Welcome to the cyberspace spotlight, Kaspars Daugavins.
For a guy who has scored exactly zero goals in 17 games this season, the Senators fourth line winger was trending all over the hockey world late Monday night and early Tuesday morning for his unique – and ultimately failed – shootout attempt during the Senators’ 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins.
For those who didn’t see it on your late-night highlight shows or on YouTube, Daugavins’ effort sparked a lively discussion on the validity of the move.
Here’s the explanation: Daugavins put the tip of his stick on the puck and slid it all the way down the ice. As he neared Rask, he spun around, the puck still on the tip of stick, and attempted to tuck the puck inside the post. Rask did the splits, kicking out his left skate to keep the puck out of the net.
Rask’s save, coupled with David Krejci’s winning shot seconds later against Senators netminder Robin Lehner, turned out to be the difference in the game.
Daugavins has used the move successfully before, including in the American Hockey League, winning a game with the move while with the Binghamton Senators two seasons ago.
“It has worked every time, against the goalies who have never seen it, so (fellow Senators players) told me to do it,” he said.
Senators coach Paul MacLean says he had no clue what Daugavins was up to.
“My initial reaction when the stick went down was ‘buckle up, I don’t know what’s happening’. But then he’s Latvian…it was very entertaining,” said MacLean. “I hadn’t seen it before, but apparently, there is some history there. And there’s a history of success there.”
MacLean says he had no issue with the unique attempt.
“He had an opportunity to score, didn’t he? My only question was is it legal? Apparently, it is. He’s trying to do what he can to score a goal.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien had no problems with Daugavins’ attempt, but Krejci wasn’t impressed.
“I wouldn’t like it if someone on my team tried that move,” he said.
Senators winger Guillaume Latendresse, who scored his first goal with the Senators earlier in the game, was also caught off guard by the originality of Daugavins’ move.
“I had never seen it before,” said Latendresse. “He was explaining it to me on the bench and then (MacLean) called for him to shoot and he said to me, ‘I will show you’. It was gutsy, but it was pretty close.”
My two cents?
Considering that neither team seemed very interested in winning the game in regulation time – the final five minutes of regulation was dreadfully boring as the clubs played extremely conservative in order to protect the one point they were guaranteed – the move provided some entertainment at the tail end of the night.
Let’s remember that the NHL introduced that shootout as a gimmick following the previous lockout in order to keep fans in the seats to the very end.
Daugavins certainly did that. And he has made a name for himself in the process.
TOUGH BLOW FOR KELLY
As is usually the case when players are injured following hits, a faction of fans are seething.
Yet by and large the Bruins saw Chris Neil’s leg on leg hit on Chris Kelly – Kelly was helped off the ice – as an unfortunate, but accidental hit. Bruins coach Claude Julien wasn’t asking for any discipline against Neil.
The two players are close – they were among the small group of players who skated together in Ottawa during the lockout – and Neil was attempting to talk to Kelly following the game. Neil didn’t talk to reporters.
“The two guys are pretty good buddies off the ice,” said Chris Phillips, another rmember of the lockout skating group. “It’s not that he’s not going to try and hit him, but I saw the replay, I actually think (Neil) tried to step back. He certainly wasn’t leading with his knee there.”
MAKING THEIR POINT
Ten of the Senators past 11 games have been decided by one goal, with the Senators posting a record of 6-2-3 and 15 points during that span. Six of those 11 games have gone to either overtime or shootout, with the Senators winning three of them. MacLean was complimentary about what his team accomplished Monday.
“I thought we did a lot of things right, playing against that team for as long as we did tonight and having an opportunity to win. We competed from start to finish and we were very deserving of a point, if not more,” he said.
“They’re a very good team. I’m very pleased with the game. I don’t think we salvaged a point. We earned a point.”
9-1-3: Senators home record
9-1-2: Bruins road record
7-5-5: Senators record in one-goal games
8-1-3: Bruins record in one-goal games
2-2-4: Senators record when tied after two periods
8-1-0: Bruins record when tied after two periods
3-3: Senators shootout record
3-1: Bruins shootout record
15: Months between goals for Guillaume Latendresse, whose previous goal came Dec. 11, 2011.
21: Kyle Turris goalless streak, which ended Monday