Monday, 30 September 2013

Andrei Markov has a cannon laser beam

One of the cool things about team sports is the camaraderie, the highjinks and the laughs you share while you work for a common goal.  We get a great example in this video.

Conditioning drills aren't always fun, but you have to do them.  It's always good to spice it up a little bit, to at least break up the monotony.  Canadiens Coach Michel Therrien knows this, and he holds little contests to get a bit of competition going and get the guys involved.  One of the drills he uses is to have a player shoot from one end of the rink at the net on the other side.  If he misses the net, the entire team skates a lap.  If he makes it, they get a reprieve.  Now the curlicue is that if that player was ever to hit the crossbar, which would never happen, since it would be a one in a million shot, and most players would take a safe shot at the net to avoid the skating, rather than aim at a crossbar and miss the net entirely, but anyway if they were to hit it, the coaches would skate five laps instead.

Andrei Markov isn't most players.  He's a singular talent and a bit of a character, he has some rough edges, but as the video shows, he makes himself King for a Day by blasting a puck right off the crossbar with a satisfying ping.  It's great to see his teammates react, and David Desharnais later being quoted that he's never seen Andrei celebrate anything so enthusiastically, not an overtime win, not a shootout goal, nothing.  

I think it was Andy Reid who one day at the Philadelphia Eagles training camp promised his guys a day off, but only if his Offensive Line coach, a great big barrel of a man, could catch a punt on the fly.  The video shows a punter skying a football, the coach tottering unsteadily under it, adjusting but seemingly about to keel over from the effort, until the ball drops right into his hands as if they were Vel and the ball cro.  The whole team erupted in howls of disbelief and rapturous celebration, while Coach Reid wore a bemused smile in the midst of his players laughing and hugging and high-fiving and swarming the OL coach and rolling on the ground, probably wondering to himself how he was going to re-jig his camp schedule to accommodate this unforeseen break.

Coach Therrien was similarly befuddled, explaining to the press corps that this was the first time in twelve years that he's used this drill that someone has ever hit the crossbar.  But that's Andrei for you, that's what you get when you challenge him.

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