Saturday, 31 March 2012

NHL top ten goals review, 3/30/12 edition

- A lot of these goals are produced from sweet backhand passes. Stapleton to Maxwell (10), Ennis to Stafford (9), Crosby to Cooke (6), Zetterberg to Holmstrom (3), and Spezza to Turris (1) all used backhand passes. It always lets guys reach around the defence and get the puck in front of the net.

- The goalie-dekes also mostly end in backhand shots, but those are getting "ordinary" at this point -- players all need quick hands to pull these off, but a lot of players have learned those moves for shootout purposes. The real skill is that guys can lean one way and change skating-direction fast enough for the goalie to fall for it.

- Grabovski and Holmstrom both get credit for picking corners. Dekes always dominate these best-goals lists, and they both sort of had open nets, but they were both managed to take good shots -- Holmstrom even bounces the water bottle. That kind of stuff makes goals happen even without a perfect setup.

- Ryder (7), Perron (5), Grabovski and Spezza all deserve credit for just being faster than the defence. Spezza, in particular, accelerates from a sorta-fixed position and blows past Jim Slater's check completely. Leblanc (8) and Koivu (2) look like they just caught the defence on a line change, whereas Ryder actually walks through the defence because he catches them standing still.

- The best goal here is probably #3, Zetterberg to Holmstrom. It's a powerplay against the Blue Jackets, sure, but Zetterberg shows a ton of vision, catching a surprise pass from the point and remembering the "map" to know where Holmstrom was and draw off both defencemen. The between-the-legs pass isn't just a hot-dog move; it's the legitimate quickest way to hit an open man put the goalie out of position.

Brendan doesn't make enough backhand passes in Saturday ball hockey. He might be cheering for the Red Wings again this year.

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