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Senators' Zibanejad shows he's more than finesse

Thursday, 12.05.2013 / 1:32 PM / Ford Tough Performance of the Week

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Senators' Zibanejad shows he's more than finesse
Ottawa Senators center Mika Zibanejad has eight goals in 20 games this season and just two minor penalties. Don't let that fool you into thinking the 20-year-old Swede is simply a finesse player.

Ottawa Senators center Mika Zibanejad has eight goals in 20 games this season and just two minor penalties.

Don't let that fool you into thinking the 20-year-old Swede is simply a finesse player. Vancouver Canucks defenseman Christopher Tanev will attest that's not the case.

When the teams played at Canadian Tire Centre on Nov. 28, the Tanev (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) went into the right corner behind his net to retrieve a dump-in with 5:50 left in the second period. That's when he was rocked by Zibanejad (6-2, 211), who delivered a textbook hip check that sent Tanev to the ice and allowed the Senators to create havoc in the Canucks zone.

Zibanejad, who is sixth among Ottawa forwards with 37 hits, got the fans going by putting his size to good use, and before the period was over he would show off his skill by beating Roberto Luongo on a rebound to bring the Senators within 4-2 in what eventually ended up a 5-2 loss.

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You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense