NHL Video: Linus Omark and The Top 5 Goals, Saves, and Hits Of The Week
What a week it was in the NHL.
Sidney Crosby taking his scoring-at-will to a level seldom seen in this era, Tim Thomas continuing his unconscious play while still looking like he has no idea what he's doing between the pipes, and Toronto Maple Syrup, er, Leafs fans showing their displeasure with waffle-throwing at the end of the game.
Then there was Darren Pang.
And of course, we can't forget Matt Carkner taking the phrase "blood, sweat and tears" to a whole new level as he turned the New York Rangers bench into a splash zone, with no prior warning. No word on what was said to him during the game, but here's assuming he was told more than once to flick off.
Yes, we saw it all this week, as it proved to be one of the more entertaining ones of the year. A unique seven days as well, as one of the more detested aspects of hockey takes center stage.
Eat your heart out, shootout haters.
Here are the top five goals, saves, and hits of the past week.
GOALS: 5. Stephen Weiss' Delicious Overtime Goal
From skate to stick to the back of the net.
It's just too bad it looks like it was taped in the basement of an old warehouse, with your grandfather's old camera, but hey, we'll take it, and it's not like anyone in Florida was watching anyway.
Stephen Weiss pots the overtime winner with style, though the best part of the whole ordeal may have been the call by the play-by-play guy.
"Winner, winner, chicken dinner."
Well done, and I don't mean the chicken.
4. Sweet Santorelli Snipe
You've probably never heard of Mike Santorelli (and I'm talking to you, Florida Panther fans) but after this sneaky move around most of the population of Washington, there's a good bet you know him well now.
Santorelli decided to take matters into his own hands, as Mr. Lucky 13 used his slick moves to dipsy-doodle around the defense before sliding it into the net and sending the Capitals faithful home early.
The move was nice, yes, but you can bet Steve Bernier, who was standing on an island alone in front, was slightly ticked he didn't receive the pass to deposit in the net himself—but that's the kind of respect you get in the NHL when you wear a full face mask.
No love for the cage.
3. Rick Nash Does It Again
As if Rick Nash didn't have enough highlight-reel goals, he gave us another one for the video scrapbook against the New York Rangers on Saturday night.
Nash has this funny little ability to be better than everybody else on the ice, and the fact that he's a monster of a human being makes him generally impossible to stop.
It usually helps when your goalie isn't halfway to the bench when the opponent's best player is sprung on the breakaway, but the situation just made Nash's move all the more sweeter.
2. Grabovski Spin-O-Rama
He gave all the credit to Jason Blake, but he also punched Blake in the face during practice two years ago, so we now have no idea what their relationship really was like. All we know is Mikhail Grabovski managed to learn at least one thing from his former teammate.
Which is a good thing, because the last time he learned something from former teammates, it was how to detest the lives of two brothers. Twins, if I recall.
As you can tell, Grabovski is a friendly guy. Unless you play on his team, of course.
1. Linus The Living Legend
This goal brought a tear to my eye, taking me back my younger days, watching a young Charlie Conway (Joshua Jackson) and his misfit teammates in the Disney classic The Mighty Ducks.
Linus Omark was a YouTube sensation before he made his debut, but on Friday night in Edmonton he became a shootout legend in the NHL.
It was so cool that it didn't feel real—a move you'd only expect to see in the movies, not on the biggest stage at the most crucial moment.
The spin-o-rama right off the bat was completely useless in terms of scoring, but it's that added flair that had fans screaming before he had even taken the shot. The fake slapshot to the cheeky snap shot through the five-hole was pure, buttery goodness.
Though it doesn't take much to beat a Lightning goaltender these days, we're still glad he went all out on this one.
You're not human if you didn't watch it at least 23 times in a row.
It's the kind of goal that makes you want to watch the next Edmonton Oilers game, and pray for a shootout. Some will scoff at this display of artistry on ice and say the game is not about the showboating and spin-o-ramas, but they've missed the point completely.
Hate all you want, but for the 17,000 or so fans in the building, and the millions who bombarded Twitter, YouTube and other Internet sites with "DID YOU SEE THAT!" comments, well, we beg to differ.
And last night the game was "sold" better than any advertisement could ever do.
This goal was pure awesome.
Unless you're a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, in which case, put a sock in it. Whiners.
SAVES: 5. King Henrik
Insult to injury on this save, or rather insult to embarrassment.
It wasn't enough to continue the Washington Capitals losing ways as they've clearly forgotten how to win, but Henrik Lundqvist had to flash out the glove and snare a sure goal out of the air.
As glove saves, go it's pretty nice, and the fact that it was at the end of a 7-0 game, in which the only thing Lundqvist was saving was his shutout, the selfishness has to be appreciated.
4. Nikolai Khabibulin With an Incredible Skate Save in Shootout
When in doubt, stick a pad out.
