If you’ve played any type of casual hockey before, you’ve done it.
You’re out for a game of posts with a few friends on some ice when one of your buddies gets a breakaway on an empty net. With any chance of skating back to catch them gone, you toss your stick in their direction to disrupt their shot.
It is a little dangerous? Maybe. Is it petty? Probably. But is it classic? Oh, hell yeah.
That doesn’t mean you’d expect to see it executed to perfection during an NHL contest.
With the Florida Panthers down 3-2 to the Dallas Stars late in the third period and their net empty in search of the tying marker, Alex Radulov grabbed the puck and looked to put the game to bed for the Stars.
Florida’s Mike Hoffman had different plans.
The Panthers forward expertly slid his stick along the ice right as Radulov attempted to pick up the empty netter.
After the Dallas sniper missed the net due to Hoffman’s hijinks, he was awarded the goal because, well, throwing your stick isn’t allowed.
And while the commentators calling the action for FOX Sports thought it was all pretty funny, Martin Biron — a former NHL goaltender and current hockey analyst for the Buffalo Sabres — wasn’t too impressed with Hoffman’s actions.
Mike Hoffman throwing his stick in the direction of Radulov as he was about the shoot the puck towards the empty net is close to the stupidest thing I have ever seen anybody do on the ice.
— Martin Biron (@martybiron43) March 20, 2019
Honestly, Hoffman could’ve taken the chance that Radulov would miss the open net on his own.
Just last week Tyler Seguin, another Stars forward, was unable to hit an unprotected cage during a breakaway without an errant stick sliding through the frame.
Regardless, the Stars won the game 4-2 to tighten their grip on a playoff berth in the Western Conference. They currently sit in the first wild card spot with 82 points, four up on the Arizona Coyotes and five up on the Minnesota Wild.
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