Everybody has probably been watching a game in the playoffs this year screaming at your TV for the player to shoot the puck. But they don’t. They pass it around, cross ice, back to the point, behind the net, side boards, then finally rip the shot into someone’s shinpads or get stripped of the puck. Why? If all of us know they should shoot, why do these professional players not realize that you can’t score if you don’t fire it to the net. Some may argue that players are too unselfish these days. Some may say everyone wants the highlight reel goal. They may be right, but here is my theory.
I think that the goalies are so good now that the players are giving them too much respect. It is in their heads that they are not going to beat these guys with a simple shot on goal. They need the perfect play, cross crease, no chance for the goalie, in order to score. I am not saying the goalies are not good, in fact, I have never seen the likes of the caliber of play that these goalies are bringing every night before, but they are not indestructible.
The simple fact is this. Dirty goals win games, especially in the playoffs. The best way to slip one by these guys is to throw it at the net, screen them, tip it, jam home a rebound. Stop playing hot potatoe and just throw it in there and crash the net. You don’t have to interfere, just be ready to bounce on a loose puck out front.
It may not make the highlight reel, but it may win you a Stanley Cup.