Monday, 16 March 2015

Stamkos' New Setup Guy

This is Max Pacioretty. Max is a pretty talented American hockey player. He played with the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL followed by the University of Michigan Wolverines before being drafted by the Montreal Canadiens 22nd overall in 2007. Since then, he's played with the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs when he was younger before becoming a legitimate scoring threat for the Canadiens. Tonight, we got to see another side of Pacioretty as he setup Steven Stamkos with a beautiful breakaway pass.

Now you might be saying, "Hey, Teebz, pretty sure that Stamkos plays for Tampa Bay." You're right, of course, but that didn't stop Pacioretty from setting up Stamkos for a great goal tonight. Watch.
Pacioretty missed the defensive line change that the Canadiens were making, and he dropped a pass back to the waiting Stamkos. No-look passes are great when they work, but in this case Pacioretty's no-look pass put the Canadiens in a 2-0 hole. Make sure you know where your teammates are before you no-look pass to someone!

If you watch closely, though, you might be saying, "Teebz, Stamkos is way off-side on that play!" Normally, you'd be right but the NHL Rule Book clearly states that Stamkos is not off-side thanks to Rule 83.1, paragraph 5 which states,
"If a player legally carries or passes the puck back into his own defending zone while a player of the opposing team is in such defending zone, the off-side shall be ignored and play permitted to continue."
Because of this, Stamkos is on-side due to Pacioretty willfully playing the puck back into his defensive zone. One Stamkos slapshot later, and it's 2-0 for Tampa Bay.

While Pacioretty won't get credit for an assist, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman might want to look at a way to bring Pacioretty to the Lightning. I'm almost certain Stamkos hasn't seen a pass that pretty since Martin St. Louis left town.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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