Twitter, being that instant aggregator of all that is goofy, weird or quirky, responded almost immediately to The Schlemko. There was little-known defenceman David Schlemko, after scoring the shootout winner for the Calgary Flames Thursday night against the Boston Bruins, featured in a stamp parody on Reddit making the social media rounds Friday morning.
Schlemko was the latest in a long line of heroes to keep the Flames' unlikely playoff hopes alive.
To recap what happened: In the eighth round of the shootout, coach Bob Hartley looked down his bench, trying to figure out who should come out next for the Flames. Hartley turned to his newcomer, Schlemko, and asked him about his shootout record. One-for-one in the NHL, replied Schlemko, who'd been picked up on waivers the previous Sunday from the Dallas Stars and was making his Calgary debut, replacing the injured Mark Giordano.
So Hartley sent him over the boards and Schlemko responded with the move that Peter Forsberg made famous in the 1994 Olympics – a deke designed to get the goaltender moving in the wrong direction that finishes with a cheeky one-handed shovel/push into the open net.
Schlemko went down on the Bruins' Tuuka Rask, spun one way, shifted into a backwards skating motion and when Rask bit on the move, tucked the puck into the empty net for the winning goal. The victory kept the Flames in a playoff position heading into Friday's date with the Detroit Red Wings and 3-2 on their current road trip.
Forsberg was honoured for scoring that goal with an official Swedish stamp, prompting Hartley to quip afterward: "I think he's going to get a stamp."
Even if Canada Post doesn't officially follow through, a Reddit contributor helpfully stepped in and made it happen in cyberspace.
Schlemko told reporters after the game that he'd been using variations of that move dating back to his junior career with the Medicine Hat Tigers, a fact corroborated by fellow Flames' defenceman Kris Russell, a former junior teammate.
"He had a lot of boys surprised on the bench," Russell told The Calgary Sun. "I don't think a goalie's expecting that kind of a move at that time. It worked and it was great."