Cue the evil villain music. Thomas Vanek of the Buffalo Sabres sank to a new low tonight when he scored a goal with his stick between his legs. This clearly is in violation of the NHL’s unwritten code that is enforced by the likes of Adam Oates and the rest of the Washington Capitals.
Hasn’t Vanek been paying attention at all this week? Scoring goals like this just puts a bulls-eye on your back. Why show off the skill you’ve been developing since your were two years old by scoring a flashy goal when the opportunity presents itself? Oates is of the opinion that it’s disrespectful to the game. At least that’s how he felt about Tomas Hert’s similar marker.
The game and the code. Ah, the good ol’ code.
Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington quoted the coach of the Caps, who is apparently one of the keepers of this code, which is clearly some sort of Illuminati-like group. He had this to say about Hertl’s tally against the New York Rangers:
I’m upset. I was just talking to George [McPhee] and he said all the kids do that nowadays, which I understand. But would he have done it on his first goal? He hasn’t scored yet tonight and he gets a breakaway, is he going to do that on his breakaway? We’ll see.
I think it was a little bit of a mood thing, which I’m sure they talked about, because they didn’t play him after that. I’m glad the coach did that because this league, it will bite you if you’re not sharp. Don’t disrespect the league. I’m sure it was a rookie mistake.”
Great move, don’t get me wrong — it’s a shootout move or something, and it’s great. I’m glad the way San Jose treated it. As long as he doesn’t disrespect the league. The league’s hard.
Washington center Brooks Laich also chimed in about Hertl’s cheeky between-the-legs goal:
You tell me that if the Sharks are down 2-1 and he tries that [move] and he doesn’t pull it off, he goes back to the bench and the coach is going to go, ‘Nice try? He’s going to say, ‘Shoot the puck in the net like a man does.’
Yeah, Tomas. Shoot the puck like a man does. No need to flash that kind of skill when you’re joining the likes of Pat LaFontaine, Mats Sundin and Sergei Fedorov as owners of a four-goal game. Keep yourself in check when you score four goals in your third NHL game with your mother, girlfriend and sister crying tears of joy in the stands as the arena chants your name.
In fact, do everything you can to be just as joyless and out of love with the game of hockey as the likes of Oates and Laich. Just shoot it into the goalies pads, skate back to the bench and quietly chew on your mouth guard.
Which brings us back to Vanek and his tally against the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight. What kind of nerve did he have to score like this?
With all the hoopla surrounding Hertl’s goal, to go out and make the same move was tasteless, and Vanek should be suspended for his actions. With the NHL’s track record on punishing excessive talent-showers, fans shouldn’t hold their breath though. It’s likely that Vanek will be available for Buffalo’s next time; a slap in the face to the classy folks in the NHL like Adam Oates.
Just wait until he gets a loud of this one. The Code Keepers are going to throw a fit.