Anatomy of a Laser Beam

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 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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4 Responses to “Anatomy of a Laser Beam”

  1. kip May 2, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    Not to be a stickler, but Hali didn’t bat it out of the air 2 feet off the ice… that is his followethrough.

  2. just some guy May 2, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    Good stuff!

  3. CC May 2, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    Nice graphic. Hopefully it’s a limited edition and we don’t see anymore goals like that…

    I expect the Canucks to come out with a bit more energy than the last game. I’d like to see them use their speed and convert more of those juicey turnovers into goals. Not sure how they are going to beat Rinne but I expect shooting high blocker side rather right into his glove might be a good start.

    Nashville (the city of) got a lot of good press on the Team 1040 (Vancouver’s main sports radio station) today – sounds like a great playoff atmosphere down there.

    I think we can agree on one thing: the need to keep these games out of OT. I suspect we might be going the full 7 and with the way the Sharks are tearing into the Wings the last thing we need is an exhausted winner facing them in the conference final.

    Here’s to an entertaining game tomorrow!

    Cheers from Vancouver,

    • AJ in Nashville May 3, 2011 at 7:15 am #

      No doubt, either this game or next, the Sedins will show up, and that will be problematic for Nashville. I really think it’s just a matter of whether or not the Preds can keep up the energy they established in game two, and their secondary scoring will continue to have an impact — and whether or not Pekka can keep on being Pekka. It’ll definitely be an interesting chess match for sure. And, I agree, I’d like to see Detroit make a better series out of it so at least things could be a bit more even-up, wear-and-tear-wise. We’ll see! Cheers to you as well! :)

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