Hemsky dominated tonight's game

Jason Gregor
January 20 2009 10:47PM

It might be permanently, or it might only be for the weekend. Either way Liam Reddox walked out of Rexall Place tonight carrying his hockey bag, so he will going to Springfield to try and help the Falcons win some games.

Reddox and Gilbert Brule should help the Falcons, and they will also stay sharp if they are needed back in Edmonton after the all-star break.

Other tidbits

Zack Stortini is already back skating and is eyeing a possible return next Friday versus the Wild. Stortini’s ability to avoid a serious injury is still amazing to most. He said he is feeling great, and that the torn muscle is healing nicely.

It has been a long time since a player dominated a game for the Oilers the way Hemsky did tonight. He made it look easy.

“No deception whatsoever,” said a stunned Sheldon Souray. “He throws in the odd toe drag to make guys look stupid and that’s it. It’s great to have him on our side. He’s an elite player and his performance has spoken for itself all season. He misses ten games, comes back and totally dominates the games. I’m jealous."

Most adjectives to describe Hemsky ranged from sick, unreal, unbelievable, astonishing and even a joking envy. That was the best game I can remember Hemsky playing. He has had great goals before, but almost every shift he dominated and looked on a completely different level than anyone else.

What makes tonight even more incredible is that he isn’t on the all-star team. Quickly: name the players in the west who can dangle as well as Hemsky. Datsyuk, Kane and that's it off the top of my head. There are other great players, but few who can make it look that easy.

At worst the Oilers will wake up tied for sixth in the west tomorrow morning and I don’t know who will be more stunned them or the fans. The anticipation from fans for the game versus Buffalo will be huge, because tonight Hemsky left everyone from teammates, media and fans waiting to see what his next performance will bring.

Enjoy it fans, you might be witnessing the emergence of true superstar, and a player that will energize Rexall Place in ways it hasn’t seen in a long time. Tonight after he scored the game winning goal, the fans chanted HEM-SKY, HEM-SKY. I can’t recall another game where his name was chanted with such vigor and excitement.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 rindog
January 20 2009, 10:57PM
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Add to it his fantastic game on Sunday night as well...

There are only 8 players that have a better points per game average than Hemmer.

And 3 of them are Malkin, AO and Crosby.

Has Hemmer reached SUPERSTAR status???

Me thinks so!!!!!

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#2 Hockey Gods
January 20 2009, 11:05PM
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Hemsky is starting to make me feel the same way Souray does. I kinda gush, and the buldge in pants gets bigger.

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#3 David S
January 20 2009, 11:06PM
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Say. No. More.

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=ak2eJJFN69c

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#4 Smokin' Ray
January 20 2009, 11:08PM
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Doan or Brown over Hemsky? What? Tkachuk made it? What? When will Hemsky be recognized? What does he have to do? Is it because he plays in Edmonton? I can't understand why he isn't at the All Star game. He's been solid all year. And yet he's snubbed. Sick.

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#5 rindog
January 20 2009, 11:08PM
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@ Hockey Gods:

Check out your bulge after this.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XicPen2knZI

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#6 rindog
January 20 2009, 11:09PM
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@ Smokin' Ray:

One guy from every team in the conference....

Sure makes a whole lot of sense to have Modano at the game and not Hemmer????

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#7 Jason Gregor
January 20 2009, 11:22PM
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rindog wrote:

@ Smokin’ Ray: One guy from every team in the conference…. Sure makes a whole lot of sense to have Modano at the game and not Hemmer????

The stupid part is that it isn't a league mandated rule that every team has to represented anymore, but this year they just decided to have a player from every team. It is stupid in my mind because it is not the best players, but at the same time Oiler fans should be happy he isn't going. He can rest and be ready for the stretch run. The game itself is a joke, but the recognition that he is on even keel with the other best players in the league would be good for Hemsky.

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#8 rindog
January 20 2009, 11:27PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

Gregs,

How much of an impact do you think the play of Hemsky will have in attracting a big name forward in the off season (if we are even trying to)?

I guess it can't hurt, that's for sure.

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#9 Hockey Gods
January 20 2009, 11:31PM
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Smokin' Ray wrote:

What? When will Hemsky be recognized? What does he have to do? Is it because he plays in Edmonton?

I kind of like the fact he isn't as respected as he should be. Hopefully it means teams come unprepared and don't check him as tight as they should. That said I think we are witnessing a breakout year for Hemmer and chances are as the season progesses he get a lot more attention.

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#10 Mark Martin
January 20 2009, 11:38PM
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I think you could add Iginla to that list of elite players in this conference.

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#11 Hockey Gods
January 20 2009, 11:42PM
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Mark Martin wrote:

I think you could add Iginla to that list of elite players in this conference.

