MONTREAL – Ottawa Senators forward Kaspars Daugavins was in the on-deck circle Wednesday night for a shootout against the Montreal Canadiens. And coach Paul MacLean said once again the Latvian had something up his sleeve.
“He was next for sure,” MacLean said. “He said he had something special again. We were disappointed we didn’t get to see it.”
Montreal put any more party tricks on ice, winning the shootout 2-1 and the game 4-3.
Daugavins set the hockey world abuzz in Monday’s shootout in Ottawa when he stabbed the puck with the blade of his stick and headed towards Boston’s Tuukka Rask. The 24-year-old Latvian then did a spin-o-rama move, still stabbing the puck, trying to jam it past Rask. But the Bruins goalie used his leg to block the puck and the Sens lost the shootout.
Daugavins had used the move successfully in the AHL but his attempt to do it in the NHL set off a debate of whether he should be lauded for creativity or criticized for showcasing hot dog moves when the game was on the line.
Daugavins was fourth to go for the Sens in the Boston shootout, with the Bruins up 2-1.
Two days later, after the Montreal shootout, MacLean was asked if he was serious when he said Daugavins had another special move ready.
He insisted he was.
Asked if he knew what was next, MacLean laughed: “He’s not going to give it away.”
Daniel Alfredsson’s failure in Wednesday’s shootout dropped his record to 0-for-6 this season. Asked whether he had considered dropping his captain from the shootout rotation, MacLean looked bemused and said: “Why wouldn’t I? (It’s) Daniel Alfredsson. He’s 0-for-6 this year, the percentage over his career is very very good. And he’s the captain of our team and when the game’s on the line, you want to give him an opportunity to win the game for us.”
Failure in another shootout left Ottawa goalie Robin Lehner down in the dumps despite some fine play in the third period when the Senators were outshot 13-3.
“I don’t know what to say really,” he said. “It sucks. I can’t seem to find a way in the shootout and I’m a little red of the one-point games. I think our guys are playing their hearts out and they deserve two points.
“It feels good in the regular game and overtime but when it comes to the shootout right now, I’m not there. I didn’t expect it to be easy either. It’s another speed. It’s not the AHL any more. It’s something I’ve got to work on and it’s not working right now. It sucks.”
Said MacLean: “The reason it gets to the shootout is how well Robin played.”