Yes, Rasmus Ristolainen called his shot in the shootout. He just doesn't remember.
The defenseman scored Buffalo’s prettiest shootout goal of the season Friday in Anaheim. He deked left, went right and then reached left around goaltender Jonathan Bernier with one arm.
Rasmus Ristolainen in the 9th round of the shootout. Are you kidding? pic.twitter.com/XdbMlva5su
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) March 18, 2017
Soon after, a video from Finland surfaced of him saying he’d do that move.
— Juho Manninen (@Manninen7) March 18, 2017
“That’s like a TV show they did back home, and I actually forgot it,” Ristolainen said Sunday. “I saw it yesterday morning, and it’s pretty funny.”
In addition to trying the move back home, Ristolainen has done it a couple of times in practice this year.
“It worked out as planned. I got a couple a texts after that one,” said Ristolainen, who had never before taken part in an NHL shootout. “I’ve been saving it because I haven’t shot yet. That’s my move.”
Ristolainen was the ninth shooter in the 10-round win by the Sabres.
“We were getting to that point where you knew the D-men were going to start to get involved,” defenseman Josh Gorges said after practice in HarborCenter. “You know with his skill level he’s got the ability to step in and do something great. To pull a move like that? I didn’t see that coming, but I don’t think anybody did. I’m sure that’s why he was able to put that one home. That was impressive.”
There’s a chance it won’t be Ristolainen’s last attempt, though he’s unlikely to pass Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart or Ryan O’Reilly in the rotation.
“We’ve got seven guys that we practice with in shootout team, and he’s on there for a reason,” coach Dan Bylsma said. “Obviously, he’s had success with that move, and today you see him use a different move, a shooting move and score. Maybe he’s climbing up the list from seven to six or five.”