December 16, 2015
After Michal Neuvirth made a save early in the Flyers’ third overtime against the Carolina Hurricanes in a little over a month, out skated the team’s top two offensive weapons: Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek.
Those two alone represent some serious firepower, but who do you send out as the third skater? Last night, they were joined by rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, who has already shown a flair for the dramatic in the 3-on-3 setup.
After the game, Ghost said that the trio isn’t a set group, but you can imagine assistant coach Gord Murphy will call their number again after how their shift played out:
If I were assigning credit for the game-winner, that play is roughly 60 percent Voracek’s doing. Great job by him on the 2-on-1, holding both the goaltender and defenseman’s attention until the last possible moment.
Even so, Voracek knows the type of weapon that the goalscorer is with all of that open ice.
“Yeah, 3-on-3 is built for him,” Voracek said. “He’s a great skater, with a great shot. He’s smart as well, so he knows when to jump in and what to do with the puck when he has it. So that’s why he is where he is right now and that’s why he’s scoring those goals.”
After the game, Ghost said that overtime is about waiting for the other team to make a mistake. In this situation, the Flyers got the odd man rush because he and Giroux broke up a 2-on-2. After Ghost made the poke check, the puck was on Voracek’s stick and they were off to the races.
“It could be missing the net, blowing a tire, or something like that,” Gostisbehere said. “You pick your spots and wait for chances for the play to develop.”
Even though Gostisbehere is the fastest player in NHL history to score three overtime goals (17 games, and it isn’t surprising that the record would be set this year), this was the first one to come at 3-on-3.
The other two came on pretty much the exact same play with the man advantage, one-timers from the slot off feeds from Giroux. There is that shot Voracek was talking about:
Gostisbehere was asked a question last night about his mindset in overtime. “It looks like you’re ready to fire the puck right away” is how it was essentially framed. That isn’t really how 3-on-3 works, though. If you completely miss the net and the puck fires back off the boards, the other team’s breakaway is often already underway.
“I wouldn’t say I want to get it and shoot right away,” Gostisbehere said. “You’ve got to let things develop. When you miss the net or make one wrong play, it’s coming right back down your throat.”
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