Feb 17, 2014, 6:27 PM EST
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.
- Lawyer: Ribeiro to ‘vigorously fight’ $1M lawsuit alleging abuse of ex-nanny (Updated) 10
- In praise of the Hamburglar 14
- Leafs’ Panik latest to be fined for diving 8
- Connor McDavid is just on fire right now 20
- Video: Zidlicky’s first goal with Detroit gives Red Wings OT win over Rangers 31
- Video: P.K. Subban illustrates hockey instincts through GoPro camera perspective 5
- Video: Lundqvist could be back in 10 to 14 days 7
- Isles’ Martin suspended one game for ‘reckless’ knee on Daley 14
- More bad luck for the B’s — Connolly out 6 weeks with fractured finger 23
- Fehr willing to give Panthers ‘a reasonable opportunity’ to redevelop market 54