Anatomy of a Goal: Scrumtrulescent

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

EDM vs COL - Goal 4: So great that any other word employed would be woefully insufficient, and would serve only to limit the sheer magnitude of the greatness.

Happy Holidays to all the MHH Faithful! It's that time of year and it looks like you've all been good guys and gals for another year and have already seen a gift of improved Avalanche hockey. In the spirit of the season, I took a look at what has to be in the early running for the "This Ain't Your Old Avalanche" goal of the season. We, of course, are talking about the Dutchy-MacK-Radar connection in the last Oilers game.

 photo 1Hejdachip_zps491f7ca4.jpg

We jump into this one as Colorado is breaking out of the defensive zone. Stalwart blueliner Jan Hejda has just chipped the puck up the boards past Edmonton defenseman Nick "Don't Call Me Justin" Schultz (#15). Hejda is pretty much man-to-man with David Perron (#57) as this play starts up. Nail Yakupov (#64) has followed the play from behind the net and Boyd Gordon (#27) is at the top of the zone. Super rookie Nathan MacKinnon and former super rookie Matt Duchene are both in good position to help Hejda clear the zone. Ryan O'Reilly is the last meaningful player in our little drama, just onscreen on the far side of the play. Erik Johnson is over by goalie Semyon Varlamov holding court 'round the crease and neither "factor" into this play. (See what I did there? It's called foreshadowing.)

 photo 2MacKBreakout_zpse71b0009.jpg

MacK has gathered the puck and Dutchy has reached second gear. MacKinnon has a small window between Perron and Gordon and slips one of his patented backhand taps to Duchene. Edmonton isn't in that bad of a position here, other than one of their defensemen being caught flat-footed and deep, the center (Gordon) taking an angle to the puck-carrier while ignoring his man (typically the other center, Duchene), and Yakupov having already decided he's out of this play. So maybe "that bad" is a relative term.

 photo 2nHook_zps6ccd1557.jpg

As Duchene brings the puck into the neutral zone, Perron makes a feeble attempt at "defense" via a pretty blatant hooking attempt, but he's beat like a rented mule. Edmonton can't even cheat right.

 photo 4RadarHeadDown_zps44a2a44b.jpg

Now is about the time Devan Dubnyk likely starts to clench up. Why? Duchene is hitting top speed with only Edmonton Franchise Savior (v. 2012) Justin "My Name's Not Nick!" Schultz between him and Edmonton's end. Sure, Gordon (#27) has managed to maintain some relevancy, but you'll see in a moment why Dubnyk isn't likely counting on that. Plus, O`Reilly is gutting it out on the far side and the other fastest guy on the team is rapidly filling the void Gordon is creating along the near boards.

 photo 5DucheneBlue_zpse8c99e7c.jpg

By moving more toward the center of the ice, Duchene opens up more room for MacK as it draws Gordon further from the boards. He actually slows a little bit, playing the old rope-a-dope with J. Schultz. Perron is trying to get back in the play, looks over his shoulder at O'Reilly huffin-and-a-puffin' and then completely forgets he exists.

 photo 6DucheneSplit_zps117c6893.jpg

Duchene splits between Schultz and Gordon by employing a shoulder fake to the left and pushing the puck through Gordon's swing-and-a-miss hooking attempt back to the right.

 photo 7DucheneDot_zps71dca813.jpg

Still, Schultz' momentum leaves him mano e mano with Duchene as Matty retrieves the puck at speed in the lower half of the face-off circle. MacKinnon has continued to follow Duchene's zone entry and has found a lot of open ice to skate in (since Yakupov and the other Schultz couldn't be bothered to get back into the play).

 photo 8MacKCalls_zpsba23fdc0.jpg

Duchene puts on the hard stop/turn, and J. Schultz is so worried about not pulling a Luiz Mendoza with the hard cut that he can't hang with Matt. (Go ahead, Google it. I'll still be here...) Duchene hears a tap-tap-tappy from MacKinnon who's set up to bring the pain with a one-timer...

 photo 9MacKCatch2_zpse2efd4bc.jpg

...and Gordon has assumed the position anticipating just that. The other Schultz has made it back into the play and is making a run at MacKinnon. Note that in order for him to have gotten back, he would have had to skate PAST Yakupov who had much more momentum coming out of the Avalanche's end.

 photo 9nMacKFake_zps8dea8d88.jpg

But it's a fake!! MacK gets Dubnyk down and dishes the pass...

 photo 10MacKPass_zps378552a5.jpg

to a wide open...

 photo 11RadarCatch_zps6c53efe2.jpg

...and magically delicious Ryan O'Reilly who appears like a mythical creature from seemingly nowhere behind Perron!!

 photo 11sRadarCatch_zpsb46daef6.jpg

He then employs Duchene's favorite hobby...

 photo 12RadarGoal_zpsce0f15ab.jpg

... fishing.

 photo 13celly_zpsed539fc3.jpg

Hejda arrives for the celebration as The Can explodes due to the display of skill by the Colorado top line in netting the game-tying goal! That proved to be the goal that got momentum on the Avalanche's side and with the help of a Maxim Talbot shortie a few minutes later, propelled the Avs to a rare December victory.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Mile High Hockey

You must be a member of Mile High Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Hockey. You should read them.

Join Mile High Hockey

You must be a member of Mile High Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Hockey. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker