Let’s take a quick second to fawn over Anze Kopitar’s off-hand one-timer that made it 2-0 last night.

Off-hand one-timers are the most difficult shot in hockey, especially if you’d like to get the puck up. And, if you know anything about today’s goaltending styles, you do.

The majority of people who attempt this shot lose it off the toe (“the majority” is a massive understatement – it’s damn near “all”), and it ends up being a weak flip into the corner.

I used to stay out after practice with a buddy when I was in college, and we’d take turns skating in hard from the red line on our strong side, while the other guy whipped a pass that we tried to A) one-time, B) get on net, C) with steam, D) under the bar. Our success rate was slightly less than Shaquille O’Neal career 3-pt shooting percentage.

You have to aim for the far post to put it inside the close one, and basically into the far corner to hit the far side. Your wrists have to be stiff as stone, your timing has to be perfect, your blade flat. You need the pass to be near-perfect too.

On this goal, Kopitar starts the play, and looks like he’s about to be rubbed out by Devils captain Zach Parise. He basically gives Parise the “get off me” motion, out-muscles him to create an extra foot of space, and gets a rocket pass from Dustin Brown after a slick drop by Justin Williams.

The puck isn’t even flat when it gets to Kopitar (it’s actually in the air a bit), who says “meh,” and buries it under the bar, over the sliding Brodeur.

It’s a thing of beauty, and far too few people appreciate the difficulty of that finish. I’m guessing about 3-5% of NHLers finish that play. We’re getting into the thousandths column after the decimal with your rec league buddies on a bullet pass.

Here it is in full: Anze Kopitar is good.

Comments (5)

  1. Im not saying that Kopitar didn’t put that exactly where he wanted. But I think there’s a decent amount of chance involved. Especially cause of the puck not being flat. That could have easily been a missed shot, with Kopitar doing absolutely everything the same.

  2. Great article Bourne! I spit out my beer when I saw this goal in real time & couldn’t find words after I watched the reply again and again. The cross zone wrister of a pass (listen to the sound of the boards, that pass was coming in hot), the get off me by Kopitar, Justin Williams deads that puck & one touch drop, Brown saucer into space – and the all world finish by Kopitar, sick. Best goal of the entire playoffs.

  3. Great analysis of a fantastic finish to an amazing play! (Superlative tank meter: empty) But what exactly do you mean by “off-hand”? Isnt Kopitar a lefty, as in left hand low? It doesnt’ look to me like a backhand, nor a Gordie-Howe-switch-hands-midplay thing …what am I missing?

    • off-hand means that his stick side wasn’t on the side boards. LW = right-handed, RW = left-handed.

    • Yeah, he’s a lefty on the left side of th eice. But, that’s not the side you’d normally want to be on for a one-timer. Way easier for a lefty to make a one timer from the right side. So, in this case, him being on the left is “off” for this shot.

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