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article imageThe Zack Attack: Canucks' Kassian takes on all Preds, even goalie

By Marcus Hondro     Apr 16, 2013 in Sports
Vancouver Canucks' forward Zack Kassian is still a diamond in the rough, or, if you prefer, a diamond in the tough. The 22-year-old hasn't shown consistency in any facet of his game but has shown flashes of scoring, setting-up and being an NHL tough guy.
On Monday in Nashville against the Predators it was that tough guy who came to the fore late in the game. It started with four minutes to go when he began mixing it up with Preds goalie Pekka Rinne, which arguably shows Kassian is not yet well-versed in the ways of pro hockey. You shove my goalie? I'm gunning for you.
The Zack Attack: Fighting and Fun
The problem with that assertion is that Kassian doesn't care someone is gunning for him, on the contrary, he courts it and seems to be having fun in any melee he gets involved in. In this case, with the Canucks leading, 5-2, the score they would win by, Kassian positioned himself in front of Rinne, his back to him, for the purposes of, naturally, screening and being there for a tip-in or rebound. He was in the dirty area, a place Kassian enjoys visiting.
Rinne did not like it and Kassian, sensing that, backed a little closer. Rinne gave Kassian a pretty nasty cross check to the back - for which he wasn't penalized - and Kassian turned around, did some nattering and then gave the goalie a shove. Now Rinne, at 6'5", is two inches taller than the Zack Attack, but that advantage didn't mean his teammate, Shea Weber was going to leave him to deal with Kassian on his own.
Weber barreled in to help his goalie and suddenly it was the Zack Attack under attack, not simply from two directions, either, but three, as Weber's defence partner, Roman Josi, joined in. Kassian ended up behind the net with his back to the boards and Josi trying to take shots at him, but he held him off, waiting for the guy who was again charging at him, Weber. When Mr. Weber arrived, Kassian gave him a punch to the face and the two Predators ganged up on Kassian while others piled in.
Kassian: penalties, hits, fun
Through it all Kassian attested himself well and he wound up with a roughing minor and a cross-checking minor, each, the score sheet reads, drawn by Rinne, and a spearing major. He didn't add to his scoring totals on the night but he did add to other stats and, with limited ice-time this season, in 33 games, the reckless Kassian is now 6-3-9 with 49 penalty minutes, 62 hits and many punches thrown.
The Zack Attack has also had, it appears, a good deal of fun.
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