BOSTON — Linus Omark is the talk of the NHL today because the Edmonton rookie won a shootout with a move that had never been tried since the post-overtime spectacle became part of the league’s way of determining games after the 2004-05 lockout.
Here’s a look at the spin-o-rama the Oilers forward tried out before grabbing the puck and going at Tampa Bay goaltender Dan Ellis.
The reaction from the Lightning locker room, as reported by Damian Cristodero in the St. Petersburg Times, was all sour. Players called the move disrespectful and a joke. One has to wonder what they’d have said if one of their teammates attempted the maneuver.
Bruins speedy rookie Tyler Seguin is by far Boston’s most proficient participants in the shootout. He has started his NHL career with a 2-for-3 success rate in the gimmick and is probably the only Bruins forward with the skill set to even consider attempt such a move.
He was more impressed with Omark’s courage than the actual move itself.
“So many things can go wrong when you do that. It takes a lot of confidence to do that, but it shows confidence on his part and I’m sure it’ll be all over the place now on TV,” said Seguin this morning after an optional skate at TD Garden in preparation for tonight’s game with Philadelphia.
As for maybe mixing in an extra spin or two next time he’s in a shootout for the Bruins, Seguin said he’s more likely to keep things simple.
“I try to be a bit more low-key with it – go to my go-to moves and what I know and what’s no risk to my team,” said Seguin. “But if you know what you’re doing, and you’re confident, go for it.”
One can kind of understand Ellis’ embarrassment and his sour reaction in the immediate aftermath of the goal because he’s going to be on the highlights for a while as a victim rather than a hero. Maybe over time his stance on such a maneuver will soften.
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask can be a bit of a showman when he makes a save or a big play. He’s also shown a temper in the past. It’s impossible to know how Rask would react to a goal like Omark’s getting scored on him, but from afar he’s able to accept the spinning shootout move a part of the game.
“It’s just a little show-off move. You can do whatever you want, I guess, within the rules. But I’m not going to say that if I was playing my first game in the NHL, I would try something like that. But I’m not going to complain about it,” said Rask.
“Whenever a player makes a sick move, he makes the goalie look bad, obviously. That’s something you don’t like. What can you do? You can’t take it too seriously, I guess.”