Hello everybody! Hope everyone’s Christmas season is going well! It’s been a while since I last posted but I just had to share a quick post on this.
Last night, the Tampa Bay Lightning journeyed into Edmonton to take on the Oilers at Rexall Place. I was able to watch the second half of the game and from the half I saw, Edmonton owed their goaltender, Nikolai Khabibulin, a huge steak dinner. The Lightning pressed like mad in the 3rd and eventually tied it up. Khabibulin came up with some amazing play to keep the game tied going into the overtime, and eventually the shootout. The shots on goal were 17-1 in favor of Tampa Bay. Going into the shootout, the 3rd shot for Edmonton fell to Linus Omark, a rookie playing in his first ever NHL game. There are no words for his attempt, so I’ll let this video do the justice:
When he took his shot, I just looked at my wife and said, “wow.” It truly was an amazing goal. I watched a few replays and then eventually stopped thinking about it before I went to bed. The surprise came this morning when getting my daily hockey news updates. I came across this little gem from the St. Petersburg Times. By itself, it’s a typical game recap with a few odd quotes from the players, but what struck me were the quotes from several Lightning players basically alluding to Omark’s goal being unsportsmanlike.
“A … joke,” left wing Ryan Malone said.
Asked if it was disrespectful, defenseman Mattias Ohlund said, “Absolutely.”
“It’s embarrassing for him,” Ellis said. “You come into a league, a respectful league like this, and you try a little move like that. It’s not a very classy thing. That’s just the kind of person he is.”
“If anyone did that on our team,” Ohlund said of Omark’s showboating, “the guys would tell him not to do it anymore.”
When Omark was asked about the goal, I think he had as appropriate an answer as I could have hoped for.
“That’s my thing. I like to do it for the crowd,” Omark said. “I do stuff like that. Why should I stop at this level?”
You all know I hate the shootout to begin with, in respect to how much value it has on standings. I won’t get on a soapbox about it (for my wife’s sake) but I simply feel that a team effort through 65 minutes shouldn’t be decided by a skills competition with 3 shooters and a goalie, no more than a basketball game should be decided by a slam-dunk competition or a
boring baseball game decided by a home run derby.
My personal thoughts on this shootout? Piss off, to all of you Tampa Bay players. The shootout is a skills competition, plain and simple. One of the more cliche sports quotes is that you “do what it takes to win.” Which is exactly what Omark did. As for Ohlund’s remarks, I cry shenanigans. If Stamkos or any of the other wealth of skilled players on their roster had attempted this move and won, the article would have been buzzing with praise from his teammates. And rightly so.
Agree? Disagree? Hit dem comments below.
See you tonight at the Bridge!