It’s the debate that’s sweeping across the State of Hockey, and no, I’m not talking about the uninformed souls who are suggesting that the Wild paid too much for Mikko Koivu. I’m talking about the Jarod Palmer mystery. Was this shootout goal planned, or did he recover from a horribly missed slap shot?
Watching the replay, I thought it was pretty obvious that he did it on purpose. Nobody whiffs on a slap shot by that much. Plus, he never broke stride and just looked too smooth. Most people who whiff on a slap shot in a shootout would just immediately skate off the rink and head toward their car without taking off their gear. Also, if you watch goalie Matt Hackett, he didn’t really flinch at the miss, which would seem to mean he was watching the puck pretty closely and wasn’t fooled (much) by the stick missing.
Still, there are some doubters, so today I went right to the subject of the phenomenon: Jarod Palmer himself.
“That move was 100% planned,” he confirmed. “I made that move up a long time ago.”
Palmer, who of course is one of us since he’s a Fridley native, said he’s pulled off the move once or twice in college – in practice of course.
“I didn’t do it too often, because you’re only going to pull it off once.”
But he’s worked on it so much, that he’s gotten pretty consistent with it.
“I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t miss it with my foot,” he said. “That’s the toughest part because you create so much torque with the fake shot, it’s hard to know where your feet are and where the puck is.”
So there you have it. The goal was planned, and also legal because Palmer never stopped moving forward, and neither did the puck. But will he ever have the moxie to pull it off in a game?