Some shots are meant to go in, some aren’t. You can have a clear lane to the net sometimes and misfire, sending the puck two feet wide. Frustrating. You can blast one right where you wanted it to go and it can hit a leg or a stick or a goalie. Or in tantalizing fashion, it can pass all of these barriers and strike iron but stay out. I hate all four scenarios.
Sometimes though, through the bodies, sticks and general chaos, you fire one off quick, maybe just a quick shovel at the net, maybe a quick snapshot off a rebound, or maybe, just maybe, like this past Monday night, the puck floats out to you in a clear spot in the slot, with twenty-three players between you and the net and you just let a quick, easy wrister go and somehow, as divinely as anything ever happens in hockey, it gets through. Through all the bodies, by a couple of sticks and over the tender’s glove.
And what makes this as good as it can ever get is if you get a chance to see it pass right through and hit the twine just as you’re turning away. For a moment, you tell yourself you were aiming there and you did good. But by the time you line up at centre, you know better.