Saturday, December 5, 2009

Johnny Get Your Gun

I'll have more on Boston's big win against Toronto tonight, but I wanted to post about that bomb by defenseman Johnny Boychuk for his first NHL goal.

That's why he's the reigning Eddie Shore Award winner as the AHL's top defenseman, sportsfans. A shot like that is mostly genetic- hard, powerful, accurate and honed over years spent shooting thousands of pucks at sheets of plywood and regulation hockey goals. (At least Brian Rolston once told me he thought that the power behind a slap shot has more to do with genetics than technique.)

Back in '02, his fearsome shot and size was a big (pun intended) reason he was a high second-round draft pick, and it's nice to see him finally get his first big league marker seven-plus years later.

On the play in question, Boychuk stepped into David Krejci pass to the point at full gallop and Vesa Toskala never had a chance, the puck rocketing past him and into the twine much to the delight of the TD Garden faithful.

He replaced Matt Hunwick in the lineup thanks to the Michigander's fiasco of a game in Montreal, after scoring 20 goals for Providence last season, showing why he remains an interesting option whenever he can find the time and space to uncork his slapper.

Congratulations, Johnny!

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