Blackhawks’ Rozsival says you can’t order shots
BY MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org June 22, 2013 11:42PM
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 22: Milan Lucic #17 of the Boston Bruins checks Brent Seabrook #7 of the Chicago Blackhawks during a 3-1 blackhawks win in Game Five of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final at United Center on June 22, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
‘‘Shoot the puck!’’
Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival knows that simple hockey dictum is often easier said than done. But he also knows that it works.
Rozsival helped spark the Hawks to their 6-5 overtime victory against the Bruins in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final simply by shooting the puck. His shot from the point was deflected by Jonathan Toews past Tuukka Rask and gave the Hawks a 2-1 lead. Another shot from the blue line led to a rebound attempt by Bryan Bickell that led to Patrick Kane’s rebound goal for a 3-1 lead.
It looks simple. But it’s not easy.
‘‘Some guys have more confidence maybe, especially from the blue line,’’ Rozsival said. ‘‘Sometimes it’s hard to find the lanes, or maybe they don’t have the confidence to try to shoot it around a guy in front of you because any mistake can result in anything.
‘‘But if you want to score a goal, you have to shoot the puck, and anything can happen after that — puck recovery, deflections.’’
Like most players, Rozsival probably should shoot more. He has 13 shots in 21 playoff games.
‘‘I try to focus and have the mind-set to shoot the puck,’’ Rozsival said. ‘‘But sometimes during the game it just doesn’t happen. I don’t know why. I can’t really explain it. I am probably the worst at it. If you look at my shots per game, I probably have 0.9 shots per game.
‘‘I’ve been bad at it. But I’m glad that the last couple of times I’ve pulled the trigger on the blue line, it resulted in goals.’’
Rozsival did not score a goal in 27 games during the regular season and has yet to score in the playoffs. But in his prime, he reached double digits with the New York Rangers in 2006-07 (10) and 2007-08 (13). In the 2007 playoffs, his goal on a shot from the blue line in the second overtime gave the Rangers a 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.
‘‘Every time in the playoffs, you try to shoot the puck,’’ Rozsival said. ‘‘At that time, I was wide open at the blue line, and I got a pass from Michael Nylander and shot the puck, and Brendan Shanahan ran across the crease and screened the goalie, and it went in — kind of a similar shot to the one [Brent] Seabrook scored the other day.’’