Photo: Bruce Bennett
San Jose rookie Tomas Hertl was amazing against the New York Rangers on Tuesday. He scored four goals in 11:12 of ice, including a spectacular nifty between-the-legs move on Martin Biron (who sported a .762 save percentage). It was a showboat move– most players would be afraid to try it in a real game for fear of missing– but it worked, and it got the broader sports world talking.
Capitals head coach Adam Oates didn’t like it though. He told The Washington Post’s Katie Carerra that he thinks Hertl made “a rookie mistake” and that he should not “disrespect the league.”
Oates has done his time in the league, and as a Hall of Famer his opinion matters, but he seems a bit out of proportion here. There are way worse things out there than cool-looking goals.
First, the goal in question:
A beauty. A fun goal, particularly for those of us whose mission statement it is to make reading about hockey fun.
Is it disrespectful? Maybe. Disrespect is kind of a nebulous word, but yeah, maybe it is disrespectful.
Still, there are a great many things that are more disrespectful than scoring a nifty goal. Perhaps we should consider Hertl in context of the following, each of which may be more disrespectful:
- The way the Rangers sandbagged the back-half of the game in question
- Alex Ovechkin’s hot-stick celebration
- Teemu Selanne’s machine-gun celebration
- Every spinorama shootout attempt ever
- Actually, the entire shootout concept
- The league’s woefully inadequate “quiet room” policy
- Matt Cooke’s existence
- Pairing the league’s most exciting player, Alex Ovechkin, with Jay Beagle
- The continued employment of Pierre McGuire
- Coach’s Corner
- Cyrillic-to-Latin alphabet name translations (Remember Simeon Varlamov?)
- The lockout
- The lockout before that one
- Gary Bettman’s insistence on injecting himself into the Cup presentation ceremony
- The devaluing of outdoor games by introducing more and more of them
- Jay Mohr
- The way Jay Mohr pronounces “Vezina” like it’s an Italian plumber in a video game
- The NHL’s lukewarm treatment of Wayne Gretzky
- The curious, persistent absence of an international Wayne Gretzky holiday
- The hypocrisy of allowing players to fight, but mandating that they wear helmets
- The instigator penalty
- Dale Hunter’s wardrobe
- The Flortheast Division
- Actually, the entire Florida Panthers franchise
- League-owned teams
- The Washington Redskins
- Okay, that last one doesn’t count, but it’s good for SEO
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