Edmonton Oilers Drop in Power Rankings, Leon Draisaitl’s Spin Move and More

Daily Faceoffs Mike McKenna took the gate and when others are already copying the move:

After scoring similar goals last weekend, I can’t help but wonder what could be said between Clayton Keller and Leon Draisaitl when the Edmonton Oilers and Arizona Coyotes meet Monday night.

I watched Edmonton play Vegas on Saturday night and Draisaitl’s goal immediately caught my eye. He backhanded the pass while facing away from the Golden Knights cage, turned and shot it past Vegas goaltender Laurent Brossoit. It was a power play, and I knew I’d seen Draisaitl do it before.

As an ex-goalkeeper, it’s easy for me to remember a goal like that. Shooters so rarely turn and fire after their numbers are aimed at us. But with Draisaitl, it’s a game the Oilers can run. Catching the puck with your backhand and then turning it towards the net has an element of surprise. And Draisaitl is able to use technology to open up a fast lane.

The key is that Draisaitl is incredibly good at hiding the release. The puck is on and off his blade so quickly that Brossoit has a hard time pinpointing the exact release location. As a result, the Golden Knights goalie shifts to the right and falls into the butterfly, exposing the short side just enough for Draisaitl’s shot to slip through.

Being a goaltender is hard enough when an NHL player hits the net with the puck. But at least the goalkeeper can read the shot. Draisaitl throws it out the window with his spin game. And he can because he’s so comfortable with his backhand. Draisaitl doesn’t even need to see the web – his muscle memory knows where it is.

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I think he’s one of the few NHL players that can pull this off. But I’m also sure that the players in the league have noticed it.

Step into any NHL locker room and you’ll find a television showing the highlights of the night before. And the players are definitely watching. The NHL is a copycat league, and players are always striving to add a new dimension to their own game. Watching highlights is one way to crowdsource information.

When I saw Keller’s goal on Sunday, I immediately thought of Draisaitl. Did Keller see the highlights from last night? Perhaps. Maybe not. But the targets — while not identical — shared enough DNA that I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a lineage.

Something really fascinating happens in the month of March: goalies fall.

TSNs Travis Yost dived into the topic on Monday, citing this moving average chart to illustrate what happened:

Source : www.yardbarker.com

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