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The Invincible M.A.E.


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Marc-Edouard Vlasic
harleymae

Mr. Vlasic!

It is perhaps a testament to my fiercely pure and undying love for Marc-Edouard Vlasic that I was able to read the following article about him and glow warmly about his emerging offense while squelching the more unsavoury aspects of the article...

Putting Up Points from the Blueline
22-year-old 'Pickles' is finding his offensive prowess
Friday, 10.09.2009 / 6:27 PM / News
By San Jose Sharks Staff

Lost amidst the goal scoring bonanza on Thursday was a tally by defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic. It marked San Jose's second defenseman goal of the night. The first was scored by Dan Boyle and that was more expected.

But this year, Sharks fans can expect "Pickles" to score more than he has in the past.

Vlasic has been a defensive stalwart for Team Teal since he broke into the National Hockey League four years ago. He's earned respect around the NHL for his poise and ability to read the attack. The offense has always been a bit of a bonus. The mantra: take what comes, but focus on the defense.

In his first two campaigns, Vlasic totaled just five goals. Last year, he began an effort to add to the other side of the equation and scored six. Now the bar has been raised.

"We believe he does (have a lot of offensive potential)," McLellan said. "His aggressiveness in certain areas has to come out."

Vlasic is just 22, so one wouldn't think of him as a veteran, but he is – in terms of experience. His 249 games played ranks third among the Sharks blueliners. He also has four years of playoff action under his belt. Thus, the coaching staff has put high expectations on him.

"He’s not a freshman or sophomore," McLellan said. "He has to step up. He’s a senior. In the past, we tried to comfort him a little. This year, there’s a little more stress so he’ll be ready in the playoffs for every situation possible."

On the ice, Vlasic has the benefit of playing on the power play, penalty kill and even strength with team captain and defenseman Rob Blake, a player who does everything from his defensive position.

"I think his role has changed," said Blake of his partner. "He's going to bring more to the offensive side. He can score 10 this year. When he gets that, we’ll look for more."

"It's an objective for me," Vlasic said about reaching double-digits in goals. "I have to take some more chances offensively without sacrificing the defensive side. I'll pick my spots and work at getting my shots through."

Vlasic may not have a hard slapshot like Blake, but he can get the puck to the goaltender quickly.

"If you get the shot through, you don't even need the goal. Assists count too," Vlasic said. "Our guy is screening and the defender is guarding him and making a double screen. The goalie is screened so the shot doesn’t have to be hard. Yesterday, I scored on a half-slapper and (Dany) Heatley was in front. It found a hole and went in."

Vlasic is enjoying having a future Hall of Famer such as Blake as a teammate and on-ice mentor.

"I see a lot of him," Vlasic said. "It's great playing with him and I can learn from him. When I pass the puck to him he stops it and shoots right away. He does the little things right. He picks his spots."

"Rob Blake is a Hall of Fame player," McLellan said. "He's won a Norris Trophy and played in All-Star Games and the Olympics. There's not a lot I'll tell 'Pickles' that Rob Blake hasn’t experienced. He’s a great teaching tool for all the young defensemen."

Vlasic hopes he can keep Blake excited about the game and playing more than just year-to-year.

"Hopefully, he like skating with me and it will make him want to play longer and feel younger," Vlasic said of their near 20-year age difference.

The two had a good laugh when someone mixed them up the other day.

"Rob was at a restaurant and someone came up and asked him if he was Marc-Edouard Vlasic," Vlasic said. "I don't know if he should be happier that someone thought he looked 22 or I should be more upset that someone thought I looked almost 40."

Then Vlasic looked at it another way.

"Maybe that means someone thinks I’m a Hall of Famer," Vlasic said.

If that's his goal, he's starting on a nice path in that direction.

That is an obscene, completely unwarranted, amount of slash (and self-slashing!) for such a short article. :(

"Yesterday, I scored on a half-slapper and (Dany) Heatley was in front. It found a hole and went in."
*weeps piteously*

"I see a lot of him," Vlasic said.
Please stop looking at Rob Blake. :(

Vlasic hopes he can keep Blake excited about the game and playing more than just year-to-year.

"Hopefully, he like skating with me and it will make him want to play longer and feel younger," Vlasic said of their near 20-year age difference.

This is like some kind of horrific set up for a Viagra commercial.


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Haha, I just read this article on the Sharks' website too.
Still laughing at it.

It's sweet and upsetting at the same time! I went to last night's game. Vlasic was all rosy-cheeked, hehe.

Haha, he and T.J. Oshie are almost always rosy-cheeked.

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