Why because he smiles and laughs in his interviews? Not good enough,

I refuse to acknowledge any of his other talents, he plays for the Flames, nuff said.

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#12 rindog
January 20 2009, 11:42PM
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@ Mark Martin:

Iginla doesn't "dangle".

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#13 Jason Gregor
January 20 2009, 11:46PM
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Mark Martin wrote:

I think you could add Iginla to that list of elite players in this conference.

I meant in dangling ability...obviously Iginla, Thornton, Marleau, Zetterberg are there as well, but I was talking strictly in stick handling and dangling ability.

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#14 oilmoose
January 20 2009, 11:48PM
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UN-BE-LEAVE-ABLE! I have to admit, before the goal by Grebs I figured we were down and out. I have to wonder, how did we manage without Hemmer for 10 games without him? This kid is the most exciting thing to happen to this team since I've been watching in '79 other than the "glory years". It's awfully refreshing to have some hope that the game is never really lost. "Hemmer can come through!" For the first time in a long time with conviction, GOILERS!!!

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#15 Travis Dakin
January 20 2009, 11:48PM
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Joe Sakic said that Hemsky is the smoothest player in the game. That says it all for me.

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#16 Jason Gregor
January 20 2009, 11:49PM
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rindog wrote:

@ Jason Gregor: Gregs, How much of an impact do you think the play of Hemsky will have in attracting a big name forward in the off season (if we are even trying to)? I guess it can’t hurt, that’s for sure.

You answered it. It won't hurt that is for sure, but it will be really tough this offseason, because there is so much uncertainty about the 2010/2011 season and what the cap will be at. Teams will have to be ultra careful, and the Oilers will need to be because Gagner and Cogliano will need new deals prior to the start of 2010/2011.

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#17 Tankit4Tavares
January 20 2009, 11:49PM
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I was composing a list of players myself before I read this post, not of who got the All-Star nod ahead of Hemmer, just players that have just flat out CRUSHED the opposition like that on their own. In the last couple of years maybe Datsuk, Ovie, Malkin, and Nash. It was completely off the charts. Im still wearing a sh!t-eating grin and will be until the Edmonton Hemsky's take the ice again.

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#18 Colin
January 21 2009, 12:35AM
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Tankit4Tavares wrote:

Im still wearing a sh!t-eating grin and will be until the Edmonton Hemsky’s take the ice again.

they almost should change the team name.

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#19 Antony Ta
January 21 2009, 02:26AM
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BAPTISM BY HEMSKY

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#20 Jonathan Willis
January 21 2009, 07:10AM
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So Stortini's almost healthy - and the Oilers are leaving an extra roster spot open with the departure of Reddox.

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#21 jayoilfan
January 21 2009, 07:19AM
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After grebs goal with 5mins left I just felt something was building... As Hemsky took the pass up the boards from Penner I was thinking...Just shoot just shoot! and he did! Mason was screened a bit on the shot but on the replay it was a perfectly palce top corner shot. Mason barely waved at it with his blocker! The happy smile on Hemsky's face was priceless, pure joy and exultation! Looks like they are having fun.

SWEEEEET! as for not making the all star selection, who cares it is a waste of three hours on the weekend, I'll be at a WHL game with my two boys.

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#22 The Towel Boy
January 21 2009, 07:40AM
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I get a kick out of his goal celebrations. It's like "Yep...scored. Wooo."

...not much fanfare, a little fist pump, a tiny smirk....no riding of the stick to center ice, no jumping into the corner glass, no tossing a glove in the air and pretending to shoot it down with a hockey stick rifle ...just quiet and reserved.

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#23 Chaz
January 21 2009, 07:52AM
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@ Travis Dakin: Joe Sakic knows what he's talking about, unless he's talking about snow removal....ouch! Sorry Joe.

Seriously though, what amazes me about Hemmer is he'll skate into the opposition's end and it doesn't even look like he's skating that fast, and then all of a sudden he'll be past both defensemen. He's so smooth he tricks the other team into thinking he's not skating, then he's gone...poof.

Enjoy your rest this week Hemmer and let the egomaniacs have thier little "Allstar" game. Magical Ales, magical!

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#24 Rev
January 21 2009, 08:06AM
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First, need to recognize that Hemmer and Ovechkin are two different players - but one thing they have in common is that quick release from the high slot using screens that completely catches netminders off guard.

Would be nice to see Ovechkin and Hemsky compared at the allstar game. But let's not take the allstar game seriously, its nothing but an opportunity to shoot new NHL.com videos (while all the popular players are together) and demonstrate only one demension of the game.

