Top 5 Leaf Spin-o-ramas

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There’s still no movement on either Nazem Kadri or Cody Franson, and training camp is still about a month away, so it’s time for another clip show!

The spin-o-rama has become a hallmark move in the NHL, even if it’s not without controversy.  Here’s the 5 best in blue in white at twisting and turning heads.

 

5. Nazem Kadri is really, really, really skilled.  Like damn skilled.

We’ll start of this clip show with a real beauty of a goal by Kadri during the 2011-2012 season.  Kadri passes off to Joffrey Lupul in the left wing corner and sneaks through to the top of the crease.  Lupul’s shot shanks off the Wild defender.  Kadri, reading the ricochet, pivots on his right skate and bats the puck out of the air on his backhand to give the Leafs a 1 – 0 lead.  Just incredible hand-eye coordination on this play, and totally worth a new contract… Dave.

4. Jason Blake… backhand

Jason Blake.  Remember him? Seriously, do you? Do you remember when the Leafs made THAT free agent winger mistake in 2007? Anyway, I’m not saying you have to like the guy, but this is a pretty sweet shootout goal nonetheless.  Blake carries the puck out to the right wing before taking a more direct line towards New Jersey netminder Scott Clemmensen.

Then, as if unbound by the laws of physics, Blake stops on a dime dead centre at the top of the crease and spins counter clockwise, backhanding in this beauty. Perhaps the most amazing part of this goal is seeing how tremendously underprepared Clemmensen was on that move.  He’s like two feet out of the net and a foot off the ice.

3. James van Riemsdyk scores the first Leaf playoff game winner in nine years

May 4, 2013 was a special day to me for several reasons, and this was one of them.  James van Riemsdyk cruises towards the net, slows and turns to receive a Mikhail Grabovski pass.  He takes Grabovski’s pass with both feet firmly planted in the crease, standing almost on top of Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask.  After trying to tap the puck in between his legs, he swings on his right foot and puts the puck to his forehand, barely sneaking the puck past Rask’s outstretched right leg before tumbling to the ice.

He probably would have scored higher on this list were it not for the dismount, but this was probably the most exhilarating goal of the 2013 season for me.

2. Mikhail Grabovski… forehand

Another shootout goal, but boy this one is a beauty by Mikhail Grabovski.  Grabovski, like Blake, cuts wide to the right wing as he prepares his attempt on Ty Conklin.  But Grabovski chose to attack at an even wide angle, getting as far over to the hash marks before veering towards the net.  He spins in a counter clockwise direction as he cuts to the left in front of the net, waits out a sprawling Conklin, and lightly flicks the puck into the top half of the net.

This goal is so incredibly because Grabo had the time, space and ability to complete the 360 THEN score.  Absolutely masterful move and it would be the winner if it weren’t for…

1. Killer with the OT dagger in the Gardens

Clearly anyone can score on a spin-o-rama in front of the net.  A real winner does it behind the net.  An even real-er winner does it in a playoff game.  And Doug Gilmour does all of that in double overtime.

Seeing Blake and Grabovski’s spin-o-rama goals in the shootouts, you think to yourself about the focus and timing required to make that play.  Everything has to be moving in just about perfect order in perfect time on this risky play.  What makes Gilmour’s so incredible is that he held the puck behind the Blues net for a full five seconds before making this dastardly move.

As Gilmour starts to move, the Blues left defenseman first breaks to intercept him.  Then Gilmour cuts the other way, forcing the defenseman and the Blues net minder Curtis Joseph to cover the far post.  Gilmour completes the pirouette, skates up and shovels the backhand just inside the near post to give the Leafs the victory.  Just incredible.

LINKS:

In case you missed it, Anthony had a great chat with Leafs scout Garth Malarchuk.

PPP Fanpost with the most! Not Norm Ullman has a terrific piece on the acquisition of Paul Ranger.

Cam Charron was a stat laden piece on quantifying Dion Phaneuf’s ice time and usage in a Leaf uniform.

Gabriel Landeskog re-signs in Colorado for 7 years, $39-million ($5.57-million AAV).

Justin Bourne’s Backhand Shelf Podcast on Alfredsson, the Devils money woes, and crimelords’ cup rings.

