I assumed Trevor Zegras was going to do “the Michigan”—that goal made famous by Mike Legg where a hockey player behind the net picks the puck up on his blade and then carries it around and through an opening in the goal. (“Lacrosse goal” is the name for it if you’re in, like, Ohio I guess.) I was not watching Tuesday night’s Ducks-Sabres game as it happened—hold your applause, please—but on the internet I did see a bunch of people freaking out about something that the 20-year-old hotshot Anaheim forward had just done. I cued up the video, saw Zegras put the puck on his stick behind the net, Michigan style, and then I was utterly shocked by what came next.
Zegras did not, in fact, go for the goal himself. Instead, he flipped the puck up over the net to breakout winger Sonny Milano on the doorstep of the crease. Milano then smoothly tapped it in midair and past Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen for the goal. Holy shit.
And look at how happy the boys are that they pulled off the coolest goal they’ve ever seen.
After the game, Milano admitted that he, too had Michigan on his mind. Not only was he looking for Zegras to attempt it in that situation, but he was specifically encouraging the rookie to go ahead and try.
“I expected him to do ‘The Michigan’ himself before I even called for it,” Milano said. “He wasn’t, so I was just like, ‘Just do it.’ I was like, ‘Michigan, Michigan,’ and he ended up just throwing it to me and I batted it in.”
Attempting the Michigan has become trendy over the past few years, but it seems as though Zegras wanted to blaze a new trail. To hear him tell it afterward, he was prompted to toss that impossible pass to Milano specifically as a light-hearted response to Sonny’s demand that he go for the glory himself. What an incredible swerve.
“I was sold on the pass. Once I heard him yell ‘Michigan’ to me, I kind of wanted to get it to him,” Zegras said. “I still can’t believe it worked. It’s pretty funny, I’ve tried it a couple of times and haven’t even come close.”
Everyone on the Ducks should keep telling Trevor Zegras to do things. You never know what beauty he’ll make out of his own defiance.