The opening goal of Friday night’s game versus the Blackhawks is scored when Christian Ehrhoff comes off the bench and immediately steps into a slapshot on the blueline. It beats Marty Turco cleanly. But here is something you might have missed:
We see, in clip above, Ryan Kesler turn back to the bench, seemingly disinterested in the goal that was just scored. He even commits the cardinal sin of leaving Ehrhoff hanging on a high five, instead coolly gesturing to the bench. Ignoring the immense sociological ramifications of being stiffed on a high five (even Gandhi couldn’t handle it), what Kesler’s issue here?
Well. Kesler takes his assistant captaincy very, very seriously. No time for silly high fives when there’s leadership to be done.
It’s important to note that this goal happens during a line change. In the IWTG, Skeeter pointed out that Cody Hodgson starts this play when he smartly puts the puck on net, low to Turco’s pad, rather than dumping it in. Immediately after doing this, Hodgson initiates a line change and Ryan Kesler replaces him. But, because it’s Hodgson’s line that scores, Kesler foregoes celebrating the goal to ensure that Hodgson’s role in it is acknowledged and the young centre doesn’t miss the on-ice goal celebration. He immediately turns back to the bench and tells Hodgson to join his linemates.
It’s a small thing, but it shows the selflessness and egality of the Canucks’ core guys. It’s an admirable moment of quiet leadership that undoubtedly meant a lot to young Hodgson.
Christian Ehrhoff, meanwhile, is still trying to to overcome the commensurate damage to his fragile psyche. Consider his turn as flail snail later in the same game: broken, he desperately tried to high-five Viktor Stalberg’s face. Ironically, he may be on the precipice of the same dark times that Cody Hodgson has recently overcome. If you see him, give him a high five. He’s one short.
Hat tip to Canucks.com forum member Hodgson99 for catching this one.
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