Pictured: David Bolland, Danity

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.

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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.)

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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:

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Why yes, I will be showing Frans Nielsen’s picture every time I put the word “backhand” with “shelf”

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?

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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.

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You can take a different look at the Kane one-timer here. That goal floored me.

Comments (15)

  1. That P Kane one timer was just sick. He sure made it look easy too. Guarantee you he’s one of the few people in the world that can smash that one timer in, let alone hard in the goalies direction. Thing of beauty right there.

  2. On defending the deke to the backhand as a goalie, the tough part is that the deke is usually preceded by an open forehand show like the shooter is going to shoot first.

    Waiting for the shooter to make the real move can be really hard. No goalie wants to guess deke and then gets stuck looking like a statue on the shot.

    That situation can sometimes feel like being a soccer goalie on a PK where they have to guess one way or the other.

    Although, I’m just a beer league goalie. Perhaps a pro is thinking something different…..

  3. The Devils made Quick look REALLY bad in the shootout last night. Considering the Kings were near-invulnerable in the SO last year, that has me a bit worried. Then again, they have some really high end offensive talent.

  4. Is it me or was Duchene’s burst from the corner not all that impressive? I think Grabner and Helm have a much more noticeable burst from the first step.

  5. I’ve seen guys in rec blast better one-timers than Kane’s. Obviously everyone was like “what the hell just happened”, but the point is it happens. It’s not like Kane is blasting those cheddar every night. Obviously he has a better chance of doing it, but it’s not like it’s improbable or anything. Anyone with better hand-eye than Charlie Huddy has a chance at making that shot.
    That burst of speed from Duchene wasn’t all that impressive either.
    I feel like the guy that wrote this is one of those guys that you watch a game with and they think every other thing that happens is amazing. Or maybe he was just a little baked when he watch last nights games and everything was amplified. Haha.
    Either way, not hating on your opinions, just giving you mine – for some reason.

  6. Parker I agree with the duchene part, but I think that his point about Kane wasn’t the fact that he ripped a wicked hard one timer. It was more to the fact that he ripped a wicked hard one time on a cross ice pass that was far faster than any of the men’s league one timers probably receive. I think he’s right to be very impressed with Kane on that play.

  7. I thought the exact same thing when watching the hilights this morning (was working last night). Anyone saying that he has seen one-timers like that in a men’s rec league is either lying or he plays in a league full of ex-pro’s because Kane just shot that puck so god damn fast, it’s unbelievable! That Hossa pass was harder than a Hall Gill slapshot.

  8. you can’t mention backhand shelf without recognizing parise’s shootout goal:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5sEyyAKRRo

  9. I am from Minne and I do not know a single person that likes the red Wild sweaters. I never understood the Christmas Tree reference through – Christmas Trees are green, it looks more like an ornament…

  10. Messier in a Vancouver jersey was about as uncomfortable as watching a sex tape of your parents (I’m a Rangers fan). Also, as a former goalie, I have no answer for you as to why the backhand deke to 5-hole works so often. It seems like it shouldn’t be effective, but I think when guys do it right it just gets you moving too quickly and your hands don’t follow properly. The backhand-shelf move is occasionally unstoppable if it’s done quickly enough (See Zach Parise’s in the shootout last night? I felt helpless just watching the replays).

  11. I looooooove the Wild sweaters. I’m kind of a sucker for that style of jersey, though. Panthers blue jerseys [awful colour choice but not a bad jersey], Pens baby blues, Blues 3rds… total sucker for all of that stuff.

  12. Take the Wild’s home red jersey and use the same style but in white for their away jersey. That would make their jersey sets top 5 in the NHL

  13. You know me, Justin. I’m a Wild fan to the core, and I totally agree with you on the red jerseys. They’re just flat out fugly. The worst part is that their alternates (the green ones) are, in my opinion, one of the best in the league. Give them white one that mirror the green jersey, make those two their main sweaters and come up with another alternate that doesn’t suck and you’ve got a best-selling formula.

  14. I used to play goalie and I’ll try to explain it, keeping in mind that I was brutal at best and straight embarassing at my worst.. Forehand is easy to read, and not in the “seeing where it’s going sense” but simply the angles and where the puck is in relation to your body, since most people always go forehand. However, the backhand is quite a bit closer to the player’s body, and what happens to most goalies is that they move their stick too far/fast when a player goes backhand, therefore opening up the five-hole.. notice goalies actually save more shots backhand fiver when the deke goes glove side, which doesn’t make sense at all because the stick should move more naturally when sliding blocker side, but usually goalies open up a lot quicker to their blocker side when they b-fly slide.. as for backhand shelf, come on man, that’s just filth, is there really an explanation needed??

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