It’s time for some more GIFs, folks! Today is Morgan Rielly day.
Wheeling around the offensive zone
The play begins with Rielly making a pass to Tyler Bozak at the top of the crease, but Bozak’s stick is tied up by Jack Johnson. Good thing Rielly swung around the other side of the net, though, because he picks it back up with speed and swings out toward the blueline. He gets a shot on net through traffic which is gloved.
Shot against the Sabres
This is pretty much here because of the pass by Mitch Marner, but I couldn’t leave it out when I stumbled upon it.
Powerplay rush + shot
Rielly starts skating the puck out on the powerplay and quickly realizes he has room to skate. He goes end to end and then tries to pick the far top corner, but misses. He may have been better served to hold onto the puck and go around the net in order to let his teammates gain the zone and set up, but this is a good example of his smooth skating ability.
Stretch pass versus the Blues
Nikita Zaitsev turns back toward the goal line when he realizes Alex Steen isn’t giving him any room, then he gives it to Rielly on the far boards. Rielly proceeds to send a tape to tap pass to Leo Komarov across the ice to the far blueline. It’s a beautiful pass and results in a good shot for Nazem Kadri.
Another pass v. the Blues
Another display of Rielly’s skating and vision. He swings back toward his blueline in the middle of the ice and finds Komarov near the far blueline, who passes it to Connor Brown who is entering the zone. One of my favourite traits for a defenceman is the ability to use the middle of the ice effectively. A lot of defencemen are hesitant to do so due to being risk averse.
Goal v. the Blues
The play starts with a faceoff in the defensive zone and ends a few seconds later with a Rielly goal. He grabs the puck off the faceoff and skates it out of the zone. When Rielly gets to the redline he feeds it to Kadri in stride as he enters the zone. Kadri then does his best Henrik Zetterberg impression, putting the puck under the defenders stick and reaching over to get a shot on the forehand. The rebound is kicked into the slot and right onto Rielly’s stick as he cruises through the slot and he deposits it into the open net.
Exit v. the Stars
Antoine Roussel is causing problems on the forecheck for Zaitsev and Rielly, but they stay calm and use each other, eventually getting the puck into the neutral zone to Nikita Soshnikov.
Using speed to create offence
Rielly shakes off a stick infraction by Alex Radulov in the neutral zone and takes off into the offensive zone. He skates it into the corner, drawing a couple defenders toward him and passing it to Brown in front. Brown makes a great bump pass between his legs to Kadri who is open at the faceoff dot and one-times the puck. The shot is ultimately blocked, but this is a very pretty play all around.
First NHL playoff goal!
Rielly loves that high glove shot. van Riemsdyk provides the screen here and Rielly picks his spot perfectly. His footwork along the blueline in to create enough space to get his shot of is also very nice.
First pro goal with the Marlies
I like this one because I often forget he played 14 regular season games and eight playoff games with them the year after he was drafted. It’s also a rare slapshot from him and it’s a good one, especially considering the puck was bouncing.
I hope this has brightened somebody’s day! Just to be sure, here’s a bonus GIF in which he is really excited about Kadri’s infamous OT winner against the Oilers.
Okay just one more because I only have it in tweet format, but it is amazing.
Rielly with the OT winner. pic.twitter.com/PRosXa9ee6
— Dylan Fremlin (@DylanFremlin) March 12, 2017