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#25 Milli
January 21 2009, 08:12AM
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This is a diferent team with him in the line up, crazy diferent. I haven't always been a beleiver.....BUT I AM CONVERTED THIS SEASON. This guy has truly been dominant, and ya, why isn't he an ALLSTAR? Imagine, after everything that this team has been this season, to wake up, going into the break, playing good (great?) hockey and in a playoff position!!!! This is SWEET!!!!!

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#26 Jonathan Willis
January 21 2009, 08:21AM
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Incidentally, given Hemsky's recent concussion, I'd suspect that a few days off is more a positive than a negative for him.

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#27 Travis Dakin
January 21 2009, 08:37AM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

Agreed. It is very obvious that this team is going to need him to keep it rolling for the rest of the season if it's going anywhere.

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#28 DaveS
January 21 2009, 08:42AM
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So, 1260, are we still trading Hemsky for Lecavalier?

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#29 Stall35
January 21 2009, 08:51AM
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If they did make that trade, I would not be taking "Hemsky" off my Oilers Jersey, I'd be taking the "Oilers" off of Hemsky...Bring on Buffalo!!

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#30 The Towel Boy
January 21 2009, 08:51AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Enjoy it fans, you might be witnessing the emergence of true superstar, and a player that will energize Rexall Place in ways it hasn’t seen in a long time. Tonight after he scored the game winning goal, the fans chanted HEM-SKY, HEM-SKY. I can’t recall another game where his name was chanted with such vigor and excitement.

*clap clap*

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#31 Bruthah
January 21 2009, 08:53AM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Joe Sakic said that Hemsky is the smoothest player in the game. That says it all for me.

When did Marty say that? hyuk hyuk hyuk

Saw the highlights this morning. I am onboard the Hemsky Superstar train now, that is if there is any room. His goals lately have been beautiful. Have him and Brule been practicing the backhand to top corner play?

I'm glad he's not considered an all-star, because the last thing the team needs is Hemmer getting hurt like Horcoff last year.

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#32 Bruthah
January 21 2009, 08:57AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Tonight after he scored the game winning goal, the fans chanted HEM-SKY, HEM-SKY. I can’t recall another game where his name was chanted with such vigor and excitement.

I can remember some "Rolie, Rolie, Rolie" chants in years past, but there seems to be an air of hope with this new one.

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#33 Ender the Dragon
January 21 2009, 08:58AM
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At least we don't have to worry about negotiating his deal in the off-season. A few people (not everyone) questioned Lowe when we offered Hemsky 25M a couple years ago. It's looking pretty sweet now to have this guy under contract through the 11-12 season.

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#34 Mike Krushelnyski
January 21 2009, 08:59AM
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@ Tankit4Tavares:

You know it was a good game when a guy named Tankit4Tavares has nothing negative to say!

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#35 CurtisS
January 21 2009, 09:03AM
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What a game by Hemmer. We waited 6 years for this. I hope its worth the wait. Hes a totally different player this year than any other year.

I said last night before the game. If we can win that one we will make the playoffs. If we lose it we would miss.

Playoffs at Rexall this spring. WOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

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#36 Darcy
January 21 2009, 09:05AM
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I posted this in the Lecavalier a few days ago when Gregor was saying you take Lecavalier over Hemsky:

Jason, Maybe in the past. Not today. This year Hemsky’s ppg is 1.05. Vinny’s is 0.91. Less points at half the price. Also Vinnie is 28 and Hemsky is 25. With the salaries being equal and you had to start a franchise today, you couldn’t make a great argument for Vinnie over Hemmer today. Last year maybe. Two years ago for sure. With the salaries as they are, you take Hemsky and its not even close.

Except today Hemsky is 1.14 and Vinnie is 0.96.

Loved how Penner went straight at the net and took the two defencemen with him allowing Hemmer to coast to the dot before picking the top corner on the winning goal.

After the game one reporter asked him if he's shooting more now, and Hemksy just brushed him off with "well that's only something you guys bring up"

Hemsky is 3rd on the team in shots with 108. If you use shots per game he's 2nd with 3sh/g only behind Souray with 3.2sh/g.

Nice to see that the reporter knows as much as idiots who yell "SHOOOOOOOOOT" when he has the puck on the powerplay. Was that Tencer who asked the question or a fishwrap guy?

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#37 King Mob
January 21 2009, 09:17AM
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haha, I love the poll:

Is Ales Hemskey a legit superstar?

Yes: 100% No: 0% Not Yet: 0%

I love this site!

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#38 CurtisS
January 21 2009, 09:18AM
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@ Darcy: Lets not jump the gun comparing Hemsky to Vinny.

Vinny is a proven top 3 player in the world.

Hemsky well to reach another tier is yet to be determined. 35 games doesnt make a player top in the world. Remember Cheechoo??