 

 

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Michael Stephens has been writing for Maple Leafs Hotstove since 2010, and has featured in the 2010 and 2012 Maple Leaf Annuals. Former Editiorial Intern at The Hockey News. Undergraduate degree from the University of Windsor. Chat me up about all things hockey on twitter @MLHS_Mike
  • phaneufoundlander

    Saw our boy Lups on MTV last night hosted by that hottie Aliya-Jasmine Sovani, Lups was sweatin bullets under his armpits….I kept wondering did he do her after the show.. .lol

  • phaneufoundlander

    Ol man, Gilmours goal with a younger Bob Cole calling the game sends chills down my spine. That was our cup boys….damn you to hell Fraser

  • Dan39

    phaneufoundlander I’ve seen Lupul in action off the ice – he’s an animal. 
    Kessel I saw last night – him not so much, In fact, not at all lol.

  • Dink

    phaneufoundlander I remember that series, Joseph was unbelievable

  • LightmyLeaf

    -Keon- I agree, totally a backwards stat – I’m betting that Subban was high possession, played easy minutes, wins the SNorris….its just wrong.

  • B_Leaf

    That is a great article on Ranger at PPP. This is one of the reasons I’ve been saying our GAA should be better this year.
    One thing the article barely touches on is Rangers physical strength…he can do the heavy lifting…whether he plays with Dion or not he will help keep Dion fresher. 
    When we add Ranger and Gardiner to our incumbents I really like our D. All of our D have defensive attributes and all of them have offensive attributes. We have some thunder and some lightning.
    With Carlyle, good goal tending, better defensive forwards, and our D we should see a Leaf team tougher to score on.

  • wendelsway1

    Good Morning Gents……thanks for the mash up Michael.  Looking forward to watching the progression of Kadri and JVR……two young players that haven’t played their best hockey yet…..but are so very capable of being game changers…….nifty mittens!  :)

  • B_Leaf

    phaneufoundlander 
    Fraser…spit

  • Burtonboy

    B_Leaf I read that article I think. Is that the one that suggested the addition of Ranger and a full season of Gardiner would dramatically improve our possession stats ?

  • Leafs rule

    phaneufoundlander Fraser yea spits again ,mr hair do sucs

  • phaneufoundlander

    You saw Lups in action? Really? Jeez, what kind of parties have you been going to? lol

  • B_Leaf

    wendelsway1 
    JVR really impressed me last year. The way he went to the net with consistency, his incredible hands in tight, and his heart against the bruins and chara in the playoffs. He is developing very nicely.

  • Conis

    B_Leaf  
    Great post….especially when reading your third paragraph in a Captain Lou Albano voice.
     Cheers!

  • wendelsway1

    B_Leaf phaneufoundlander Yep….Fraser boo booed big time…..and what’s really sad is the reffing seems to be getting worse.

  • B_Leaf

    Burtonboy B_Leaf 
    Yes…it mostly focused on Ranger and his advanced stats when in TB. Really quite impressive. The only concern moving forward is his concussion from last year and whether it is fully healed (see Reimer, Gardiner, Grabovski). But given time off he should hopefully be good to go.

  • Leafs rule

    wendelsway1 B_Leaf phaneufoundlander  lol eyeglasses on sale isle 5 ,wondering what else can be done besides waiting for the new refs to get used to the speed of the NHL

  • Burtonboy

    B_Leaf Burtonboy Read a little bit of that guys writing before. Seems pretty sensible when he presents his case . No condescending garbage about how fancy stats are the be all end all.

  • Leafs rule

    Burtonboy B_Leaf I think they will,both are great imo and will get better this year as they get used to each other

  • wendelsway1

    Yaknowwhat As you should be……sounds like a great weekend……..Be good. and if you can’t be good……..be careful.  lol  :)

  • B_Leaf

    wendelsway1 
    Kadri will also be really interesting to watch. He is being given an expanded role. His TOI will increase and he is likely to get some heavy PP time. Players with Kadri’s hands and vision don’t come along every day…he has hands that are top five in the league IMO.

  • wendelsway1

    B_Leaf wendelsway1 He sure is, was a great addition to our Leafs.  Speaking of going to the net, I’m very interested in Ashton’s development.  When he played a few games with the Leafs, while he didn’t look quite ready, he’s another that will go to the net and piss off the opposition with his play along the boards…..hell, Grabo had to come to his aid as he seems to get under the opposition’s skin.

  • wendelsway1

    B_Leaf wendelsway1 Plenty of highlight reel material in this kid’s future, me thinks……Nazzy and his nifty mittens.

