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How It Happened: Spurgeon OT Winner in Nashville

Jared Spurgeon scored 2:36 into overtime on Tuesday night, giving the Wild a 3-2 victory against the Predators in Nashville. Let’s take a look at the goal and break it down.
Here is the play in it’s entirety:

Posted Image

Keys to this play:
  • Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk actually starts this play by smartly stopping the puck behind the Wild net for Charlie Coyle. This relieved Coyle of being pressured by the forecheck of Nashville’s #9 Filip Forsberg.
  • Recognizing Coyle is going to retrieve the puck, the Wild’s Jordan Schroeder makes a quick power turn at the face-off dot, which starts his momentum for the breakout pass. Spurgeon also executes a “Turn & burn,” and takes off down the left wing.
  • Nashville forechecker #33 Colin Wilson gets caught in no-man’s land. In swinging down almost to the hash mark, he is not low enough to defend Coyle, and is a split-second late in anticipating the pass to Schroeder.
    Attached Image: image.jpeg
  • Schroeder’s power turn towards the boards, combined with Wilson’s position off the left post, left a wide open lane for Coyle to head-man the puck to Schroeder.
  • Coyle’s quick pass to Schroeder catches Wilson out of position. Spurgeon breaking down the left wing has created a two-on-one that started all the way back in the Wild’s defensive zone. Transition hockey at its finest.
    Attached Image: image.jpeg
  • Perds defenseman Roman Josi leaves just enough space for Schroeder to thread a pass across to Spurgeon. Boom. Eleven.
Here is another look from behind the Perds’ net.

Posted Image

Goalies are so good these days, it is very difficult to beat a goalie with a straight-up shot. So, attackers often focus on getting goalies to move. For a goalie to move side-to-side, he must push off one skate while pointing the other skate in the direction he wants to go. In other words, for a goalie to move laterally, he must open his legs. Here is a good illustration:
Attached Image: image.jpeg

So how did that puck actually go in?

Posted Image

Pekka Rinne’s right leg comes up off the ice just enough to let Spurgeon’s one-timer slide under his pad.

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7 Comments

LimestoneBaggy
Dec 28 2016 09:38 AM

Doubles. Do you think Spurgeon was trying to go low? To the unwashed and uninformed about hockey (never played), it looks like he's trying to go high and misses? I'm basing my (most likely mistaken) belief on him going down to a knee and it looks like he's trying to tilt the blade up and get underneath (but admittedly, that upper hand is staying closed). Thoughts?

 

By the way, love the breakdown.

    • Doubles likes this

Fun post - I particularly enjoyed the no-look pass by Schroeder.

 

Very crisp pass - Spurgeon did well to score there.

    • Doubles and LimestoneBaggy like this

When Schroeder makes the pass, Pekka Rinne actually goes glove up to cover the short corner before seeing it is a pass rather than a shot. That was enough to not allow him to get his pads down when sliding over.

 

Bang, bang, bang ... he scores!

    • Doubles and LimestoneBaggy like this

I'd be interested in a goalie's perspective here. Is there a way that Rinne can extend his leg without lifting the pad? If he just slid over, he'd have stayed tight to the ice, but risked a shot to the corner. 

    • Doubles likes this

 

Doubles. Do you think Spurgeon was trying to go low? To the unwashed and uninformed about hockey (never played), it looks like he's trying to go high and misses? I'm basing my (most likely mistaken) belief on him going down to a knee and it looks like he's trying to tilt the blade up and get underneath (but admittedly, that upper hand is staying closed). Thoughts?

 

By the way, love the breakdown.

Thanks for the kind words, LB.

 

I can't say for sure where Spurge was trying to put that shot.  The pass from Schroeder was a bit out in front of Spurge, which caused him to extend out front and go down on one knee.  The pass wasn't perfect, and for a smaller guy, required even more of an adjustment on Spurge's part to get anything on that shot at all.  Brings to mind the adage, "No such thing as a bad pass to a good hockey player."  Spurge made a really tough play look relatively easy.  

 

Rinne's lateral movement was not real fluid here-  you can see his right pad initially hits the ice, but then comes up momentarily, almost as if it bounced off the ice- in just enough time for the puck to slide under his pad. 

 

I think you're right, LB.  If I had to guess, I would think Spurge was trying to go high.  Watching the clip, Rinne would have had pretty good coverage on the bottom part of the net had his pad not bounced.  Looked like there may have been some room up top.

    • LimestoneBaggy likes this
terrydactyls
Dec 29 2016 06:04 AM

 

I'd be interested in a goalie's perspective here. Is there a way that Rinne can extend his leg without lifting the pad? If he just slid over, he'd have stayed tight to the ice, but risked a shot to the corner. 

Back when I was playing (I still play but the flexibility disappeared sometime during my 60's), we would stack the pads on a play like this.That would allow the goalie to probably make the initial save, but he would be in a tough position if there was a rebound.I still stack the pads and find that move pretty effective.

    • Doubles and Mike Berg like this

That's awesome, terry!  Love me a two-pad stack!