Thursday, 21 November 2013

A Tale of Two Goals

It was the best of goals; it was the worst of goals. It was the period of enlightenment; it was the overtime of foolishness. It was a pass based on faith; it was a pass thwarted by unbelievable misfortune.

Last night's queue of NHL games offered both the sublime and ridiculous. In Ottawa, Clarke MacArthur of the (I-hate-to-say-it) Ottawa Senators made an obscenely skillful passes to set up Kyle Turris' shorthanded goal. 

Unfortunately, the team let MacArthur down by not defending well enough to make this play the deciding action in the game, which the Sens eventually lost to the Minnesota Wild.

In case you're wondering, I hate to mention MacArthur's team because he was one of my favourite Leafs. It's bad enough that the Leafs let him walk, but to see him drive less than 9 hours away from the Air Canada Centre to play with Toronto's provincial rival is awful.

I know that I complain about Grabo's groupies, so I won't drag this out. I'll just mention that most Leafs fans detest at least one of the divisive moves made by Dave Nonis during the 2013 off season. It might have been the trade for Jonathan Bernier, the buyout of Mikhail Grabovski, the re-signing of Tyler Bozak, the UFA signing of David Clarkson, or something else. I'm sure that somewhere in the hinterland of Leafs Nation there are even fans who abhor the buyout of Mike Komisarek and the team's failure to re-sign Tim Connolly.

It's important for fans to disagree with the moves of their teams execs in order to stave off the vice of Homerism. For me, the negligent treatment of MacArthur is a safeguard against drinking the blue and white Kool-Aid.

Anyway, on the diagonally-opposed side of the league from Ottawa, another game involved a ridiculous pass. The Ducks blew their chance to put a way a resilient New Jersey Devils squad by making one of the worst passes in NHL history during overtime.

If MacArthur' pass was inspired by Calliope, the muse of epic poetry, then Ben Lovejoy's pass was inspired by Thalia, the muse of comedy. Lovejoy tried to clear a loose puck from Jonas Hiller's crease and ended up banking the puck off of Corey Perry's shin and into his own net. Here's a clip of this farcical end to a hard-fought game.

Perry's hapless positioning means that he should technically be credited with this atrocious own-goal. Fortunately for him, it won't be difficult to let this awful incident recede into oblivion. For once, the anonymity of playing in Anaheim has benefits as the Californian MSM's obsession with NBA, NHL, and MLB teams has a Lethe-like ability to cleanse local sportscasters' minds of mishaps relating to the NHL. Had Perry been playing in Toronto, he would have been plagued with replays of this own-goal for weeks.

Still, that goal will undobtedly be the worst in his all-star career career.What makes matters even worse is the fact that this horrendous end would never have come to pass had the game not been prolonged by the sensational play of Martin Brodeur. Mere moments before the absurd game-winning-goal was scored, Martin Brodeur looked woefully out of position as he was sprawled out on one side of his crease while the puck was lying on the very lip of the goal mouth. Somehow Brodeur managed to get his glove on the puck and denied Mathieu Perrault's attempt to score on this unexpected gift from the hockey gods.

At some point, Brodeur is either going to reveal that he is an illegitimate son of Zeus, or he will suffer some Faustian fate confirming once and for all that he sold his soul in exchange for a preternatural ability to stop pucks. Don't be surprised to see him backstopping a different group of devils when hell finally freezes over.

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