Center Ice Goals
Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen a massive influx of goals being scored from or behind the redline. And that got me thinking, “What’s the deal?”
First we have Dennis Seidenberg scoring from center ice on Craig Anderson and the Ottawa Senators on January 31st:
On February 9th, just a little over a week later, Dustin Byfuglien scored from center ice on Washington Capitals goaltender Tomas Vokoun.
Finally, tuesday night against the Capitals again (this time AHL call-up Braden Holtby was in net) Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks was able to get his stick on a slapper from Dan Boyle behind the red line.
On the Seidenberg goal, it just looked like a rocket that was misplayed by Anderson. In the case of the other two goals, they were rockets as well, but at least they were hopping around on the ice. Tough plays or not, generally speaking goals from beyond the blue line rarely go in, double true for shots from center ice. So what IS the deal?
I wish I had an answer! Unpreparedness? Farsightedness? Daydreaming? I can’t say, but it is strange that in 3 weeks the NHL has seen 3 goals scored from the middle of the ice.
It came to me tuesday night while watching the Phoenix Coyotes play the Vancouver Canucks in Vancouver: The Coyotes are shooting themselves in the foot.
First off, they play in the desert and their fan base consists of Phoenixians (there’s no way I’m calling them fucking ‘Phoenicians’) and the rest of Arizona. So 6,482,505 conservative descendants of the ‘wild west’. Call me judgemental, but how many of those people are actually going to root for a guy named Lauri or a goalie named LaBarbera? Few, if any. Who would you rather have on your side in a knife fight, Lauri Korpikoski, Jason LaBarbera, Kyle Chipchura, Keith Yandle, Raffi Torres, Rostislav Klesla, David Schlemko, and Radim Vrbata or Michael Del Zotto, Dan Girardi, Ryan Callahan, Brad Richards, and Henrick Lundqvist? The answer seems pretty clear.
It is also important to take into account the product the Coyotes are producing. They play a tight, defensive game where the goal is to create turnovers that lead to a rush and few risks are taken. Translation: Boring. Sorry, but it’s true! Not to say they aren’t good at it(the Canucks average 30.9 shots per game but were out-shot tuesday by the Coyotes 24-22, getting just 2 shots in the 3rd) but it’s hard to tell when you’re lulled to sleep by the sound of dudes pinned against the boards and dudes turning around in their own zone to wait for the perfect play.
So what’s the deal, Phoenix Coyotes? If you want to move, then keep doing what you’re doing. Unless the richest sand baron in all of Arizona buys the team or you sign a star player with a real name and make your game more exciting, then you are destined to toil in uncertain mediocrity. Hot-ass desert uncertain mediocrity.