Home Sports Canucks’ Goldobin eager to show Sharks what they’re missing

Canucks’ Goldobin eager to show Sharks what they’re missing

9 min read
0
0
64



	
				
			Canucks’ Goldobin eager to show Sharks what they’re missing

SAN JOSE — Prior to the Sharks’ preseason game with the Vancouver Canucks on Sept. 29, 2015, Nikolay Goldobin expressed his desire to square off against two of the game’s top forwards, Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

“I hope that they’re going to be (in the lineup), so I can show them that I’m better than them,” Goldobin, the Sharks’ 2014 first-round draft pick, told reporters.

Tuesday night, when Goldobin makes his return to SAP Center, he’ll receive an opportunity to prove his worth to hockey’s most-famous twins, as he’ll skate on the same line with the Sedins on the Canucks’ top line against the Sharks.

The Russian sniper will also be looking to stick it to the organization that gave up on him one month ago, including him in package for Jannik Hansen at the trade deadline.

But Goldobin spoke about his return to San Jose with more humility than he displayed during the preseason last year, a sign of growing maturity.

“Maybe it’s inside, but I’m not going to show it,” Goldobin said, referring to the hard feelings that he’s harboring toward the Sharks organization. “I’ll play hard against that team. Try to show that I deserve to play on this level.”

Goldobin’s inclusion in the Hansen deal on Feb. 28 ended a tumultuous two-year run in which the 21-year-old forward struggled to prove to the organization that he was capable of playing with a high enough compete level on a consistent enough basis to crack the Sharks’ regular lineup.

The affable Russian displayed the offensive skills that inspired the Sharks to select him with the No. 27 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, collecting 85 points in 106 games with the AHL Barracuda, including a team high 21 goals last season. But Goldobin’s offensive brilliance came with strings attached: he lacked defensive zone awareness, refused to play in straight lines and his compete level wavered from night to night, period to period, shift to shift.

After Barracuda coach Roy Sommer benched him for the third period of a game on Nov. 8, 2015, Goldobin proclaimed that his lackluster effort was the result of being “tired.”

This season, Goldobin sat back and watched as a string of Barracuda forwards, including Kevin Labanc, Timo Meier, Ryan Carpenter, Danny O’Regan, Marcus Sorensen and Barclay Goodrow, received recalls to the NHL before him.

The final straw came on Feb. 19 when Goldobin barely managed to touch the puck in 7:46 of ice time against the Boston Bruins in his second NHL game of the season. He was traded nine days later.

Now, the reputation that plagued Goldobin in San Jose is following him to Vancouver.

After recording no points and just two shots in five games, Goldobin was scratched from the Canucks’ lineup on Sunday, prompting head coach Willie Desjardins to tell the Vancouver Province that, “he needs to prove he’s going to go hard at this level. He’s got to go hard … we just have to get him more engaged.”

The quotes appeared in story with the headline: “Goldobin debate rages on.”

Goldobin said he, “can’t disagree” with his coach’s evaluation of his game.

“They’re watching video and you can see perfectly what I’m doing wrong,” Goldobin said. “I’ll just agree and try to work on it.”

Although Goldobin’s play fueled debate about his value to the Sharks organization on Twitter and in the blogosphere during his time in San Jose, the rookie forward acknowledged that the pressure is getting ramped up even further in Vancouver.

With the Canucks out of the playoff picture, Goldobin’s worth is an everyday topic of discussion on social media and sports talk radio in Vancouver.

“It’s a hockey town and a lot of media all the time. It’s unusual. My first home game, there was like 20 cameras around me. I was kind of lost, like where am I?” he said. “But I’m enjoying it.”

Although Goldobin wanted things to work out in San Jose, he described his feelings about the trade as, “50-50.” On one hand, he’s going to miss his friends on the Sharks and the Barracuda, California weather and living in San Jose. On the flip side, he believes the Canucks are going to give him a chance to play in the NHL on a nightly basis.

Goldobin said that the inconsistencies in his game will be ironed out with more NHL experience.

“It’s easier when you’re playing more time,” he said. “More confidence, feel the puck more.”

Load More Related Articles
Load More By Angelina Scott
Load More In Sports

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Kurtenbach: The 49ers’ biggest need was exposed against Tennessee

Highlights   ABOVE: Cam Inman and Dieter Kurtenbach talk about the 49ers’ …