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McKenna's Minute - Tuch's Shootout Prowess

Take a look into what makes Alex Tuch so effective in shootouts

by Mike Mckenna @GoldenKnights /

When a player stands 6'4" and possesses quick hands, you can bet they're going in the shootout. And thus far in Alex Tuch's career, that's been the case.

On this attempt against Arizona goaltender Darcy Kuemper, Tuch utilizes several moves before eventually depositing the game-winning goal and celebrating with teammates at center ice.

Video: ARI@VGK: Tuch beats Kuemper to earn shootout victory

By coming down the ice slightly off-center, Tuch is forcing the Coyotes' goaltender to constantly adjust to his angle. The timing is tricky: should Kuemper open up any net to either side, Tuch can take advantage with a quick shot.

While Kuemper does a nice job of staying square, his feet momentarily freeze when Tuch fakes a shot at the hash marks. By simply opening the face of his stick blade - a move that often precedes a shot to the glove side - Tuch is able to throw off Kuemper's timing.

With the goaltender's rhythm disrupted, the attempt is now under Tuch's control. After the quick shot fake, he quickly sweeps the puck from his forehand to backhand, forcing Kuemper to go laterally in an attempt to cover the distance traveled by the puck. Tuch's reach is a big advantage: Kuemper has to honor the move so as not to be beaten with a quick backhand shot to the upper portion of the net.

Tuch elects not to shoot and once again pulls the puck cross-body to his forehand, quickly firing home the game-winner over Kuemper's outstretched leg pad.

What's impressive is although the first two fakes got Kuemper to bite, the goalie still had a chance at making the save when Tuch went to his forehand. Had the Golden Knights forward not elevated the puck, the shootout may have continued.

To recap: in under a second, No. 89 faked a shot, moved the puck ten lateral feet forehand-backhand-forehand, then raised the puck into the open net. Quite an impressive skill set!

Tweet from @MikeMcKenna56: Howdy fam! Talking breakaways today! Here���s the link to today���s #McKennaMinute ������

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