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#39 Tankit4Tavares
January 21 2009, 09:27AM
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I might have to change my name, but not just yet. From the Dept of Redundantly Obvious, Id still like to see this guy on a line with Hemsky. It would make Gags or Horcoff expendible although I think Horcs contract sees him in Oilers silks until the leafs with the cup.

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#40 Mike Krushelnyski
January 21 2009, 09:31AM
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@ Tankit4Tavares:

Until the Leafs win the cup? C'mon, I know Horcoff keeps himself in good shape but the guy is not going to live forever!

Bonus Thought: Why isn't it "Leaves"?

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#41 rindog
January 21 2009, 09:32AM
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@ CurtisS:

You're right - 35 games doesn't make a player.

How about 242 points in 255 games since the lockout playing with significantly less talented linemates???

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#42 swany
January 21 2009, 09:34AM
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Just saw on TSN that Datsuk(sp) can't go to the Allstar game how can we get there attention to take Hemmer? He should be recognized as a star player.

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#43 CurtisS
January 21 2009, 09:40AM
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@ swany: Marleau is named his replacement

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#44 CurtisS
January 21 2009, 09:41AM
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@ rindog:

Yeah and there is alot of players at a ppg since the lockout?? Is there not?

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#45 CurtisS
January 21 2009, 09:42AM
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@ rindog:

Im not saying hes not turning it up a notch. This is the best I have seen him play. This year that is. Im just saying if he keeps it up for a year or 2. He will be noticed.

There is alot of people that run on the "what have you done for me lately"

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#46 Travis Dakin
January 21 2009, 09:51AM
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@ CurtisS:

Shut up with your Nay saying!!!! Hemsky is the man. come ghost ride the whip!!!

Clap Clap!

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#47 Jason Gregor
January 21 2009, 10:10AM
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Darcy wrote:

After the game one reporter asked him if he’s shooting more now, and Hemksy just brushed him off with “well that’s only something you guys bring up” Hemsky is 3rd on the team in shots with 108. If you use shots per game he’s 2nd with 3sh/g only behind Souray with 3.2sh/g.

The question was that this year he has taken a more shooter first mentality, and it is paying off. It was directed at the entire year, not just the one game. Hemsky did actually shoot more last year too, but since game 11 he has really started shooting.

He has the most accurate shot on the team, and the scary part about it is it looks effortless. His snapshot/wrister is so fluid, that it is hard for goalies to guess when and where his release point is. Roloson and I talked about it one day, and he said Hemsky's shot is very deceptive because his body doesn't move much when he shoots, and it is hard to pick up when he releases it. I've never been a goalie and hadn't thought of it that way, but the more you watch him, what Roloson said makes a lot of sense.

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#48 Darcy
January 21 2009, 10:26AM
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CurtisS wrote:

@ Darcy: Lets not jump the gun comparing Hemsky to Vinny. Vinny is a proven top 3 player in the world. Hemsky well to reach another tier is yet to be determined. 35 games doesnt make a player top in the world. Remember Cheechoo??

Allow me to be excited dammit!!!!

I know Hemsky has to put a couple seasons like this together to offically get in that conversation, but I have no doubt he will do it.

Vinnie is one of the best, but as others have said in this thread and the Vinnie thread, he's not top 10 in the league anymore.

Only Crosby, Malkin, and Ovechkin above Hemmer in ppg??? Didn't know that...very impressive.

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#49 Chris
January 21 2009, 10:30AM
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Hemsky has the skills to be a forty goal scorer if he can stay healthy and play at a high level consistantly. Last night Hemmer played twenty minutes of the best hockey I have ever seen from him... In the past, MacT has limited Hemsky's ice time. I'd bet the bank Hemmer sees twenty plus minutes a night from now on. Awesome effort Ales!

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#50 Darcy
January 21 2009, 10:35AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

The question was that this year he has taken a more shooter first mentality, and it is paying off. It was directed at the entire year, not just the one game. Hemsky did actually shoot more last year too, but since game 11 he has really started shooting. He has the most accurate shot on the team, and the scary part about it is it looks effortless. His snapshot/wrister is so fluid, that it is hard for goalies to guess when and where his release point is. Roloson and I talked about it one day, and he said Hemsky’s shot is very deceptive because his body doesn’t move much when he shoots, and it is hard to pick up when he releases it. I’ve never been a goalie and hadn’t thought of it that way, but the more you watch him, what Roloson said makes a lot of sense.

Agreed that his release is sick. Very fast, very subtle, very accurate. His use of defensemen as a screen when he comes in 1 on 1 and shoots is impressive as well. Makes a move outside then picks his spot and shoots the puck either between the legs or beside the leg of the defenseman. Have seen some goals like that this year by him where the goalie didn't even move.

Reminds you of Joe Sakic's amazingly quick and accurate snap shot, but Hemsky's wrister is even more subtle.

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