Monday, 28 August 2017

Garip-OH NO!

The man to the left? That's Emil Garipov. You may have seen his name on social media or in the news today and didn't think twice about it. Garipov is a goaltender in the KHL, currently playing with Ak Bars Kazan. As you may be aware, the KHL's regular season started about a week ago, so there are some teams and some players still working off some of the summer hangover as they get back into hockey routines for this season. It seems that Emil Garipov is one of those players as today's game didn't go quite as well as he may have hoped.

Without further adieu, let's see why Garipov's night may have been a little off as Ak Bars Kazan faced off against Amur Khabarovsk.

Yeah, that's not good. Just 14 seconds after Vasily Tokranov had put Kazan up 1-0, Khabarovsk's Pavel Turbin launches a clearing attempt from his own end and finds space between the wickets of Garipov to make it a 1-1 game. Of the 25 shots he faced on the night, the 200-footer from Turbin is the one that got past him. In the end, Garipov did help Ak Bars Kazan to a 2-1 victory by stopping everything else he saw, but that one goal will probably haunt him for a few weeks.

Before we go any further, let me just say that we see at least one of these goals in the KHL annually. I don't know if goalies are losing the puck in the crowd when the puck is raised above the level of the boards or if it's simply a momentary lapse in concentration. Either way, we usually have one of these highlights every season from the KHL.

Garipov, for what it's worth, is no slouch in the net when it comes to his position. He's 86-50-15 in his career with Kazan since breaking into the league with the team in 2011-12 in both the regular season and playoffs. Over that span, he has a 1.86 GAA and a .933 save percentage to go along with 13 shutouts. It's pretty clear that the 26 year-old knows how to play the position. Here he is stoning Magnitka's Jan Kovar in last season's Gagarin Cup Playoffs on what looked like a sure goal.

Sometimes, players just whiff on what appear to be the easy ones. As we've seen in numerous examples over the years, though, the shots from the other end of the ice can take funny bounces, skip like a stone across the water, and find their way past even the best netminders. This goal certainly won't define Garipov's career by any means, but he will be the topic du jour for the next week or two as sports highlight shows replay the clip over and over despite Garipov and Ak Bars Kazan getting off to a 3-0 start in the KHL this season.

Sometimes, you just miss on the easy ones.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

No comments: