Before you read what I've got to say, just go ahead and watch this clip about half a dozen times.
Damn, son. That death-defying goal was his 14th on the season, tied with David Backes for the team lead. After the game, Oshie sat down with Pierre McGuire and described the play. He told the bald, creepy reporter that when he saw the puck coming from David Perron (what a deadly accurate pass, by the way), he was hoping to get Kari Lehtonen moving side to side. So he tried the trickier play of accepting the puck on his backhand and then moving to his right on his forehand. What he didn't tell McGuire was that he had to go parallel to the ice with a defensive player on his back and over the pads of the goalie.
The amazing part is that Oshie got a mental picture of what he wanted to do, he twisted his body moving at high speed in traffic and did it exactly as he saw it in his head in that split second. Well, that's what he told McGuire. On semi-national cable television, he could have just been talking out of his ass. But I don't want to believe that.
Oshie burst on the seen with an amazing shootout goal against the Blackhawks his rookie year in 2008-09 where he undressed the goaltender and put it into an open corner at his feet. He became beloved with two massive hits on Rick Nash. He became a teen heartthrob with his frosted tips. Monday night he showed that he's a legitimate first or second-line player in the NHL.
When Oshie was late to practice at the end of last season and was suspended for two games, we said all the pressure was on him. He could straighten things out, train his ass off, sign a one-year deal and then prove this season that he's more mature and ready to be one of the foundation players for the Blues for the next eight to 10 years. That's exactly what he's done.
I'm not sure if I'm happier for him to prove his critics wrong and that he could take his career seriously or that there's a guy on my favorite hockey team that can score while flying parallel to the ice. In any event, the Blues are atop the NHL standings along with the New York Rangers. I call it the Blues' goal of the year so far because it put them atop the standings, it was created by two of the players the team has been banking on for the past three years and it represents a possible turning point for this franchise. The national headline today: The Blues Are Back.
St. Louis is clearly the best home team in the NHL. And right now I wish it was early April. A lot of stuff will happen between now and the end of the season. Just think, the Blues could get healthier. Better too.
Celebrate/keep us grounded in the comments.