Patrik Laine bursts out slump in glorious homecoming

·MLB Writer

Assuming another human being’s purpose on this planet is a fraught endeavor brimming with theological pitfalls and the fundamental arrogance of assuming we really, truly, know anyone but ourselves.

That said, it seems pretty clear that Partik Laine was put on this Earth to score goals.

He’s a sniper’s sniper’s sniper and the assumed spiritual successor to Alex Ovechkin as the most electric goal scorer going.

Patrik Laine was on fire in Finland on Thursday. (CP)
Patrik Laine was on fire in Finland on Thursday. (CP)

So far this season he hasn’t looked the part, though. Coming into Wednesday’s Global Series action in Finland, the 20-year-old had just three tallies to his name in 12 games and was one of the catalysts of the Winnipeg Jets’ unexpectedly slow start. But in front of legions of adoring fans in Helsinki, he was finally able to break through – not once, or twice, but three times:

#1
#2
#3

It’s safe to say the Finnish masses approved of this performance as they showered him with praise, and more importantly, hats.

As much as it was probably a great feeling for Laine to excel in front of his countrymen, having a few pucks go in might have felt even better. Despite his heavy shot, the winger carried a shooting percentage of 6.8 into the contest.

That hard-luck rate accounted for a great deal of his struggles so far, as he shot 17.6 percent and 18.3 percent in his first two seasons in the league. Replicating those kind of numbers going forward will be a tall order, and will go a long way towards determining if he’ll lay claim to a trophy case full of Rocket Richards as many expect.

Whether Laine can put up Ovechkin-like goal totals without shooting nearly as often as the prolific Russian is a question for another day. For now, it’s just nice to enjoy him getting rolling again.

The Jets are more fun with Laine is at his best, the league is more fun when Laine is at his best, and on Thursday Laine was at his best. That’s good to see, wherever or whenever it’s happening.

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