Tomas Tatar (via GoPro/YouTube)
Detroit’s Tomas Tatar appears in the debut episode of NHL After Dark and it’s impossible not to have a new appreciation for the Slovakian wingers ability after watching.
It’s hard to truly get a feel for the skill of some of the NHL’s best players when you’re watching a typical broadcast. Sure, some moves will impress and leave you wondering how anyone is capable of such feats with a stick and puck, but there’s still that distance between viewer and puck carrier that doesn’t quite do the skill of these players justice.
In part, that’s why the NHL’s new video series with partner GoPro was so exciting. The series is set to offer first-person perspective with helmet cameras mounted on some of the NHL’s best players. In the first instalment of the series, Detroit Red Wings Tomas Tatar shows off what he can do with the puck on his stick and he likely earned himself new appreciation to go along with some new fans.
Tatar doesn’t wait to pull out some slick hands in the debut video, flipping the puck into the air and batting it on net to open the series up:
Tatar’s release on the first shot is insane. The puck is already rebounding off the crossbar before the goaltender reacts to the shot. And his backhand that squeaks through the netminder’s equipment has some serious zip on it.
The best move of the entire video, though, comes on a deke that Tatar doesn’t even score on. Watch his backhanded toe drag across the crease at the 1:45-mark, which Tatar tries to finish by chipping the puck in with the toe of his stick. That’s a move that even attempting would make most beer-leaguers fall flat on their face.
It shouldn’t really be surprising how skilled Tatar is with the puck considering he scored 29 goals in 2014-15 and is on pace for close to 25 this season. He’s oft-overlooked on a roster that includes Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and, now, Dylan Larkin, but Tatar can be a lethal scorer.
The next After Dark video will be released next Wednesday, and will feature Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Evgeni Malkin.