Paralyzed high-school hockey player Jack Jablonski drops the puck for a ceremonial faceoff between Parise and Hendricks. (Photo via Defending the Blueline)
When George McPhee traded for Mike Ribeiro and signed Wojek Wolski, he formed perhaps the greatest shootout line-up in the history of hockey. That duo is rounded out by Matt Hendricks, who went 5 for 6 and embarrassed some of the best goalies in the game last season. The Capitals don’t even need Alex Ovechkin or Nicklas Backstrom for the gimmick anymore.
But temper that confidence. On Sunday, NHL players including Zach Parise, new Caps defenseman Jack Hillen, and Hendricks, took the ice for a charity game benefiting Defending the Blue Line. The game brought 3,000 hockey-starved fans out to the University of Minnesota and raised an estimated $50,000 for the children of military parents. It was great, until Hendricks’ shootout attempt at the end of the game.
Hendy shoots at the 1:40 mark.
As Hendricks skates in, everything is going according to plan– until Wild goaltender and evil twin Niklas Backstrom tries to poke-check the puck away. Backstrom’s extended stick forces Hendy to hold on to the puck longer than expected. He runs out of room to shoot on his forehand and misses.
NHL goalies have finally found a way to finally stop the Hendricks’ move. Actually, probably not. Ilya Bryzgalov tried the poke-check last year, Hendricks just deked back to backhand and scored easily. Hendy will get him next time. He’s just rusty. Yeah, that’s it.
Photo via Defending the Blueline