Most of the great goal posts in this space involve an individual effort, like a goal scorer deking around one or two defenders before scoring from next to no angle. Or maybe it's a two-man effort that involves something passing the puck through an eye of the needle.
But how often do you see a goal that came about after two pretty passes like the ones that distinguished this tic-tac-toe collaboration between the Halifax Mooseheads' Jonathan Drouin, Nathan MacKinnon and the finisher, Stefan Fournier on Friday night? The concept of defenders having an 'active stick' makes it nearly impossible for two long passes to go tape-to-tape-to-tape. Yet the two highly ranked prospects for the NHL draft and Halifax's captain morphed into — take your pick, the old WHA Winnipeg Jets, the Soviet KLM Line, the 1980s Edmonton Oilers? — for a sweet spot in time. You can't blame the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies if they did stand around watching Drouin, Fournier and MacKinnon play, because this was sweet.
It was feeling like it had been too long since a MacKinnon highlight-reel play had appeared in this space. That probably went just like they drew it up. The thing is, it should rarely ever work the way they drew it up, otherwise hockey would be way too easy and it would get boring. The sport needs some chaos and entropy.
No doubt it was a thrill to the crowd of 10,175 the Quebec League-leading Mooseheads had out on Friday night. The big line combined for 10 points in Halifax's 8-3 win, including a four-assist night from Drouin and a hat trick for Fournier.
Rouyn-Noranda coach André Tourigny, who's coached with Canada's natioanl junior team, answered in the affirmative when asked post-game if the 17-year-olds Drouin and MacKinnon deserve a tryout with Team Canada. He did caution by saying it's an event geared to players two years their senior.
Fournier's brother, 18-year-old Chicago Blackhawks second-rounder Dillon Fournier, plays for the Huskies. He wasn't on the ice for goal highlighted above, but don't worry, MacKinnon made sure to burn him on another pretty nice power-play goal, which starts at the 30-second mark below. MacKinnon came out of the corner with a spin move and then the puck went from Drouin to Detroit Red Wings pick Martin Frk to the back of the net.
MacKinnon came into the action with more goals than assists this season. Both of those feeds, particularly the first that somehow got past the Huskies' Mathieu Lemay to to find Stefan Fournier in full flight showed off his playmaking. And as Cam Charron's good buddy Don Cherry would say, all you kids out there, you kids should watch how Drouin drove hard to the net to be draw away the other defenceman. Those little things make all the difference.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet (videos: John Moore, Halifax Mooseheads).
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