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Babcock says Vlasic is ‘way better than everybody knows’

Feb 17, 2014, 6:27 PM EDT

Drew Doughty, Marc-Edouard Vlasic AP

Much of the talk about Canada’s defense has centered around either the guys not playing or the stellar play of Drew Doughty. One of the guys flying under the radar, however, is San Jose Sharks blue liner Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

As Arpon Basu at NHL.com shares, Vlasic has one big-time fan in Canada coach Mike Babcock.

“I just told somebody [Monday] morning that Vlasic is way better than everybody knows,” Babcock said. “He’s a really, really good player; Doughty gets to do anything he wants and Vlasic is always in a great spot. He’s a good defender, he’s become harder. He used to be a thin kid, now he’s a thick man. He’s hard, he’s smart, he skates, he moves the puck and he’s safe.”

Vlasic being the more defensive-minded half of a pairing with Doughty gives him a chance to shine in that role and that’s just what he’s doing.

Babcock referring to Vlasic as “safe” instantly makes him one of the more trusted guys on defense. The fact that he allows Doughty to have room to maneuver and help with the offense should make him Canada’s favorite defenseman.

  1. ethanmacleod1685 - Feb 17, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    Babcock gets it

  2. ibieiniid - Feb 17, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    “flying under the radar” as usual. vlasic is the dude.

  3. 19to77 - Feb 17, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    “Now he’s a thick man.”

    I get what he was saying, but I couldn’t help a laugh at that.

  4. areaman714 - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:53 AM

    I have watched the Pickle play many times against my Ducks at the Ponda Center . . . he is a solid, if not spectacular defenseman that could play top four on any team . . .

    • 91caleb - Feb 18, 2014 at 3:35 AM

      well duh.. he plays top 4 for team Canada, I bet Price could be a starter on any team… crosby might even be able to make it as a #1 centre

      • areaman714 - Feb 18, 2014 at 4:42 AM

        You want to go with your duh with Kunitz and Brown being on the Canadian team at all? If they made it, maybe Mr Pickle made it as a role player as well?

      • sjsharks86 - Feb 18, 2014 at 10:03 AM

        You sound a little confused, last time I checked Dustin Brown was on Team USA.

  5. sjsharks86 - Feb 18, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    Mr. Babcock telling the world what everyone in SJ has known for years, thank you for acknowledging Pickles’ awesomeness.

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