Sometime during the 1990′s I distinctly remember a play where Mario Lemieux is starting to back-check, but he’s totally gassed and not going to be able to get back in time to help. His linemate, Jaromir Jagr, is just starting to get headed back up-ice too and is a step ahead of him, so Lemieux sticks his stick in Jagr’s back (further killing his own momentum), and gives Jagr a boost so at least someone can get back and be involved in the play.
That was the most clear use of the teammate stick-push I can remember, but it actually happens fairly often.
Since I was a right-winger, my job on d-zone faceoffs on the right side was to get out to that defenseman on the wall as quick as possible, which involves jumping past an opposing winger who’s going to try to pick you. I played with a d-man who’d give me a blade-on-the-ass shove every time to help me get a little jump.
The first time he did it, I didn’t expect it, and I stumbled forward and nearly fell - so, yeah… safe to say that time it was counterproductive. The trick is to make the push low on the pants, so you don’t do more harm than good.
While I couldn’t find video of any successful teammate pushes this season (unless you count this hilarious Kronwall-on-Eaves play), there was one awesome fail of an attempt. Let’s watch it, shall we?
Bruno Gervais is likely going to get to Evgeni Malkin here. Not to cut him off, not to full-on defend him, but to at least not annoy him in some way.
Boy…he could sure use a full-on push to get there even earlier, hey? Little help, Kubina?
Ohhhh boy. That didn’t go well. That didn’t go well at all.