Shout out to a Shootout
I've never been a big fan of the NHL shootout format.
To me, it's a cheesy gimmick to decide a hockey game; especially when important play-off points are on the line. But since most people get a kick out of it and it seems to be here to stay, players might as well get creative when taking part in the breakaway contest; something we definitely saw in Monday's shootout between the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators. During his turn in the spotlight Ottawa's Kaspars Daugavins really put on a show, placing the toe of his stick blade on the puck and moving in for the kill. But while he came close to scoring, the puck stayed out of the net, the Bruins ended up winning the shootout, and some people are now accusing Daugavins of being a hot dog.
I know the feeling.
Playing pick-up hockey, I've actually used this same move lots of times. Unfortunately I haven't scored too many goals because, even though we're supposed to be playing non-contact hockey, the opposing team always gets upset with the showboating routine and hammers me before I can even think about staring down the goalie. In fact, at one weekly shinny game I used to play in for years, the showboat-hammer routine became a regular part of the deal. I got a big kick out of being chased around the ice, and my buddies got a huge thrill from smashing me into the boards.
With that said, I've always been surprised that an NHL'er hasn't used the 'toe blade on puck' trick during a shootout. I once saw Gordie Howe use the move in a charity hockey game and, unlike my pathetic attempts, none of the players chasing Mr. Hockey could get the puck from him, as Howe's combination of strength and skill made it impossible. You'd think guys like Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos could have the same success, especially in a shootout, and be able to finish off the play that Daugevins almost completed.
Even if they also come up empty, watching guys try different things during a shootout is definitely fun to watch.