To shoot or not to shoot? That is the question. It would seem only logical that the more shots you take, the better chance you have of scoring. The Great One said it best, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” So why the hell don’t we ever shoot the damn puck? What, you think you’re smarter than Wayne Gretzky or something? There’s gotta be more to it than that. It’s a deeply profound question that challenges the soul and forces a man to take a long hard look at what he has become in life. What does it mean to shoot? Is it simply firing rubber at a nylon box, or is it a way of life?
Juxtaposing this question outside the boarders of the hockey rink into the realm of the human condition, I present a common scenario: Three hot chicks at the bar. Five buddies. All five of these guys are capable of getting some ass. They have a two man advantage. Someone’s gotta score here. Just like in hockey, the first guy that takes a shot often gets blocked. But you gotta love this guy, usually not the best scorer on the team, but has been around the league long enough to know that someone’s gonna have to bust up that defense. He’s gonna have to initiate the powerplay by introducing himself to the “goalie” of the group. He’s got balls. That’s when one of the goal scorers crashes the net with shots. Literally, the good looking buddy comes over with Fireballs for everyone. Line change to get a fresh pair of legs in there. Soon, you will have all three girls scattered in separate conversations, which forces an abandoning of their tight box PK. Within two minutes, you should have a great scoring chance off of a one timer from the left circle, or at least a hand job in the parking lot. But often enough, the dudes fuck everything up by either not attempting a shot, or having no plan of attack and taking stupid shots. The fear of missing the net or being blocked is paralyzing. It takes a special kind of player that will shoot without worrying if he scores or not. It’s simple and extremely complicated all at the same time. It takes a type of wise aggression to achieve success in all aspects of life. Some dudes have it, some don’t. Some teams have it, some teams don’t. Savvy? Let’s go back to talking about hockey then.
With a great shot blocking team like the Rangers, who are one of the best lane filling teams you’ll see, you have to guard against failing to hit the net, which happens all the damn time. They can easily turn misses into counter rushes and failure. It is only human nature to guard against failure and rejection.
The obvious issue here is there’s too much passing around on the powerplay. Too many guys standing still, waiting for a pass, just to make another one. I understand that you want a solid scoring chance. There’s nothing wrong with trying to get the short handed D tired of chasing, and get the goalie moving around without exhorting a lot of energy yourself. Typically, you would love to be able to let heavy slappers rain from the blueline all day. That’s what the Flyers are looking to do on the PP. Problem is, nobody on the team has a heavy enough shot to run this powerplay. What the Flyers need to do is outwork their opponents while on the advantage. That’s when you skate hard and try to carry the puck to the net. Bang on the garbage and create chaos. That would be the equivalent of all five guys going Butabi Brothers on the group of girls all at once. Which, you know, could also work.
LET’S GO FLYERS!