December 28, 2010
Perfectly timed and measured passes are sports poetry. The quarterback dropping a long bomb over a receiver's shoulder for a touchdown. A midfielder anticipating a striker's run with a well-placed ball in soccer.
It happens in hockey, too. On Monday night, in the Los Angeles Kings' 4-0 victory at the San Jose Sharks, Anze Kopitar(notes) lobbed the puck from the neutral zone and placed it at the top of the right faceoff circle in the Sharks' zone ... where Dustin Brown(notes) corralled it and converted one of the most spectacular scoring plays of the season:
Wow ... did the Kings bring on Charlie Conway from "The Mighty Ducks" as an offensive coordinator to design the alley-oop?
Again, look where Kopitar releases that lob pass: Right outside his own blue line, launching the puck with pinpoint precision and distance and speed. Not to be outdone, Brown's finish for his 16th goal of the season was an impressive act of coordination. Their reaction on the bench was kids-on-the-pond giddy.
If there's a category for assist of the year, then here's your last-minute entry.