We've used these types of articles to talk about some enormous overtime goals and analyze some deep-rooted horrific celebrating awareness. Today we're going to take a look at what ended up being an enormous fifth goal in Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, created by the top line combination of Rick Nash, J.T. Miller and Derick Brassard.
The play begins with Andrej Sustr (circled) getting to a loose puck at the red line. His momentum carries him naturally towards his own zone, and Nash recognizes this and attacks. Note where Brassard and especially Miller are as this play develops.
Nash lifts Sustr's stick and gets the inside position on him, eventually winning the puck in the open space that's circled in black. Miller, who was originally hanging back as a line of defense, notices Nash is going to win the puck and moved into the green space, which will soon be vacated and empty. The two red lines shows the two Lightning players providing defensive support focusing on Nash and Sustr rather than Brassard, who beelines towards the net to provide some separation.
Nash flips the puck back to Miller who fakes a shot, pulling all three Lightning defenders who are involve din the play towards him. Notice how everyone (including Ben Bishop) are focusing on the incoming Miller shot. Brassard (circled in green) is all alone and Miller hits his tape with a perfect fake shot pass.
This is the back view right before Brassard scores. Notice the opening Brassard has to work with thanks to the Miller fake. BOTH Lightning players are facing in the wrong direction, and Bishop is probably the closes player in terms of raw proximity. Brassard waits a tick to make sure Bishop can't make another miraculous diving save, and once he sees Bishop move he safely slots the puck into the open net.
This play begins with the hard work from Nash, who bullies Sustr off the puck to create the turnover. But give Miller a ton of credit for being smart enough to fake out the entire Lightning defense (Bishop included) and floating a perfect pass to Brassard for the easy finish.