In all my years of obsessing over the sport of hockey (playing, watching, coaching, eating, drinking, breathing, reading about, writing about, and dreaming about the game), I’m having a really hard time recalling a game in which a team set itself up for a face-off in the offensive zone in the last five seconds of a period and actually scored on the play. As a coach in these situations, I was a huge fan of pulling my goalie, putting a shooter at the top of the circle, and stacking four forwards in the slot to crash the net. If ever there was an aggressive plan to try to squeeze a goal out of the closing seconds of a period, that was it. I’ve seen every scheme and setup imaginable, but none of them EVER worked!
I wasn’t able to watch last night’s game live, so I recorded it on the DVR and watched it a little later. This is a great and terrible tactic, because you have to stay off the Twitter machine and away from hockey-related text messages to avoid spoilers, but you can also fast forward commercials and intermissions. With 3-point-something left on the clock in the first period, and the whistle getting blown for the puck getting deflected up into the netting, I decided to hit the fast forward button. When I saw a very speedy Ryan Suter zipping past his teammates and high-fiving everybody on the bench, I immediately knew that the unthinkable had happened. It was a sweet little set play that did it, with Zach Parise putting himself perfectly in a line between Jason Pominville and Suter. Pominville slid the pass right through Parise’s legs, as Zach faked the shot, and the puck instead landed on Suter’s stick, who one-timed it and got a fortunate deflection.
Next time I’m drawing up the last-second face-off in the offensive zone, this is my play, because it’s the only one I’ve ever seen actually work in this situation. It was an incredible moment for the Wild, and another touch of Bruce Boudreau magic.
It’s Friday, and I want to party, so here’s Freddie Mercury to express my feelings and take you through today’s Walk.
No hearing, no fine, 0 game suspension—anything else is absurd.
A good Darcy is a very good sign for the Wild, as it heads toward the stretch. He’s been showing good signs recently, and it’s becoming reasonable to call him a reliable back-up.
Hey, at least it wasn’t Jared Spurgeon’s face.
On Frozen Pond
Why is Dave Spehar not on this list?
There was a time not THAT long ago when girls had no option but to play with the boys. An interesting story out of Rochester, NY, about girls who are trying to swing the pendulum back the other way.
Can’t disagree with that (Go Badgers!).
Off the Trail
Awesome and inspiring story. Stay strong, Dave! The hockey world is with you!
The Church of Yeo is officially open for worship.
Of course he does.
Prediction: Lindy Ruff will be out in the next few days.