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Afternoon Analysis

Afternoon Analysis: Toe-Drags and Follow-Throughs

I have found that I really like highlighting a couple of different play each day, and the video available has thus far been accomodating of my whims. Today will be no different, as I found a couple of good points to make from the Anaheim-New Jersey game.

The first play is a cautionary tale for defensemen, with the moral of the story being that you should watch the man and not the puck. On this particular play, David Clarkson of the Devils picks up the puck off of a broken play in the neutral zone and enters the Ducks’ zone with speed. Clarkson, moving from the far side into the middle, is nearly intercepted by James Wiesniewski of the Ducks, who is converging from the near side into the center of the ice.

Clarkson, to his credit, makes a nice toe-drag move that catches a little too much of Wiesniewski’s eye. With Wiesniewski following the puck, Clarkson is able to side-step the defender and snap a quick shot past Jonas Hiller. I am sure Wiesniewski knows better, but the fact is he was beat by a slight of hand move when even a little contact would have negated Clarkson’s chance. As soon as Wiesniewski looked at the puck, it was all over.

The second play is for the forwards and features a simple tip to add some numbers to your stats. On this play, Zach Parise takes advantage of an Anaheim miscue and ends up with a short-handed breakaway. He gets in a little close to Hiller and gets off some kind of shot, which doesn’t fool the Ducks’ keeper.

What should be noted is that instead of shooting and peeling off like an X-Wing pilot (I’m looking at you Biggs), Parise follows the puck to the net and gets an ugly goal. He didn’t use any special talent or skills, he just kept on the puck and was rewarded with a lucky bounce. That being said, if he had skated into the corner, luck wouldn’t have found him.

I am guilty of this move about 98% of the time, hoping to catch the eye of the fans with my graceful turning ability. The lesson here is to be more like Parise and less like Rusty. Go to the net and good things happen, even if you don’t really deserve them.