"Make sure you corral the puck cleanly ... OK, now turn ... Protect the puck ... There's nothing but open net ahead of you ... Just over a minute left ... We got this ... We're gonna beat the Swedes ... Just skate it in and put the game to bed ... OH F&$%!"
These were likely the thoughts of Finnish forward Sakari Salminen during Saturday's Karjala Cup game against Sweden. You can see in the screencap above how much empty ice was ahead of Salminen and how little he was bothered by the Swedish defenseman trailing him.
But Salminen couldn't get the puck to sit, and as he was bearing down on the empty net, well, he hooked it:
Salminen didn't go away empty handed. He scored the Finns' first goal of the game. And as bad as the miss was, and while it does remind you of Patrik Stefan's infamous gaffe in 2007, Sweden did not end up coming back in the game as Finland held on for a 3-1 victory.
So, not quite the embarrassment because of what happened soon after like Stefan's miss, and not emphatic like Craig Smith's blunder last season. Instead, Salminen will endure a bit of stick over the next couple of days and his shank will soon be forgotten except, of course, for the Finnish hockey blooper reels.
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy
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