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Amerks Notebook: Kassian Learning Fast

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11-12-2011, 10:03 AM
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Chainshot
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Amerks Notebook: Kassian Learning Fast

Some good stuff from Rolston about how BZK is progressing:

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“Zack has really built every game,” coach Ron Rolston said after a 3-1 win over the Binghamton Senators. “For a young player, he's been pretty consistent. He's getting to the point where every shift is seamless in his execution from system to system and just doing a lot more when he's out on the ice. Not only offensively, but away from the puck.”
Quote:
"We teach all of our young players, you have to go all the way through shifts, working hard," coach Rolston said. "Zack really understands that."
Good to hear from the coach.

Quote:
The last two weeks have been a different story. Zack has five points and the Amerks have won three of their last four. In the process, he's become the main puck handler on the power play.

“Ron's switched up the lines a lot trying to look for chemistry,” he said. “It's been a combination of everything. We are finishing checks, we have more energy and are getting pucks to the net.”

After Friday night's win, the Amerks are in first place in the North Division. Kassian scored a power play goal and assisted on another. His two-point performance putting him up to 12 on the season in 14 games.

“I'm starting to feel better and better each game,” Kassian said. “You don't want to start hot and end cold, you want to get better and better each game.”

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11-12-2011, 10:28 AM
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sabrefan27
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It seems like he's adjusting skill wise a lot better than he is physically. I like what I see from him, already a lot of improvement. But he's definitely not playing physical - at all.

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11-12-2011, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabrefan27 View Post
It seems like he's adjusting skill wise a lot better than he is physically. I like what I see from him, already a lot of improvement. But he's definitely not playing physical - at all.
I wonder if his reluctance is due to the problems he's gotten into in the past with his physical play.

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11-12-2011, 10:40 AM
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I wonder if his reluctance is due to the problems he's gotten into in the past with his physical play.
I'm sure it is.

I think it will come back... I think he's just trying to shed the tag as a dirty player before he gets into the NHL .. because once you're branded there... it sticks. And Shanny will be watching.

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11-12-2011, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by joshjull View Post
I wonder if his reluctance is due to the problems he's gotten into in the past with his physical play.
It could also be at the request of the team -- the "we know you can play that game, concentrate on being an offensive force instead".

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11-12-2011, 02:22 PM
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It could also be at the request of the team -- the "we know you can play that game, concentrate on being an offensive force instead".
I think thats pretty much it.

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11-12-2011, 03:31 PM
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Could BZK become the fourth Amerk to bring home the ROY? If he doesn't force his way into the NHL sooner rather than later.

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11-12-2011, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SabresFanSince89 View Post
Could BZK become the fourth Amerk to bring home the ROY? If he doesn't force his way into the NHL sooner rather than later.
12 in 14's a good jump, considering the first handful of games. That said, I think it would take a miracle for voters to actually vote for a Sabres prospect for the 4th straight time, even if he deserves it.

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11-12-2011, 08:47 PM
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It could also be at the request of the team -- the "we know you can play that game, concentrate on being an offensive force instead".
Just what we need, another physical prospect with grit in his game to have his balls chopped off.

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11-12-2011, 10:28 PM
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did he get hooked on phonics?

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11-12-2011, 11:44 PM
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I just don't see how any of this is negative. Our toughest prospect is also the top PP puck handler?

Are you kidding me? This is hockey nirvana. We don't need a loose cannon on the the bottom 6. We need a skilled cannon in the top 6.

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11-13-2011, 12:27 AM
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Are you kidding me? This is hockey nirvana. We don't need a loose cannon on the the bottom 6. We need a skilled cannon in the top 6.
I think people are just worried about losing the 'cannon' aspect of his game. He wouldn't be the first big body to come up and not use it.

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11-13-2011, 01:15 AM
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In regards to Kassian, I've been saying this for about a year now. I don't want Kassian to be Kaleta v2.0 when he comes up. I do want him to develop into a Lucic v2.0 with a sprinkle of Getzlaf mixed in. He will have such a brief NHL career if all he did was bang heads and fight. Refer to Kaleta when thinking of what Kaleta was when he made the team, and what he does now. Two different players. Not completely, but he definitely developing into a bigger and better asset. I hope Kassian can do the same, not just check, fight, and warm the penalty box seat.

