Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Goal Analysis: Danny DeKeyser's First NHL Goal

And what a shot it was!  If you didn't already know, Danny DeKeyser scored his first NHL goal on Monday at Winnipeg.  I love when a player gets his first goal, especially while shorthanded.  DDK Forever! If you haven't seen it yet, please evaluate your life choices, then watch below.  If you have already seen it, watch it again below:

Holy awesomeness! 

Obviously, this goal is really easy to break down, so I won't do the usual screenshot/explanation thing.  What happens: Weiss makes a Weiss decision to win the faceoff back to Kronwall, who then quickly passes to DDK, who then blasts a one-timer on the low glove side.

...okay fine, I'll post one screenshot and talk about it a little:

This is from the moment DDK shoots the puck.  Let's get our hockey nerd on!

The biggest reason the goal was scored (excluding the awesomeness that is DDK) was the Jets player is screening the goalie when the puck was shot.  When you re-watch the video, notice how he's going from left to right across the screen.  This definitely doesn't allow Montoya to track the puck properly.  He's unable to get a solid read off the shot since his teammate is in the way as he shoots.  Don't do that to your goalie, kids.

Because Montoya can't see exactly what's going on, his angle is slightly off.  I had a goalie coach growing up who had a saying, which my parents re-created to the following, which explains oh so much about numerous things: "Always line your butt crack up with the puck and the center of the net".  Hi, I'm a hockey blogger (and I wonder if how much Michelle regrets starting this project with me).  But yes, Montoya is slightly favoring his blocker side, leaving just a bit of room on the glove side for DDK to slam it home.  I would feel an NHL goalie should be able to read this play better and play the proper angle, especially off a face off.  But, he didn't, and DDK was rewarded.

Something else I thought of that is just a theory:  This was an offensive zone face off while on the PK.  Obviously, NHL teams have set coverage they use when losing a draw on 5 on 5, 5 on 4, etc., I'm just curious as to how often they practice this situation - a 4 on 5 face off in their own zone.  I would think that each winger would just skate immediately towards the point, while the center took the other center, and one d-man would cover the other forward.  However, because this happened so quickly, I doubt it would have made much difference.  Maybe if the forward had covered the entire shooting lane from DDK?  Who knows.  I'm glad they did what they did.

Also, YAY HAVING ALMOST ALL LEFT HANDED PLAYERS!  If any of the three players who factored in on the scoring were righties, this goal would not have happened, at least in this fashion.  Weiss won the draw on his strong side.  The puck went to Kronwall on the boards.  If he's a righty, I doubt he would have made that accurate of a pass to DDK because it would have taken him a half second to gather the puck and he'd have more pressure.  And if DDK is a lefty, there's no way he would have been able to one-time the shot with such authority.  Long story short, had Samuelsson been on the ice, it would have led to disaster.

In summary, a clean face off win, quick pass, DDK being amazing, and a screen causing the goalie to be slightly off angle are the main reasons this goal happened.  DDK forever.

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