Matt Calvert the Magician: The OT Goal in Columbus

The Canucks are struggling to score goals right now, and they were on the wrong end of a 2-1 overtime loss in Columbus on Thursday evening. Young winger Matt Calvert picked up the puck in his own zone and made a few Canucks look foolish on his way to scoring the overtime winner.

How could the Canucks have played the goal differently to prevent it? Who was at fault? Read on for more.

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First off, the goal:

 Now let’s break it down, frame by frame.

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Calvert takes a pass from Fedor Tyutin in the Columbus zone. Henrik Sedin closes the gap on him, but doesn’t want to overplay (as he thinks Calvert is going to pass the puck into the middle).

Calvert makes a great move to spin off of Sedin and keep the puck along the boards. He isn’t a household name, but Calvert was a fantastic player in his WHL career with Brandon. He was overshadowed by his 1st round pick linemates in Brayden Schenn (Los Angeles) and Scott Glennie (Dallas), but he was arguably as effective. 

He plays a lot like Zach Parise. Not big, but quick, aggressive, and skilled.

Alex Edler fans may want to turn away for the next few frames. The Canucks have three players to Columbus’ two. So far, no reason to worry. Edler reaches in to try and knock the puck off of Calert’s stick. His gap is a bit too big here, and he unfortunately doesn’t have Zdeno Chara’s wingspan.

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Calvert the Magician reveals his first trick by disappearing Alex Edler. Edler falls over after failing to get the puck, and Calvert slips by him. Henrik Sedin has the inside position on Calvert in case he wants to take the puck to the net. Chris Tanev, of course, is in perfect position.

Edler is back up, but he is out of the play at this point. Columbus has a third player (Jack Johnson) who has pinched in, and that is something that Henrik notices (you can see him glancing over to his right in this frame). Calvert makes a great move to bring the puck from the wall to the slot on his forehand.

Henrik, for some reason, decides to back right up into Tanev. Perhaps he thought Tanev wasn’t there? Two Canucks (and soon to be three, as Daniel is headed there too) end up covering nobody at the side of the goal, while the Jackets have three players in Schneider’s kitchen.

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Boom. Goal.

A good magician never reveals his secrets, but thankfully a second camera angle can do that for us. Edler doing his best Brad Marchand impression here. Edler is a rock solid defenseman for the most part, but when he makes mistakes… they usually are of the "what the heck was that?" variety.

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If Henrik steps up on Calvert right here, he doesn’t get a clean look at Schneider. Tanev is occupied with Letestu, and Henrik is worried about Johnson, who has pinched up and is headed to the net. Johnson creates the lane to the slot for Calvert here.

Uh, yeah. Three Jackets right around Schneider.

This goal is a great example as to why four-on-four hockey is great. It is easy to create scoring chances by making just one guy miss (and in Calvert’s case, he makes two Canucks look silly). Hockey is a game of mistakes. Henrik is usually a very good defensive forward. Edler usually doesn’t get beaten one-on-one (especially on the left side, where he is more comfortable). Them’s the breaks sometimes, especially when things aren’t going well.

Previous posts from Jeff:

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