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Accidental Goals, Roenick’s “Gutless” Comments



New The Hockey News: explaining why players dive, and want refs can do to minimize the problem (The Hockey News)


When red-hot Predators forward Joel Ward stole the puck on the penalty kill, then threaded Canucks’ forward-playing-defence Mikael Samuelsson with a pass to David Legwand, I raved about the terrific play, especially given that it ended up in a short-handed goal.

But when I saw the replay a couple times the other day, I noticed just how bad Legwand’s shot was (not that I could/would do any better of course, just hear me out) – the goal went in under Luongo’s arm, which made me think of something.

When a good player shoots on a terrible goalie, or on one that is just learning the position, sometimes the goalie will make a save because he’s in the wrong place, or didn’t know he should move, or whatever.  You deke left and go right, but the goalie wasn’t quick enough to even get out of the way yet, which actually happens sometimes in rec hockey.

Here's a picture of the thing I wrote about NOT happening.

Well, that must’ve been how Roberto Luongo felt on that shot.  He was all prepared for a well-placed shot, and bam, a mis-fire (I HAVE to assume mis-fire – can’t imagine anyone on a clean breakaway choosing six hole as option 1A) goes in off his body.

Goalies, does this happen often?  I know the odd change-up goes in, but are you ever like “alright, this guy should obviously go top shelf here,” so you take it away, and the shooter whiffs one under your glove?  Fuck that must be frustrating.

Yes, go celebrate like crazy, you scored BECAUSE YOU’RE BAD.

(Note: he may have scored a goal slightly luckier than that one later.  Note number two: I’m not calling Legwand bad, as he isn’t.)


Our boy over at Puck Daddy Greg Wyshynski had a nice take on the Jeremy Roenick situation, basically claiming that JR didn’t go far enough in his comments about Patrick Marleau (he called him gutless, which is crazy over-the-top).

Roenick played with Marleau, and could’ve offered so much more insight into the guy and what the real problems are with the way he’s playing instead of going for the shock jock approach of near-slander.

"Makin' it look mean."

My take: I’m all for people saying inflammatory things on TV.  Analysts are often too safe and boring, so when they’re not, we shouldn’t call for their heads, we should debate their words.  I don’t want to see JR do that less, I want him to do it  more – at the same time, I reserve the right to call him an idiot when I think he’s being one.

And in this case, you really shouldn’t call any other player “gutless” on TV.  I mean, that’s as offensive a term to a hockey player as nearly anything.  He had five points in the first round, including assists on two overtime game winners and another game-winning goal, so the guy wasn’t exactly shrinking then.  He’s not playing well right now, granted.  That’s beside the point though – we don’t know if he’s hurt or what, so to go right to calling it a character issue is a touch biting for a guy who’s scored a few big goals in the past.  Just because a guy is suddenly struggling to produce doesn’t mean he suddenly became a coward.

And yes – as Wysh put it, if you’re going for it, at least give us a little more evidence to back it up.


Enjoy this pic I’ve stolen from Puck Daddy.  Hilarious!  More playoff hockey tonight!

Maybe he just really hates prey?


6 Responses to “Accidental Goals, Roenick’s “Gutless” Comments”
  1. Nikolai_NYR says:

    I play goal and I have some shots go in low when I was expecting them high on close in chances.
    Of course if its a shot from 15 feet out or further you reacting mostly on the path of puck. For in tight chances, you’re moving with the blade of the stick to help anticipate which limb you’re stopping the puck with. There’s just not enough time/distance to track the shot
    So if a guy comes in on a breakaway looking top shelf, and follows through top-shelf, you have to move your arms and shoulders to make a top shelf save. Your elbows will probably come off your ribs as you do this.
    If the shooter doesn’t get under the puck well or shoots off the toe of the blade, it can leave you handcuffed.

    I had a case where it was a friend of mine beating me glove side by the body and I asked him after if he was aiming higher. With a sh*t-eating grin, he said ‘No,’ the shot went where he was aiming. I couldn’t believe him for a second.

  2. Derek says:

    Gutless is a very strong phrase to use regarding Marleau, although I don’t think it is necessarily wrong.* You can make a good case that Marleau is a ‘gutless’ player. That label goes well beyond his points though. You can be a gutless player and still rack up points. Where Marleau’s play has done more damage than on the scoresheet is his physical play. To me, a player is gutless when he doesn’t block shots, doesn’t hit, shies away from contact, doesn’t go to the net or corners and loses puck battles on the boards. Well Marleau ranks 11th among Sharks forwards in blocked shots in the playoffs and 7th among their forwards in hits, while leading Sharks forwards in ice time. Watching him play, I have yet to notice him much in the corners or at the front of the net. Marleau failing to take the body on Datsyuk directly led to a series-shifting goal. In Drew Remenda’s “defense” of Marleau, he stated “What Patrick Marleau did do, was he wasn’t competing hard enough along the boards”. Competing hard along the boards is purely related to effort, will and guts (and size, which shouldn’t be an issue for the 6’2, 220 lb Marleau). I really think that if Roenick had of mentioned ANY of this, or also thrown in some comments relating to his time playing with Marleau as Wysh pointed out, it would be tough for anyone to disagree with him. Instead he just sounds like a blowhard.

    *Note: I do NOT think Marleau is a ‘gutless’ player. These were all just ways of backing up the gutless argument. I think Marleau is a finesse player in the body of a power forward(which creates expectations in his style of play he will never match), who has a tendency to be hesitant when play starts going bad. When he is at his best, he is simply reacting and allowing his great skating to compensate for any mental mistakes. When things get a bit rough, he then starts thinking too much on the ice and that just makes everything worse.

  3. vx inTN says:

    I think that “you scored BECAUSE YOU’RE BAD” happens a lot more than most people think even at the NHL level. Look at the “skills” competition. How many years was it until someone other than Ray Borque hit 4 out of 4 12″ targets from the slot?

    And while I’m at it, I am tired of all the TV and intetnet commentators talking about how the Preds cant score. Excuse Me, but take away that empty net goal in game 4 and the Nucks have xcored exactly ONE more goal than the Preds in this series. And, the Preds are the only team to hold a 2 goal lead (again, ignoring the ENG).

  4. Graham says:

    Justin you have hit the nail on the head. I’ve played goal for years in juniors and college and the hardest thing to do is to go play crappy mens league. the players there NEVER do what a “Good” player should do. they pass into coverage when they have a good chance, they don’t try and one time shots when they get a nice backdoor pass, instead they stand there waiting until the goalie slides by after making a desperation save attempt and then proceed to use their proverbial putter to put it home and the worse, the absolute worst is when a duster gets a breakaway and Bambi skates his way up to you and goes for the deke and you slide over into what would have been the EASIEST save of your life but in doing so he managed to lose the puck in exactly the right way (or wrong way depending on who you are in the situation) and the goalie gets to watch as it trickles in ever so slowly…there is nothing on this planet more frustrating than that moment for a goaltender.

    Not sure if it works the same way for players but damn….nothing is more humbling for a decent goalie than player mens league or drop in hockey.

    the other favorite of mine is the open face slap shot….you have any idea where that’s going? cause i sure don’t. BAM goal. and that’s when you get the nice little “didn’t you used to play juniors?” comment. that is always the highlight of your day.

  5. Irishska says:

    let me say that as a goalie, I would rather take a break away from someone who’s good and knows what he’s doing than the guy who can barely hold the puck on his stick. It’s damn near impossible to read the stick and tell where a guy’s going to put a puck if HE doesn’t know where it’s going, and then there’s also the no-win situation of if you make the save, you should, but if they score then you’re an absolute goat.

    More often than not, the “change-up” happens to me on tips from the point that make a really hard low shot become a medium to slow low shot that messes up my timing on the puck.

  6. Richie says:

    As I’m also a goalie, I’ll second pretty much everything the previous commentors have said. I play at a VERY mixed level (what do you expect in Ireland??). Absolute beginners up to Canadien/Slovak/Czech good quality players so 10 times out of 10 I’d rather be danced outta my gear or sniped by a good player than have some leper shoot off-balance looking like they’re trying high glove and slip it in five-hole or hook the puck up under the bar in close because they’re falling backwards as they shoot.

    Bottom line, whether by mis-cue, lack of talent/experience or plain fluke rubbish players can make a good goalie look frustratingly foolish.

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