Humboldt Beacon (http://www.humboldtbeacon.com)

DeBoer explains why Canucks' Goldobin wasn't an immediate fit for Sharks


By Paul Gackle, Bay Area News Group

Saturday, December 16, 2017

VANCOUVER — Nikolay Goldobin will finally get a chance to prove that the Sharks made a mistake when they traded him to the Vancouver Canucks at the trade deadline last winter.
The Sharks game against the Canucks in Vancouver Friday marks the team’s first meeting with the Russian forward who they drafted with the No. 27 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
Goldobin, who’s suited up for six NHL games this season, is running into the same criticism in Vancouver that he faced in San Jose. No one can question the 22-year-old forward’s skill with the puck, but his compete level, work ethic and three zone play wavered through his two seasons with the AHL Barracuda.
Earlier this week, Canucks head coach Travis Green told the Vancouver Province that Goldobin’s, “opinions of working and mine are sometimes different.”
The Canucks coach went on to say: “it’s different how you track a puck, how you backcheck and protect pucks in your own zone. And it’s the pace you play when you don’t have the puck. It’s a big part of the game, especially on winning teams.”
Suffice it to say, it’s clear that Goldobin’s 200-foot game is still a work in progress and he wasn’t going to be an immediate fit with the Sharks, who rank second in goals-against average (2.33) and third in shots against (29.3).
The Canucks, who are in somewhat of a rebuild, can have patience with the rookie forward.
“You listen to Travis’ comments, they don’t play any differently than we do. You want offensive players that are committed to both sides of the puck. It’s just the game,” head coach Pete DeBoer said.
“If Sidney Crosby isn’t committed to both sides of the puck, they (the Pittsburgh Penguins) aren’t winning Stanley Cups, or (Evgeni) Malkin. Those are two of the most highly-skilled guys in the league. Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski for us. They’re the first guys defending and blocking shots and being on the right side of the puck.”
The Sharks coach took offense to the suggestion that his defensive-minded systems stifles the offensive creativity of the organization’s skilled prospects.
“I don’t buy the, you coach defensive so a skilled guy can’t fit. That’s not true,” DeBoer said. “You want honest skilled guys. I think Goldie’s learning to be an honest player and that takes time.”