Spend enough time on ice and you become cool. True for liquor, true for people. Radek Faksa reached absolute zero when he slid on the boards to avoid a big hit, dished the puck, and then scored a few seconds later.
The 23-year-old Czech is a rising Star who finally cracked the big leagues last season with Dallas. He was the 13th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry draft, and spent three seasons with Dallas’ minor league affiliate, the Texas Stars, before hitting the ice with the big boys.
This play is awesome for a number of reasons. Faska was shooting from the hip, trying to avoid a painful collision, and his steezy split-second decision resulted in absolute poetry. Behold:
He’s a wizard out there: 6’3, 215 lbs of sauce. You can’t teach that, you can’t coach that; you’re born with that. You’re probably thinking Faksa’s Darkslide on the boards is the most impressive part of the play, but really it’s how he kicks the puck with his skate to control it right after landing. Perfection. Even these goons are grinning – who has the most jacked up smile?
It’s dizzying to watch in slow motion – to be able to execute in real time is unfathomable.
The nature of the sport lends itself well to plays like this. Hockey is a fluid sport; non-coach dominated with uninterrupted play. Sure, you can bake in media timeouts to appease the TV overlords that control professional sports, but even then, the game still flows better than any other sport (excluding soccer for the sake of argument).
Football is played in 10-second bursts, basketball stops every time someone scores or the ball goes out of bounds, and baseball rarely gets above 3 RPMs on the tachometer (the instrument that measures RPMs, you savages). But hockey is straight live action. Even substitutions happen on the go, usually. Sometimes things go hilariously wrong:
But more often than not, hockey is poetry in motion. Check out this Russian pro’s prose – he’s just as steezy as Radek Faska.