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Friday, March 31, 2023

The Ducks Coach Says He Won’t Try To Curb Trevor Zegrass’ Creativity

Buffalo, NY – In the end, it was a textbook drama, after all.

Trevor Zegrass put his idiosyncratic flair on his pass from the back of the net to Ducks teammate Sonny Milano for Tuesday’s second-round goal against Buffalo Cebres. Zegras air-mailed the puck over the net, lacrosse style, and Milano smashed it out of the middle for a brilliant goal.

According to Ducks coach Dallas Eakins, it was not a high-risk game.

It was perfect play and it paid off in a goal that sent the Ducks to a 2-0 victory.

About 20-year-old Zegrass and 25-year-old Milano, Eakins said, “These kids now think out of the box.” “We’ll take aim however we can get them. We’re not picky. We want to shoot one off a guy’s butt and it goes in? Great. We want something that will last a long time to come.” To be on all the highlight reels? Awesome. We’ll take them however we can get them.”

In other words, Eakins has not (and will not) influenced Zegras’ creativity.

“We don’t want to be the Harlem Globetrotters of hockey,” Eakins said. “He’s a man in the back of the net. We would encourage a pass for the slot. He just did it differently. We would never tell our players not to do that. It was a responsible play. We had them for us.” People were in a position to pull it.

“We’re good with that.”

Plus, there’s an equally important aspect to Zegras’ adventure game style.

“We’re here to win,” Eakins said. “It’s a sport. It’s competitive. It’s also entertainment. People work hard and spend their money to get into these games and sit in these seats. There has to be an entertainment value too. As long as we’re responsible Well, there’s no danger there.”

Eakins made a distinction between passionate and overzealous play. It’s one thing if Zegras makes some remarkable effort and succeeds, but it’s another if he tries to skate through four defenders, loses control of the puck and the opposition goes the other direction and scores.

So far, in 49 career games in the NHL, Zegras hasn’t really done anything significant, Eakins estimates. Eakins didn’t have to say, “Hey, don’t do that.” He hasn’t been bothered by Zegrass’s desire to push the envelope in pursuit of goals, aid or just plain entertainment.

“If you have the skills to do something, I don’t understand why, and I know there are some people out there like, ‘Hey, don’t do that,’ and I don’t get that,” Eakins said. “I don’t get it. If you’ve got the skills to score, use it. … He was no different to me, passing it on my tape right in front of the net. It just had a little more flair. ”

Zegrass (Part 2)

Defenseman Cam Fowler, who was sitting on the bench when the Zegrass set up Milano for the only goal the Ducks would need to defeat Sabres, wasn’t sure what he was looking for at first. He had to watch the replays on the scoreboard to fully understand what he saw.

“I saw him pick it up and I saw the celebration,” Fowler said. “I didn’t see until later that he actually threw it over (the net) and Sonny knocked it down. It’s something I’ve never seen before. Those guys keep amaze me with their creativity. Their ‘rucks’ (Riccard Raquel), this is not a line I want to go up against right now.

“I guess you have to build a foundation there while allowing you to use all your creative juices, you know? It’s a tough league, so what he’s doing now is amazing and you’ve always wanted him to.” Feel free to make those plays. As long as they are responsible defensively and not cheating for the offense, that gives them more power because they have the ability to make those plays.”

Zegrass (Part 3)

With eight points, all assists, during a four-game point streak, the Zegrass tied Lucas Raymond of the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL’s rookie scoring race. Zegras has 22 points (six goals, 16 assists) from 25 games. Raymond has 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 26 games.

World Nation News Desk
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