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11-13-2011, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabrefan27 View Post
It seems like he's adjusting skill wise a lot better than he is physically. I like what I see from him, already a lot of improvement. But he's definitely not playing physical - at all.
I wouldn't say he isn't being physical - at all. He's just not going out there looking to put someone through the glass and/or take dumb penalties. He's physical for puck control and position down low.

For instance, last night. He was just plain dropped in front of the net by a cross check in the back from, if I remember right, Travis Ehrhardt. BZK gets up looks at Ehrhardt and immediately cross checks him back. They continue to yap as they move up the ice to a line change. Just before BZK gets to the bench, there was another player coming from the opponents bench. He does a quick shoulder shrug to make like he was just going to lay him out. He doesn't, and smiles as he gets on the bench.

Another point last night, Kassian got his stick stuck on the end boards. After ripping it out of the boards/glass partition, he finds that the blade is broken. He was behind in the play and skates by our bench and rips Legault's stick out of his hands. Legault looks around as if to say, "wtf just happened?". BZK goes into the defensive zone and still being pissed about his broken stick rocks two Griffins near the half-wall.

His edge is still there. It's just not taking stupid penalties and being more focused on winning and the team.

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11-13-2011, 01:35 PM
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We'll just have to agree to disagree. I've seen virtually no physicality out of him at all, save for a fight earlier in the season. On the other hand, I've been very impressed with his vision and ability to protect the puck.

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11-13-2011, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Moskau View Post
Just what we need, another physical prospect with grit in his game to have his balls chopped off.
This. This x 100.

This kid is a physical monster. Let him play physical. I'm really starting to hate the system and question what the coaches are trying to accomplish. You don't draft physical players because you want to see if they have a softer side. You draft them for what they are. Yes Kassian has scoring ability and unquestioned offensive upside. Tapping into that is great as long as the cost isn't losing what you loved him for to begin with.

Kassian had an entire league aware of how brutally he loves to punch you in the face. He destroyed people through out every level of hockey. Watch what he does with his left hand and his ability to switch on the fly and pop you with the right. The guy is a throw back fighter and I HATE the fact they are trying to castrate him. I really thought this organization had finally come to understand and respect the necessity for a player like Kassian and what he does for the players around him.

It's Chris Neil. It's Milan Lucic. It's the guy who makes you play honest. Makes you understand that if you run ours, we're running yours. Policing the game internally. I think Kassian is the perfect player for such a role and we are getting nothing of what I thought that player was when he was drafted.


Edit: The offense from the player has been a pleasant suprise.

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11-13-2011, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProngersEyeball View Post
I wouldn't say he isn't being physical - at all. He's just not going out there looking to put someone through the glass and/or take dumb penalties. He's physical for puck control and position down low.

For instance, last night. He was just plain dropped in front of the net by a cross check in the back from, if I remember right, Travis Ehrhardt. BZK gets up looks at Ehrhardt and immediately cross checks him back. They continue to yap as they move up the ice to a line change. Just before BZK gets to the bench, there was another player coming from the opponents bench. He does a quick shoulder shrug to make like he was just going to lay him out. He doesn't, and smiles as he gets on the bench.

Another point last night, Kassian got his stick stuck on the end boards. After ripping it out of the boards/glass partition, he finds that the blade is broken. He was behind in the play and skates by our bench and rips Legault's stick out of his hands. Legault looks around as if to say, "wtf just happened?". BZK goes into the defensive zone and still being pissed about his broken stick rocks two Griffins near the half-wall.

His edge is still there. It's just not taking stupid penalties and being more focused on winning and the team.

That's a good desciption and fantastic observation. Thanks.

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Old
11-13-2011, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZZamboni View Post
In regards to Kassian, I've been saying this for about a year now. I don't want Kassian to be Kaleta v2.0 when he comes up. I do want him to develop into a Lucic v2.0 with a sprinkle of Getzlaf mixed in. He will have such a brief NHL career if all he did was bang heads and fight. Refer to Kaleta when thinking of what Kaleta was when he made the team, and what he does now. Two different players. Not completely, but he definitely developing into a bigger and better asset. I hope Kassian can do the same, not just check, fight, and warm the penalty box seat.
Agreed. There's value in Chris Neil but there's more value in Lucic or Dustin Brown. I'll trade an extra 60 PIMs a year if Kassian develops into the latter type of player.

I really doubt he's going to denigrate to a Pyatt level of physicality (though I guess it sorta happened with Paille).

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11-13-2011, 06:16 PM
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Dustin Brown? He's a huge *****, one of the worst divers in the league.

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