Last night was a big night in the NHL, with something like 400 games on the docket.
As I sat there flipping from game to game, a few thoughts flittered through my skull.
And lucky for you, I’m going to share them. These are those thoughts.
1) The jersey a player wears sure affects your perception of him, doesn’t it?
Last night while watching the Wild play the Oilers, I saw the 212-pound bowling ball that is Darrol Powe in Minnesota’s Christmas-tree jersey (a top-10 all-ugly NHL jersey, despite what their fans are going to say in the comments, or how well it sells. You could sell a burlap sack with a Wild logo, call it a uni, and Minnesotans would snap that s*** up.)
Anyway, I saw him in it and thought….boy, he doesn’t look so tough anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, he definitely still is. He’d still put me or anyone else through the glass without trying. But that Philadelphia Flyers jersey and logo is just associated with toughness. It’s burned into our collective hockey minds. He looked like a menace in it.
Now? Not so much.
Anyone else you can think of that switched jerseys and seemed to become something totally different? (How bad did Gretzky look in a St. Louis Blues jersey? Blech.)
2) What percentage of rec leaguers hit this Patrick Kane one timer?
I don’t even mean stuff it into the back of the mesh for a goal but, like, even get it to go forwards? I say 0.4%. Maybe 30% catch it off the heel and advanced it into the corner, but solid contact on a laser pass that hard? Hell, I bet only 40% of ECHLers advance it towards the net, maybe 50%.(Advanced stats courtesy Justin Bourne.)
Go to the 31 second mark, so good:
3) Goalies, you need to explain something to me: Why does going backhand shelf or backhand five-hole go in so damn consistently on breakaways? This is not the first time I’ve complained about this.
I feel like even when you know the player is going to make that move it still works. And as a deke-ist, that cheapens my craft.
It looks slick, takes talent, and is so consistently successful we named the blog after it. But you have to be able to stop that occasionally, don’t you?
4) Lastly, are we all in agreement that Matt Duchene is the most electrifying skater in the NHL? Yes, there are others (like Michael Grabner, of course), but I don’t think anybody has the zero-to-5000MPH thing like he does.
There are different kinds of fast – my dad was “don’t let him get going” fast. Scott Gomez used to be “floating effortlessly” fast. Some of Duncan Keith’s friends call him Bambi because he’s that sort of “bounding but graceful” fast (not a category many people fit into).
But Duchene would be petrifying to defend because he can change directions and be back up to well-over-the-speed limit before you’ve had a chance to crossover. Check out him grabbing this loose puck from a dead stop at the 52 second mark:
He’s like a piranha – sees his chance, take a few steps, pounces, boom.
You can take a different look at the Kane one-timer here. That goal floored me.