November 19, 2011

Oh, What A Miss!! A Look Back on the NHL's Should Have... Could Have

Craig Smith’s rookie season with the Predators so far has been little short of spectacular but last night he had a moment to regret as he put a puck into the crowd with the oppositions netminder pulled and gaping twine in front of him. Hell, even the arena’s goal buzzer and spotlight staff gave the goal before they realised what he had actually done. By everyone in the arena’s reactions I don’t think anyone knew he had missed apart from the player himself and the section of the crowd who ended up with the puck. Thankfully for Smith the game was already won and the miss won’t go down as anything other than an amazing miss from a player who has been outstanding so far this season.

However, looking back at some of the greatest misses of all time – certain players have missed with more dramatic circumstances.

Esa Tikkanen – Washington Capitals 1998 Stanley Cup Final
It was game 2 and the Caps were leading the Red Wings 4-3 with 10 minutes left in the 3rd as Tikkanen broke in on Osgood, faked a slap shot and rounded the diving netminder. He left himself a wide open net to slide the puck into but managed to put it back across the crease and wide of the far post. Later in the period Doug Brown stole a puck and put it top shelf on Kolzig from close range to send the game into an OT period. Kris Draper was the hero winning the game for Detroit to give them a 2-0 series lead. Detroit went on to sweep the Caps 4-0 to win the Stanley Cup.

Patrick Stefan – Dallas Stars V Edmonton Oilers 2007
Dallas may have gone on to win this game via a shootout but by god they should have sealed it well before then. The chance for Bergeron fanned on the puck at his blue line and Stefan bore down on an empty net. He casual skated into the crease and allowed the puck to move from forehand to back hand to tap the puck into the net. However, he somehow missed the puck, slid into the corner and allowed the Oilers to break away with only 10 seconds left. A hail mary pass out of the zone and a deflection by Ryan Smyth sent Alex Hemsky in on Marty Turco who showed Stefan how to go forehand / backhand as he levelled the game at 5-5 with 2 seconds of the game left.

Glen Wesley – Boston Bruins 1990 Stanley Cup Final
The Bruins defenseman had a glorious opportunity in game 1 of 1990’s Stanley Cup final. The Bruins had fought back from 2-0 down and when Wesley picked up a feed from Carter and ghosted inbetween 2 players he found a sprawled netminder on the floor and a wide open net in front of him. He fired the puck high backhand but put it 2 feet over the bar.

The Bruins went on to lose the game in triple overtime and Petr Klima went on to score to give Edmonton a 3-2 win and a base to build on. They went on to win the series 4-1 and gather their first cup without Wayne Gretzky in the line up.

So, Craig Smith – you are not alone with what occurred last night. It’s always better to get a miss like that out of the system before April arrives and the Predators hopefully launch another playoff campaign!

- Adam Yates

No comments:

Post a Comment