Linus Omark has been a household name among the hockey community for some time since his dazzling shooutout goal against Switzerland in an exhibition game became a youtube sensation. It was a move that no one had seen before, just a slight flick of the puck over the sprawling goalie who could only watch as it floated over him, hit the crossbar and fall down just across the line.
Yesterday, Omark made his NHL debut for the Edmonton Oilers against the Tampa Bay Lightning and, of course, the game went to a shootout.
Omark already had an assist in the game on the powerplay, something he has been known to do well on, so everyone waited with baited breath for something amazing in the shootout.
And they weren't disappointed.
Omark came in with a rush of speed, ready to gather the puck up, but was stopped by the linesman because the officials weren't ready yet.
Usually, that would be enough to shake the confidence of a young player in their first game, but not Omark.
After getting the go ahead this time, Omark came in again with speed, picked up the puck and did a spinorama before he hit the blue line. He then faked a slap shot and neatly tucked the puck in between the legs of Dan Ellis to win the shootout.
It wasn't the most beautiful move, but it was different. And that is exactly what Omark brings: something different.
Was it cheeky? Yes. Was it cocky? Of course.
Was it disrespectful? I don't know about that.
The Lightning made it clear in their post game interviews that they were not happy about the move. Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said, "Our guys won't say anything, but they will remember." That may be scary, except for the fact that these two teams don't play each other again until next season (barring a miracle run for both to the Stanley Cup Finals).
Martin St Louis called it a "slap in the face," which seems a little hypocritical coming from a guy who skated backwards in a shoot out attempt and backhanded the puck past Marc- Andre Fleury of the Penguins.
What about Mike Ribeiro's cheeky through his legs, one handed shootout attempt? I don't remember there being much fuss about that?
What seems to be the issue here is that Omark is a rookie, in his first game no less, who tried something out of the ordinary to win the game for his teammates. I can see why the Lightning would be mad about losing, considering they dominated the Oilers in the third period, but this is being a sore loser at its finest.
Omark didn't do anything disrespectful. It was a neat play to try to throw off the goalie to win a game.
Had he done it in a blow out, sure. Or had he taunted the Lightning bench after, ok I can see that being disrespectful. But I see nothing wrong with a rookie showing a little confidence (even cockiness), in his first game to try and win it.
In fact, that is damn impressive.
But maybe I'm just being disrespectful.