Scouting the Enemy: Anaheim Ducks vs. San Jose Sharks

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Jan 29, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks right wing Corey Perry (10) controls the puck against San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44) during the first period at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

2. Brent Burns is making waves after converting back to defense, scoring 19 points in 24 games this season, third in the league among defensemen behind the Calgary Flames duo of Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie. However, San Jose has one of the league’s most underrated players in Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who won a gold medal with Team Canada in Sochi last season and is a team-high +10. What makes Vlasic one of the best defensemen in the game?

Felix: I think it’s his ability to read the game and react properly. He knows his role on the team. He knows he’s supposed to play as a shut-down type defenseman. He communicates well with his teammates, mostly with fellow defenseman Justin Braun, as the two are generally paired together. With that simple defensive mentality, he’s also able to create some offense for his team, getting some shots on goal and scoring here and there. In general, though, he’s just out there at the right place, right time and does his best to simplify his game as much as he can.