I know it’s not exactly breaking news that players in the NHL are good at shooting the puck. But, more than ever, I’m noticing just how ridiculous the speed and accuracy with which non-slapshot goals are being scored.
Guys have always shot the puck hard, from Bobby Hull to Brett Hull and beyond. But now, players don’t need that wind up to unleash scary shots. These new sticks are nightmares for the folks between the pipes.
The following clips are from the past three days – not a single one is a slapshot, and each one goes in on about 99.9% of goaltenders in the world, and 95% of goaltenders in the NHL.
Jeff Carter vs. Henrik Karlsson
You just can’t d-up on everything. My god, that shot.
Michael Ryder: wow.
That was one of those “okee-dokee, put one on the board, moving on” goals. Just a no-doubter.
Joffrey Lupul. Thanks for coming out, Roloson.
Lupul had a lot of time to get that off, and still chooses to wrist/snap it.
Stephen Weiss, breakaway shorty after sick sauce from Jason Garrison:
A left-hander going high glove is always impressive, but he basically hand-placed that puck under the bar.
Mark Giordano has an unscreened attempt, and puts it a foot off the ice, low blocker, inside the post as a left hand shot. Toughest save in the game for a goalie to make.
In college, the running joke was that Phil Kessel couldn’t raise the puck. His shot (maybe just against my team) seemed horrible, it was always some type of on-ice muffin or flub. He was fast, and he’d compile points, but just….constant muffins. His shot these days is nasty.
Low blocker, man. Perfectly placed.
I think we’ve arrived at a point where Ryan Smyth may be the last “Ryan Smyth” ever to play as an offensive contributor in the NHL – you know, the guy who can put up numbers without being able to shoot the puck with absurd precision and heat.
No longer can goaltenders take a breath when the puck is in their zone. There will be no more crossbar-leaning kick-saves. If you’re a goalie, you better be on all the time. That’s just the way it is these days.
I have to add: while it wasn’t the point of the post, it’s also worth noting how hard current NHLers can fire backhands too. This is truly the NHL skill that impresses me most. If someone offered me a million dollars to attempt clearing the close blue-line from the goal line on a backhand, I think I win the money about 7 times out of ten, tops.
I can’t find video of the Sidney Crosby backhand in his first game back that was stopped, but the heat on it was insane. Instead, I found another decent player.
Here’s Henrik Zetterberg, who’s better than you at hockey, proving it:
Man. Life isn’t getting any easier for goaltenders.