Why Yes, Michaeltastic, This IS The Best Picture Ever!
Major kudos to Jeff Vinnick (NHLI via Getty Images) for this incredible shot of Nashville Predators’ rookie forward Matt Halischuk’s game-winning laser beam goal Saturday night. The shot came in in double overtime, beating Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo, and giving the Preds the victory in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals. And thanks also to OnTheForecheck.com fanshotter, Michaeltastic for first bringing this image to my attention.
As I looked at the picture in sheer, bleary-eyed awe on Sunday morning, I soon found myself asking the question, “Okay now, where the heck is the puck?” It was only after studying the photo for a few minutes that I realized just what a masterpiece of sports photography this image really was.
If you haven’t located it yet, check out the eyes of Preds forward Jared Smithson, who did a phenomenal job of distracting Luongo, crashing the net just as ‘Chucky’ was winding up. You can see that Smithers probably got a better look at the puck than Bobby Lou did.
But ever the Photoshop geek that I am, I thought it would be cool to try and track the trajectory the shot took as it was zooming past Luongo’s left shoulder; so, again, here’s the puck (highlighted)…
And here’s the puck’s path, a laser-straight roof-shot to the back of the net, sending the Preds home, even up with the Canucks after the 2-1 double-OT win in B.C.
UPDATE: As well-noted by reader Kip, in the original image above, I wrongly plotted the trajectory from Halischuk’s stick, rather than the point from which he actually would have met the puck on the ice. So, I submit yet another image with the disclaimer that the point of contact is merely a guess. Bottom line is, the puck takes nearly the exact same angle past Luongo. But thanks for keeping me honest, Kip…
It’ll be a wild and crazy pair of games here in Nashville this Tuesday and Thursday. If either game can match the tension and entertainment of Saturday night’s tilt, it’ll be an awesome week of hockey indeed.
Seeya at The Bridge!
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