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Tip of the day

Friday 9/23/22

During Mike Bossy's rookie year, the New York Islanders were at practice working on their power play. Future Hall of Fame coach Al Arbor gathered his charges together and told them the plan.


"Get the puck to Potvin," he said, meaning Denis Potvin, who was then the best defenseman in the world, and a master of the power play.


Arbor blew the whistle and the power play unit went to work against the penalty killers. The puck came to Bossy, and rather than pass it to Potvin, he rifled a shot into the net. Players laughed. Arbor blew the whistle again, and when the puck settled on Bossy's stick--for a fraction of a second--he shot and scored.


Once more Arbor blew the whistle, and again the puck came to Bossy, who, without hesitation, shot and scored for a third time, which caused Islander goalie and future Hall of Famer Billy Smith to smash his stick on the ice in frustration.


Arbor blew the whistle and gathered the troops, who took a knee in front of him.


"New plan," Arbor said. "Get the puck to Bossy."


The tip: Do what you need to do.