No one is ever going to confuse Chicago rookie Tyler Motte with ‘The Russian Rocket,’ but that doesn’t mean the Blackhawks winger can’t steal a trick or two from Pavel Bure.
In Tuesday’s game agains the Calgary Flames, Motte, 22, channelled a bit of Bure’s flair for highlight-reel goals with a combination of speed and skill that few would have expected out of the youngster this early in his career.
With the Blackhawks ahead of the Flames 2-1 and looking for an insurance marker, Motte found himself picking up a loose puck off the right wing boards and breaking down the ice with only Calgary’s T.J. Brodie to beat. As Motte waited for a potential passing option, he slowed through the neutral zone, but he must have seen an opening and the potential to break by Brodie.
After a quick stutter step as he crossed the Flames’ line, Motte shifted the puck to his backhand and turned on the jets and went wide on Brodie. Motte then flipped the puck to the inside with one hand on his stick and then used his back skate to kick the puck up to his forehand before tucking it around Calgary netminder Brian Elliott for a beautiful tally:
Not bad for a third-career NHL tally. Motte’s goal, his fifth point of the campaign, was the insurance goal in a 5-1 victory by the Blackhawks.
Motte was one of the fresh faces that was expected to make an impact for the Blackhawks this season as another season of being flush against the salary cap forced Chicago to go with young, inexperienced and, most of all, cheaper players in order to assemble a full roster. Motte’s offensive ability was evident from his 32-goal, 58-point campaign in 38 games with University of Michigan last season and it’s certainly helped Chicago early in the campaign.
Overall, the shift to younger talent hasn’t been hurting the Blackhawks too much in terms of their record. Through 10 games, the Blackhawks are 6-3-1 and tied with the Minnesota Wild for the Central Division lead thanks to three straight victories.
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