Phil Kessel is known as one of the top scorers in the NHL, but he got the hockey world using some basketball lingo as he started an alley-oop goal that Patric Hornqvist finished on Sunday afternoon.
Skating behind the Florida Panthers’ net, Kessel appeared to be collecting the puck in a relatively harmless position. As the puck came to him from Hornqvist, Kessel made the snap decision to chip the puck over the Panthers’ cage in an attempt to set up his teammate.
Hornqvist was apparently on the same page, batting the puck out of the air to tally one of the best goals of the season.
Did Kessel get the idea for this play after watching some March Madness games? That may be the only explanation as it’s pretty rare for an NHL player to try this kind of play. It’s even more rare for this kind of play to lead to a goal in a competitive situation.
Making this play even more impressive is the fact Kessel was able to chip a bouncing, rolling puck and place it in the exact spot for Hornqvist to finish it off without settling it down. Give some credit to Hornqvist too. Batting a puck out of the air while trying to skate away from a defender is incredibly challenging. Hornqvist’s ability to locate the puck in a spot where he probably wasn’t expecting it and put it on goal is nothing short of spectacular.
We’re not taking sides, but this play deserved to result in a goal simply on effort alone.