For those of you who play hockey - and I'm hoping there are more than a few of you - the end of the game is normally reserved for the shinny shootout. It doesn't matter who wins or loses the game because individual bragging rights are on the line during the shinny shootout. Who had the best move, who had the sickest goal, who got stonewalled... all these questions are answered. There's always something to be said for a player's creativity in this event, though, and it's amazing to see when the professionals pull off some shinny shootout magic.
The AHL still employs the shootout for the fans during their rather meaningless preseason games. There are no points or playoff spots on the line, and the players are really playing for only a roster spot. But whe you factor in how important the shootout is in the overall standings, a shootout whiz can really go a long way in an AHL season. It appears that the Binghamton Senators may have found a shootout magician in Kaspars Daugavins for this upcoming season, almost guaranteeing him another roster spot this season. Here's the trickery he pulled off earlier this afternoon against the Hamilton Bulldogs.
The Riga, Latvia native played his junior hockey in the OHL with the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors, and posted his best season in 2007-08 when he scored 40 goals and added 34 assists. He was drafted in the third round at 91st overall by the Senators in 2006, and has since played in both the AHL and the NHL. His 109 AHL games thus far have seen Kaspars Daugavins score 25 goals and 27 assists, and his lone one-game appearance in the NHL has resulted in no points. Yet.
There's something to be said about being entertaining, but the shootout is the one place that players can really show off their personalities. As long as they score while making some ridiculous move, the fans will remember the move for a long, long time.
Kaspars Daugavins is a name you'll probably hear a few more times this season if his preseason shootout goal is any indication of his talent.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!