The Loop

The Loop

GOALIE ASSIST ALERT: Penguins’ Casey DeSmith logs one of the most incredible tendy points you’ll ever see

January 20, 2021

We don’t get to highlight good goaltending around here as often as we should. The thing about good goaltending is that it’s NOT supposed to be flashy. Solid, yes. Dependable, sure. But not everybody can be Dominik Hasek, flailing around the crease like a ring-tailed lemur after its morning coffee (do lemurs drink coffee?). But this morning, Wednesday, January 20, 2021—a notable day for a few other reasons, we’re told—we are pleased to announce an A-tier goaltending highlight for your viewing pleasure. Ladies and gentleman of the puck, behold the rare—NAY, endangered—goalie assist.

We gotta tell you, folks, if that’s not the assist of the year when this whole thing is said and done, we just don’t know what is. The vision, the precision, the touch. It’s a literal thing of beauty, and Teddy Bleuger makes no mistake with it, knowing damn well that if he doesn’t bury it, he’s not going to be able to look Penguins tendy Casey DeSmith in the eyes ever again.

But while the pass is a bonafide scroll-stopper (like a traffic stopper, only on the internet, where we all live now), the context makes it even more impressive. Trailing 4-2 midway through the second period, the Penguins had their backs to boards facing a 5-on-3 Capitals power play. Give up another one and it’s lights out, so what does DeSmith do? He takes Evgeny Kusnetsov’s dump in and flicks it over the top like he’s Zinedine Zidane, and suddenly it’s game on.

The Penguins would go on to complete the comeback, winning 5-4 in overtime. But while Sid the Fully Grown Kid chipped in with three points, it's DeSmith that deserved the game puck . . . they do game pucks, right?