The Breakdown: The 5-on-1
The play opens as Blake Wheeler deflects the puck out of the zone and away from the pinching Panthers defenceman. The charge begins and every Winnipeg skater on the ice jumps into the rush. Wheeler feeds the trailing Randy Jones, who sends the puck right back to Wheeler. Bryan Little comes in on the backdoor and fires the pass from Wheeler off Jose Theodore and into the back of the net.
“There’s a highlight reel goal, a textbook 3-on-1, a little give and go between Jones and Wheeler, Wheeler backdoor to Bryan Little, and that was pretty.” - Shane Hnidy, TSN Radio 1290
“I’ve never seen that before ever. I was actually really nervous because I looked up and heard the crowd going crazy, so I figured 2-on-1, 3-on-1, whatever, and there was all five guys, so I didn’t know where to go with the puck. Jones seemed like a good option, so I gave it to him, hoping he wouldn’t give it back, he gave it right back to me, and thank god I was able to find Little, ‘cause I’ve never seen that before ever.” - Blake Wheeler
“The 5-on-1 is not something we work on very often. Goalies don’t like that play; the fear is that it might be a 4-on-0 coming back the other way. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one. It was a goal that was executed; five can create confusion with too many options to pass, but it was good to get a goal there.” - Claude Noel