To all the Canucks fans who want Zack Kassian to get an opportunity to play with the Sedin twins, here’s what coach John Tortorella thinks about that idea.
“I’m not ready to put Zack in those situations where I am playing that line against probably the top two lines on the opposing team,” Tortorella said, per the Vancouver Sun. “We’re still in the process of trying to get Zack to process the game, not only with the puck but away from the puck. So that’s where I’m at there. It’s tough when you have to worry about pucks going in the back of your net when players just aren’t ready to read those situations.
“When I use Danny and Hank, it’s usually against a top line, or at least the top six. With Kass, I don’t think he has processed and learned that part of the game well enough to be put in those situations.”
Tortorella didn’t get into specifically what Kassian is doing wrong, but the 22-year-old winger admitted he has things to work on.
“There’s a couple mistakes I made earlier in the year that you can’t make,” Kassian said, per The Province. “I just need to keep it simple in the defensive zone. I have done that the last couple games (and) seen results.”
The problem for the Canucks, who host the Oilers tonight and the Bruins tomorrow, is they don’t currently have a great option to play with the Sedins. Alex Burrows is hurt, and the line of Ryan Kesler, Mike Santorelli, and Chris Higgins is playing too well to be broken up.
So that leaves the likes of Jannik Hansen, David Booth, and….um….yeah, that’s about it.
Yesterday at practice, it was Hansen with the twins. And that’s probably how it will start tonight. But knowing Tortorella’s proclivity for line juggling, that could change quickly once the puck is dropped.