Benning gave Zack MacEwen a chance
It was a long and stressful road for Zack MacEwen, but he finally did it. After a hard battled grind, “Big Mac” has found a way to stay up with the big dogs of the National Hockey League.
After getting a four-game glimpse in 2018-19, MacEwen made it his mission to get more NHL experience. 17 appearances this season for the big boy and he really got going towards the end when the Canucks needed him most.
Very limited ice time in the bottom-six, but MacEwen made the most of it. His best game of the year comes to mind, and what a game it was. Against the Colorado Avalanche at home on March 6th, the Canucks were 0-4 and needed a win to stay in the playoff picture. MacEwen answered the bell with a three-point night, two goals and four bone-crushing hits in just over seven minutes of playing time. He arrived, and this was a statement game. He isn’t going anywhere.
MacEwen finished the year with 6 points, (5 goals, 1 assist) in 17 contests. He got his time in, he didn’t waste a shift, and he made sure he got noticed every time he was given an opportunity. Hats off to Benning for sticking in the system, giving MacEwen a bigger look in a bigger role. It paid off, and Benning found the physical presence he needed, and he found him the right way.
Right now, we don’t know if the Canucks will see playoff hockey, but Benning did what he had to in order to keep his job and keep this team trucking in the right direction. Miller was his biggest and brightest move along with bulking the middle-six depth. The overhaul on defence was worth it, and Benning knows MacEwen can bring it.
All-in-all, it was a good year for Benning and the Canucks. Get used to playoff hockey in Vancouver, because even if it isn’t this year, thanks to Benning, the Canucks are about to enter their playoff window.