Martin Havlat could only stare straight ahead with his mouth open as he lay on the ice.
Why? Because all he needed to do was tap the puck into a wide open net that to put his team in the lead.
Instead, he celebrated a bit too early. Watch for yourself (play starts at 1:10 of video):
Let’s break this “blooper” down…
Midway through the second period with the Sharks and Predators in a scoreless tie, Ryane Clowe takes a shot from the right face-off circle. The puck gets by Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne and hit off of the left post.
Alertly, Havlat scampers around Rinne to the puck, and all he has to do is tap it in for his third goal of the season.
Easy goal? Wrong.
Thinking the puck went in, Havlat raises his arms to celebrate Clowe’s phantom goal.
By the team he realizes that the puck did not go in, it is too late and Havlat is swarmed by Predators as he falls to the ice in despair.
Listening to the broadcast, you can hear Sharks’ color commentator Drew Remenda say, “What the —” before stopping himself . Then, as the replay is displayed, the sellout crowd at HP Pavilion groans in dismay.
We have seen players celebrate too early before, but I personally have not witnessed someone raising his arms while the puck is right at his feet. Even if it did go in, Havlat should have just shot the puck into the net to be safe.
This play would go on to haunt the Sharks, as they fell 2-1 in a shootout to Nashville and were handed their first loss of the season.
So that’s your blooper of the year thus far, let’s see if anyone can top that!
Eric is a journalism student at the University of Southern California and a sports editor at the Daily Trojan. He grew up in the Bay Area and has followed the Sharks since a young age. He served as a beat writer on the team for SFBay.ca during the 2014-2015 season. Previously, Eric has worked at FanSided and Bleacher Report.