Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
At first glance, the Capitals game-winning goal against the Flyers looked like just another beautiful snipe executed by Nicklas Backstrom. But a closer look reveals a fantastic setup by T.J. Oshie, and even better communications between the two players.
Oshie covered up the entire short side (the right side of the goal from Backstrom’s perspective), forcing Flyers goalie Steve Mason to look around Oshie’s right side for a potential shot. Just as Backstrom was about to shoot, Oshie sidestepped to his right, revealing an open net for Backstrom.
It’s fairly clear that Backstrom was expecting the late move by Oshie, as he directed his shot right where Oshie was standing. Oshie was asked about the play following the game. Oshie would comment, “Nicky’s a smart player, I think he knew what I was doing”.
The coordination between Backstrom and Oshie on the play is truly a thing of beauty. Textbook “screen and shoot”, but executed to perfection.
By Jon Sorensen