It’s one of the most elusive goals in the game. But a couple of times a year, somewhere in the world, someone does it (and always scores… you never see a goaltender making some brazen forward look silly).
It happened Friday in the KHL when Pavel Medvedev of Urga popped one into the upper corner at just 4:18 of the first period. That’s early enough that at least 100 fans how got a devilish smile from a friend when the showed up late and said “What’d I miss?”
Medvedev worked the puck behind the net and instead of the flatten-the-stick-on-the-puck method, he slides his stick cooly under the puck and sticks it over the shoulder of Traktor goaltender Vasily Demchenko. He picks it up a lot like Mikael Granlund did against Russia in 2011 World Championship semi-finals, rather than the Michigan goal style.
One of the remarkable things about this goal was that it wasn’t scored by one of the league’s top skill players. Medvedev is a 23-year-old winger who now, in two games this season, has matched his goal total from last season in a truncated 12-game run. At the KHL level, he’s topped out at three goals and four assists through 32 games in the 2013-14 season. That makes that nasty goal a little more impressive.
The goal was reviewed and ruled a good goal.
In case you aren’t up on your history, here’s why some call that “the Michigan goal.”
And here’s the Mikael Granlund goal referenced earlier.