Sometimes the difference between playoff hockey and regular season hockey can be easily overstated. Increased intensity and better teams don’t necessarily guarantee crisper, more entertaining hockey.
A perfect example of this idea came to the surface during the KHL playoffs on Saturday as Andrei Kuteikin scored the kind of truly bizarre goal you don’t expect to see during a hard-fought postseason contest.
The Dynamo Moscow defenceman teed up a powerful slap shot just outside his own zone, only to see it take an absurd bounce and find its way into the back of the net.
— KHL (@khl_eng) March 10, 2017
The idea was an absurd one, on the surface. Dynamo Moscow had the puck and a surplus of time and space to push a well-organized attack up the ice. Relinquishing possession on a shot that had virtually no chance of scoring would seem foolish – especially since missing the net would result in an icing call.
Regardless of the probabilities, Kuteikin let loose nonetheless and its impossible to argue with the result. Apparently, the 32-year-old might know what he’s doing because this is the second time he’s scored this way in less than a month.
Shoot from red line, enjoy the red light.
— KHL (@khl_eng) February 23, 2017
Even so, it’s hard to credit Kuteikin as a brilliant strategist or accomplished sniper. It’s probably more fair to describe him as a guy with the ability to hit the net from far away – slightly less impressive but not irrelevant. Putting pucks on goal and hoping for a fortunate bounce is the oldest trick in the book, and it’s clearly working for Kuteikin.
At the end of the day, no matter how disciplined or physical a team plays defensively in the postseason, there’s no defence for puck luck.