The Winnipeg Jets couldn’t quite figure out which moves to use against Reto Berra and the Calgary Flames last night during a marathon eight-round shootout, but that’s likely because there weren’t any left after Blake Wheeler used them all. There was a little bit of everything in this dandy maneuver.
We’ve seen the same move utilized by Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks on various shootout attempts.
So maybe it looks a little bit slicker when Kane does it. That’s not surprising considering he’s one of the top stickhandlers in the NHL. What is surprising is that more players don’t use the gear shift as a move in and of itself.
You’ll notice that Wheeler puts on the brakes right as he’s getting to the faceoff circles. This forces the netminder to react, since he’s been moving backwards and trying to match the pace of the incoming shooter. When the shooter suddenly slows down, the goalie must compensate (or, go from feeling the shootout to thinking the shootout) and it isn’t unusual for the player to be able to take advantage as the goalie tries to find his angle again.
Throwing the entire kitchen sink of lateral dangles is the perfect way to seal the deal since the netminder is worried about his North-South movement after the shooter pulls the E-brake. Good stuff here by Wheeler. Too bad it wasn’t quite good enough to get Winnipeg the W.