Hockey is a bizarre, wonderful, terrible sport where a fresh-faced teenager can wow the world with a precocious and exuberant display of skill, and at least one NHL lifer's response is, "Someone should hurt that kid."
San Jose's Tomas Hertl is everyone's new favorite after six goals in his first three games, including a four-goal game against the Rangers capped off by a gorgeous between-the-legs drop pass for a goal. So, for some fucking reason, a reporter asked Capitals coach Adam Oates about him.
“I’m upset. I was just talking to George [McPhee] and he said all the kids do that nowadays, which I understand. But would he have done it on his first goal?” Oates said. “He hasn’t scored yet tonight and he gets a breakaway, is he going to do that on his breakaway? We’ll see.
“I think it was a little bit of a mood thing, which I’m sure they talked about, because they didn’t play him after that,” Oates continued. “I’m glad the coach did that because this league, it will bite you if you’re not sharp. Don’t disrespect the league. I’m sure it was a rookie mistake.”
Act like you've been there before, the retired player who has never been there before told the rookie who had never been there before.
It is insane that this discussion comes up every year, that ink actually has to be spilled defending entertainment and fun in a sport that exists because it's entertaining and fun. A 19-year-old pulling off a shinny move in game action and positively beaming about it for the rest of the night hurts nobody, and does more to bring attention and joy to the sport than a humorless unwritten-rulekeeper shitting on it.
Here's Hertl's goal again. Every time you watch it, Adam Oates feels a sharp pain in his backside.