Tuesday, 16 February 2016

The Russian Judge Gave Him A 9.9

You probably don't know Joseph Blandisi very well. The sixth-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche in 2012 played for three OHL teams before getting into the Devils' system as a free agent in January 2015. He appeared to be a rather unspectacular pick by the Avalanche until he exploded onto the OHL's highlight reels with a 52-goal, 112-point season in 2014-15 with the Barrie Colts. Needless to say, the New Jersey Devils signed the offensive dynamo with the hopes that he'd turn that final OHL season into a fruitful NHL career.

Blandisi has played in 19 NHL games thus far in his rookie season, and he's doing alright with five goals and seven assists to his name. Sure, they're not McDavid or Eichel numbers, but they're alright nonetheless. However, his most memorable highlight to date will surely come from the game against the Philadelphia Flyers tonight where he made most soccer players jealous with his over-the-top embellishment. Take a look.
Blandisi did get slashed by Philadelphia's Andrew McDonald, and it appeared that the referee was going to send McDonald off the stick foul before Blandisi decided to take embellishment to a whole new level. The only thing that would have made Blandisi's fall more impressive is if he had included a back-flip with it.

As seen in the video, Blandisi turned the potential 5-on-4 into a 4-on-4 after the officials sent him to the box for the obvious embellishment. Blandisi was asked about the penalty after the game.

"I never got swung at like that before, but I guess I could've done something to avoid that penalty," Blandisi told reporters. "Just take it. Think about it before I go to the ground. I guess maybe I wanted to make sure the ref saw it and I took it too far."

With his admission of diving, I'd expect the NHL to contact Blandisi over his theatrics in the next day or two to inform him he's on the watch list now. I don't expect Blandisi to risk being caught again because he's not that kind of player in any way, but the fact that he tried to sell the slash with the most over-the-top embellishment seen in a long time will keep him on highlight reels for a few weeks, I'm sure.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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