalo for Zack Kassian the majority of the fan base flipped out. After looking a little deeper into Kassian's skill set though it became quite apparent that this guy was brought in not only for his speed, talent and first round potential, but also his size and toughness. It was well documented that the Canucks were pushed around in the cup finals last year against Boston and they had nobody to do anything about it. I think for the most part fans were ok with losing a little offense for some much needed grit.
With the Canucks having had a playoff spot virtually locked up around the time of Kassian's arrival, one must ask the question, why was Kassian not given a look along side the twins? Especially when you take into account the slump that both of them were going through for about three weeks that subsequently saw Alex Burrows moved off of their line. This was a perfect opportunity to see if they had any chemistry together should the offense dry up at a later point and Vigneault needed to shake things up.
During this time to it had also been made quite apparent that the NHL was starting to veer back to the old pre-lockout, clutch and grab style hockey, which was leading to an increasing amount of players taking runs at the Sedins, and getting away with it.
With wins and losses not really being of the outmost importance during this stretch and really for the reminder of the season, due to the Canucks basically being locked in to 2nd place in the Western Conference, it would have been nice to have someone along side the Sedins to deter people from taking runs at them. While Kassian is not the biggest guy and we have a very small sample size of his fights, he will step up and go if he needs to and he definitely would have made Duncan Keith think twice before delivering his gutless cheap shot.
We've seen numerous times already in Alain Vigneault's tenure with the Vancouver Canucks that his is not the most fond of young players.
Grabner never got a fair shake here, was traded and flourished.
Cody Hodgson was finally developing into a star, with limited ice time but clearly didn't see eye to eye with Vigneault. Traded.
I certainly hope we're not seeing a repeat performance here with Kassian.
When there is no risk of dropping in the standings, you would think that this would be the perfect time to increase his minutes and see what he's got, while also being able to protect your stars.
If one of the specific reason's this kid was brought to Vancouver was to increase the toughness of this team, why not put him in a position where it matters?
Furthermore, why not give him some increased minutes, instead of stapling him on the fourth line, as Vengeful so often does.
The Canucks may have missed a huge opportunity here and now Daniel Sedan is on the sidelines for an indefinite period of time.
Whether Kassian could have prevented this injury from happening is definitely not guaranteed, but it could not have hurt.
Now he is up on the first line playing with Henrico, as what seems to be a late reaction by Vigneault to ensure that Henrik at least makes it to the playoffs healthy.
Lets just hope Daniel can get back in time for the playoffs, or this team has no chance of getting back to the cup.
It's going to look real bad on the coaching staff and management if their quest for the Cup was greatly diminished by an injury that they themselves could have prevented.
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