From Khan(!) late last night…
“Oh, it’s fun. I enjoy it. It hurts, but it’s fun. You get satisfaction along with pain at the same time. It’s a crucial part to winning games.”–Patrick Eaves
…he’s talking about blocking shots while penalty-killing, of course. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…re-sign this guy. I want at least a three year deal to keep him in Detroit. Would anyone argue that he hasn’t earned it? He chips in goals every once in a while, but his biggest asset is his hustle and willingness to “take one for the team”. The Eaves, Helm, Draper (a.k.a. “The Little Red Corvette”) Line has been our most consistent line all season. If he wants to stay, let him stay, Kenny.
Remember how bad our PK was earlier this season? Babcock sure does…
“We got some guys who are real committed to blocking shots and being in lanes, so we’ve gone with them. The way it’s worked out, Eaves, Helm, Miller, Malts did a real good job all year and our penalty kill’s gone from being red-rotten to getting better to a point where we’ve been really good for a period of time.”
Blocking shots doesn’t bother Eaves one bit:
“The more I kill penalties, I enjoy it. It’s a lot of fun getting in the way of the other team’s power play. They don’t feel good. That’s the way it is, it’s a part of killing penalties. You try to get as much padding in the way as possible. With the way guys shoot now, so hard, it goes right through. Hopefully, it just grazes off you and deflects into the corner and you don’t eat it straight on. Those ones tend to leave bigger welts.”
Eaves’ willingness to endure the pain for the greater gain has even inspired The Namesake:
“Patty’s probably one of the best shot blockers I’ve seen as a forward, how brave he is getting in front. He blocks a lot of big shots. He’s been hit hard, but he just keeps getting in those lanes.”–Darren Helm
Those two have been a dynamite PK pairing. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.