  • wendelsway1

    Yaknowwhat wendelsway1 LOL……that goes without saying, Yak…lol

  • B_Leaf

    wendelsway1 B_Leaf 
    Well Ashton is going to get top six minutes on the Marlies this year along with D’Amigo. I have to admit I am not so optimistic on Ashton but he may turn it around…he certainly has the size and skating. With cap restraints it is unlikely we see either unless there is an injury, but come playoff time I think D’Amigo will be added and bring along his PK prowess and add to team speed. His skating has improved huge.

  • Burtonboy

    B_Leaf wendelsway1 Ashton is no slowpoke either . Kid got wheels

  • Dink

    B_Leaf wendelsway1  D’Amigo?

  • Dink

    Leafs rule phaneufoundlander  ok …who spit on my shoe?

  • B_Leaf

    Burtonboy B_Leaf wendelsway1 
    Oh yeah Ashton can skate…no doubt…just lacking in hockey IQ for the NHL level IMO…however he is still young enough to develop.
    D’Amigo seems to have more of an NHL game and that ability to elevate his game. Just my observation. Remember some knowledgable hockey people had D’Amigo slotted to be a first rounder (redline report).

  • Leafs rule

    @Dink Leafs rule phaneufoundlander lol,not me ,Cant wait to see ranger crush a ref accidentl while takin Alfie out on the boards ,smash goes both of them accidently of course

  • wendelsway1

    B_Leaf Burtonboy wendelsway1 While I agree that D’Amigo will get his shot before Ashton, I still think Ashton will develop into an NHL player. and will add to our bottom six….not every player has to be a bust if their ceiling is bottom six.

  • Burtonboy

    B_Leaf Burtonboy wendelsway1 Going to be fascinating to watch the competition in camp. There are always surprises.

  • Dink

    B_Leaf wendelsway1 shakes head

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Just wanted to sneak onto the internet here at work to say that working for a living sucks ass.  I wish I could quit my job and live on MLHS 24/7
    TGIF

  • wendelsway1

    Burtonboy B_Leaf wendelsway1 Absolutely, BB….can’t wait  :)

  • Burtonboy

    Other then the obvious choices which players could be the biggest surprise in camp ? I’m going out on a limb and say Andrew McWillian might surprise a lot of people

  • Dink

    -Keon- statistically speaking, stats can’t be measured accordingly unless everyone plays the same scenarios

  • Burtonboy

    Bon Scott was a Leaf fan I’m living that dream on most days .lol

  • B_Leaf

    wendelsway1 Burtonboy B_Leaf 
    True…my expectations are tempered at this point…but curious to see where or how Leivo, Biggs and Broll work out in there various roles. I fully expect all of them get at very least one full year in AHL but like you said surprises would be cool.

  • wendelsway1

    Burtonboy Bon Scott was a Leaf fan Me too…..biggest decision I have to make is whether or not I want to head to the cottage…lol  :)

  • Dink

    wendelsway1 Burtonboy Bon Scott was a Leaf fan  my biggest decision today involves cottage cheese

  • mcloki

    Morning Gents. Summer is officially in the two minute warning. The Ex starts and it’s just a hop and a skip til Labour Day. I can’t wait. Nice article on Ranger but I want the talking and speculating to stop and the games to begin.

  • wendelsway1

    @Dink wendelsway1 Burtonboy Bon Scott was a Leaf fan Oh……LOL  :)

  • Burtonboy

    @Dink wendelsway1 Burtonboy Bon Scott was a Leaf fan That one’s easy ………its fuckin awful stuff

  • Burtonboy

    mcloki 26 days till camp starts :)

  • wendelsway1

    Burtonboy wendelsway1 Bon Scott was a Leaf fan LOL……nothing appetizing about it……doesn’t even look good enough to eat.

  • B_Leaf

    Burtonboy 
    Hopefully he doesn’t derail anyone at camp…lol…I found it interesting that Hughes reffered to him as a blue chipper.

  • Dink

    wendelsway1 Burtonboy Bon Scott was a Leaf fan   It’s not easy being me

  • wendelsway1

    mcloki Morning Loki……you and me both…..can’t wait  :)

  • Phrank N Stein

    Watching Grabbo in 2 of those 5 highlights is painful.

  • Burtonboy

    B_Leaf Burtonboy Keep your head up boys ….there’s a truck coming lol