Never more has this saying been taken to heart than with Edmonton goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin in the shootout against the Anaheim Ducks.
With the dangerous Corey Perry bearing down and cutting across the crease, the Bulin Wall sticks out his leg in desperation and gives the crowd something to cheer about.
Avoiding the term "robbery" is probably best for Khabibulin and his current legal issues (no need to raise any more suspicion on the poor guy), but however you describe it, it certainly deserves a nod as one of the week's best.
3. Jonas Gustavsson Sticks It to Washington
After being down 4-1 to the Washington Capitals on Monday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs made a monstrous comeback, scoring three times in the third period and forcing the game into overtime.
And eventual shootout was needed, and after making the first save against shooter Alex Ovechkin, Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson gives us this gem of a save with the paddle, as he lunges back across the net and robs rookie Mathieu Perreault.
It might be too cliche to say it was a "Monster" of a save, but fitting nonetheless.
2. Andrew Raycroft No Love for Carolina
Andrew Raycroft often finds himself on the end of a good joke, a living punch line, but as the former Rookie of the Year continues to get signed by teams using the I-won-the-Calder-Trophy excuse, he occasionally has a moment of brilliance such as this.
And pardon the three-fingered salute that momentarily blocks the screen, though it's ironic in that with this overtime magic, Raycroft is giving a similar finger salute to all Leaf fans who continue to hate on him.
"That brings them to their feet, at American Airlines Center."
The play-by-play gentleman was awfully generous when he used the term "them," seeing as describing the number of fans in the building with a plural would be lying.
But alas, they can still dare to dream in Dallas.
1. Kiprusoff Steals One
Miikka Kiprusoff is no stranger to great saves, but against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night he made a stick save worthy of a crown.
Jarret Stoll had a wide open net; a gaping, empty six-by-four calling his name, yet he could not beat Kipper on this night.
Kiprusoff truly stole this goal from Stoll. Sorry, I had to.
But cheesy one-liners aside, there is no doubt this 10-beller is the save of the week.
As fine a save as you'll ever see, indeed.
HITS: 5. Jim Vandermeer Gives Fans a Close-Up
Fans pay big money to sit front row at a hockey game, but they don't necessarily expect to have to pay big money to get their front teeth replaced after the game, too—but that's what happens when a giant pane of glass is thrust into your face.
Thankfully no one was actually hurt, as the glass innocently fell back onto the ice, but when Jim Vandermeer thundered Tomas Kopecky into the boards on Tuesday night, you can bet those fortunate enough to sit up close wished they'd spent a little less on tickets, even if just for a moment.
Sure, they're smiling after the fact, but I bet if we had a super-slow-motion shot of the fans' faces during the hit, there would be signs of agony, pain and horror.
To borrow a line from Eminem, "I guess that's why they call it window pain."
4. Punishing Parros
Alex Bolduc got a little too testy on this play as he fired one of the toughest guys in the NHL, George Parros, into the boards from a terrible angle.
Bolduc may want to stick to hitting guys who aren't likely to kill him in his sleep, as Parros is a beast in every sense of the word.
Though he had to answer for his hit, you can bet that the next time the Ducks and Canucks meet up Parros will probably bring up the incident, and want to serve his own payback.
And when that happens, Bolduc will understand why no one, and I mean no one, even goes as far as making fun of Parros' mustache.
That is a scary, scary man.
3. OV Train
Alex Ovechkin does more than just score goals, we know this.
He's been known to throw the odd massive hit and keep his opponents aware of him on the ice, but there are times when he slightly crosses the line as this hit was entirely unnecessary...though it sent a message, that's for sure.
Ovechkin came flying in the zone and stuck the hip out just a little, which had the New York Rangers fuming mad.
It led to Ovechkin partaking in his second career fight, and judging by the score of the game, he was the only member of his team who did any of that on this night.
2. Poni Express
Greg Zanon never really saw this coming, but all of a sudden he found himself hovering through the air before crashing against the boards at a most awkward angle.
All thanks to Alex Ponikarovski.
The whole thing started a scrum, as per usual these days, but it was a fine hit and one that surely made the game a whole lot more exciting than it was before.
And if you don't know what I'm talking about, watch a Minnesota Wild game. Then you'll know.
And bring your pillow.
1. Too Much Tootoo
If your mother saw this hit, she would do that motherly covering of her mouth in shock before uttering "how do they just do that to each other?".
It's hockey, mom. Duh.
Jordin Tootoo is a machine, and though he's often criticized for being a dirty player and running guys illegally, the guy can flat-out change a game with one single blow.
He gets all of Michael Frolik on this hit, and then some. The hit had such force that Frolik does a full spin in the air and then flips over on his head.
It sort of looked like when there's a glitch in EA Sports NHL 06, when your player gets hit along the boards and goes into full flailing that-isn't-possible mode.
Oh, it's possible. Just ask Mr. Frolik.
Though, he probably doesn't remember much about the occasion.