A couple weeks back I was talking to Misko Anistin, a former BCHL coach currently living the dream in Las Vegas cheering on a new hometown team. I wanted to confirm a trend I’d been noticing after watching the Golden Knights closely for the past month or so. Soft spot goals – was it just random that I’d seen them score from the soft spot in the offensive zone more than once, and watched them make the attempt several more times in a single game?
“Not at all,” Misko told me. “They work on that in practice. I’ve watched them score from there all year.”
While Western Canada’s National Hockey League teams watch the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round of the playoffs vs the LA Kings, it sure looks like head coach Gerard Gallant has his players aimed in the right direction.
“Absolutely he does,” Misko said. “If he’s not the coach of the year – he will be the coach of the year. Book it.”
Soft Spot Goals
1. Good Sticks
William Karlsson has been a revelation in Vegas, but goals like this where the right-handed Marchesault passes to the left-handed Karlsson should absolutely earn Gerard Gallant strong praise as well.
2. Breakout -> Dump -> Retrieval -> Goal
Vegas isn’t the only team magically finding quiet spaces in coverage to score. Watch Tyler Johnson get his butt to the soft spot and get off a quick shot.
3. Use the Talent the Hockey Gods Gave You
Is there anyone in Canada outside Toronto who isn’t cheering for the Winnipeg Jets? This example really gives you a good idea of the difficult task it is for the goalies tracking pucks that are passed low to high. And yeah, it’s Patrick Laine, but this shot is a muffin. Dubnyk waves at it with his blocker to no avail.
From last week, in case you missed it…