Adam Fantilli’s final pre-season game heading into his first-ever NHL season was a busy one. The young prospect was expected to be selected second overall in the draft this summer, but the Anaheim Ducks instead chose Swede Leo Carlsson, which led to Fantilli going to Columbus.
During this weekend’s exhibition game against the Washington Capitals, he got his welcome to the NHL moment, although the season hasn’t officially started yet.
In the second period of the game, Fantilli was absolutely destroyed by a massive hit from veteran Capitals forward T.J. Oshie. Fantilli lost control of the puck for a moment, just enough for Oshie to take advantage of the situation, and after the collision, Fantilli’s stick was sent flying.
Fantilli got right back up, but it didn’t take long for Blue Jackets players to go after Oshie for the hit, although it was great and clean.
However, Fantilli got the last laugh as he decided the game late in the third period with a game-winning goal. It was a great goal by Fantilli, displaying some of what he can do in his first NHL season, but something else happened during the goal that really got the attention of the fans.
Alex Ovechkin is getting older, and with that, he’s perhaps not spending as much energy as he used to on defending. Ovechkin still scores loads of goals, and that’s what he’s good at. And in an exhibition game, Ovechkin’s defensive workload is even lower.
As Fantilli scored his goal, Ovechkin just skated backward with the lowest of pace, not even trying to stop his opponent from scoring, and it had fans laughing.
”Some unreal back check from Ovi here,” one fan said.
Ovechkin scored in the game, and we can just imagine he’ll try harder to stop his opponents from scoring when the real season starts this week…