The line change is one of the most underappreciated moments in the game of hockey. If done right, three guys leave the bench at the same time three guys come on, and the game is relatively uninterrupted. It's fluid, artful, and at times, downright poetic.
That's if done right. If done wrong, however, as it is on this brief clip courtesy the Finnish national team in Stockholm, it's a bumbling, pratfall-y mess, with guys tripping over one another, and looking for all the world like something out of a Three Stooges ice routine:
Needs more Yakity Sax.
In order of falling down, that's Blackhawks prospect Teuvo Teravainen, former Leaf Leo Komarov, and Finnish-leaguer Tommi Huhtala, in this inspired bit of physical comedy from Finland's 2-1 shootout win over the Czech Republic in their last tune-up game before the World Championships.
It starts with a mixup between Teravainen, who's trying to hop the boards at the door, and Huhtala, who's trying to be a good teammate and open it for him. The effect is like having a chair pulled out from under you. Teravainen spills into the open door.
As this is happening, Komarov arrives to get off the ice and, in trying to step over Teravainen, inadvertently steps on his skate and falls over him. As he's doing so, he gets tangled up with Huhtala, who's trying to avoid the spill and get over the boards safely. He does not.
Definitely not the sort of thing you want your coaching staff to see you mixed up in when you're a 19-year-old trying to make the national team, and unfortunately for Teravainen, he is, and he didn't. The winger was one of the team's final cuts. You wonder if things would have been different if he looked slightly more capable of executing a simple line change.
If you ask me, he has a bone to pick with Tommi Huhtala. I say he goes for the double eye poke.
s/t to Reddit Hockey.
- Sports & Recreation