Call this a severe case of hubris, but Jamie McLennan's really pissed me off this time. With just about every hockey pundit, analyst, and blogger weighing in on Burrows' failed shootout attempt last night in Los Angeles, leave it to TSN to take the charge. Jamie McLennan proclaimed to all those lucky enough to get home from work or school in time to see "That's Hockey" that Alex Burrows' shootout move last night was a "mockery of the game". Darren Dreger went so far as to make sure it was legal, and agreed that it was a bad decision. The general consensus was he should save a move like that for practice. Oh the hypocrisy...
If Alex Burrows scored on that "mockery" of a move, the goal would be on every NHL highlight package for the next two months and make every list of the best shootout moves ever. There is no debating this. Even better yet, if the Canucks go on to win the shootout - regardless of Burrows' miss - it becomes a silly non-issue. If that.
At the end of the day though, he didn't score. Which makes him a very bad man. A very selfish man too. I'm sure he never tried the move in practice, and tried the move on a whim. Better yet, he thought he would match the team's play through regulation and overtime with as lackadaisical an effort in the shootout. Or, is it possible that he tried an incredibly odd move to catch one of the league's best goalies off guard and came up short? My bet's on the last one.
If anybody really has an issue with Alex Burrows shootout move, they need to take a cold hard look at how they view the shootout in general. This kind of crap is no more or less what should be expected of this "entertainment" driven spectacle. The NHL has in effect taken this hard fought team sport, and turned it into a one on one gimmick to decide who gets an extra point; an extra point that actually counts for less if taken into account for a tie breaker when the standings are finalized at the end of the season.
The only thing more pointless than debating the merits of the shootout though, are the merits of one's move that gets used in it. The NHL has seen just about all of them. Spin-o-Ramas, Marek Malik putting his stick between the legs, dekes that involve kicking the pick to their stick, and slap shots from the hash marks. Why not a spin-o-rama without the puck? As a matter of fact, it seems only suiting that something so painfully odd and detached from what a real hockey game is like be used in the skills competition that is the shootout.
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