The Stamkos slapshot is a work of art, crafted over years and years of repetition. From firing puck after puck into a rubber mat outside a mall as a kid, to having an assistant coach feed him puck after puck in an NHL arena, Stamkos has literally done this thousands of time.
When a player can achieve success even though everyone on the ice or field knows what he’s going to do, it’s truly amazing. Think of Mariano Rivera being a dominant closer even though he threw the same pitch over and over. It’s the same with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's skyhook. Even though the other team knows Stamkos is set up in the right circle for the one-timer, he can still score with it.
To the best of my research Steven Stamkos has never broken a pane of glass during an NHL game. Part of the reason is that he is fairly accurate with his shot and gets it off so fast that players don’t have time to get their stick in the way to deflect it up to the glass.
Since we’ve never seen him break anything in a game, fans are left to wonder, “What exactly can a Steven Stamkos slapshot break?” Luckily for those folks, Bauer answered that question. In a commercial that was released after Stamkos made his comeback from his broken leg, they filmed an ad called the MX3 Break Stuff Challenge.
With Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture playing in the background, Stamkos..well...he breaks stuff.
Let’s break it down shot by destructive shot.
The ad opens with Serious Stamkos letting us know who he is and what he’s there for - to chew bubble gum and break stuff with his slapshot, and he’s all out of bubble gum. You don’t see Serious Stamkos very often because he’s a pretty laid back guy off the ice. He has some nice offseason stubble going and is sporting a Captain’s “C” that is ten font-sizes too big.
That’s more like it. It’s Happy Stamkos. Still has the super large “C”, but now he looks excited to break some stuff. First up:
The Piece of Wood:
Like a 12-year-old earning their yellow belt in karate, Stamkos takes apart an innocent piece of wood. Of all the shots captured on this film, this is the one that is almost a miss as he only clips the top left corner. Of course, if it was a goaltender it would have hit him right in the clavicle and possibly ended a season.
The Lego Wall
There are jobs in this world that are not fun. There are jobs that are tedious. There are also ones that make people question their life choices. Then you have the poor production assistant who spent a half-hour putting together a bunch of Legos just so Stamkos could take them out with a hockey puck.
What if there is an outtake where he just hit a corner of the wall and it just kind of chipped a few off? Did the PA have to go and rebuild the wall? Still, I bet that was fun for Steven. Who doesn’t like knocking over Legos?
Again, there are many questions to be asked about this part of the shooting demo. Was this a specially made cake or did they pick up at the store? Did they try a two-tier cake and he kept missing high? Did they eat some of the cake? It honestly looks delicious as it is ripped apart by the frozen rubber puck. Stick tap for them using a cake with the Lightning colors, though.
Pretty impressive display of sharp shooting when he hits four in four shots. Gallagher would be proud. It’s charming that Stamkos is most impressed by the puck that is stuck in the center of the last watermelon. He blew open the previous three like they were zombie heads in The Walking Dead, but he chooses to comment about the one that gets stuck.
Oh, and since it’s discarded in the back of the net, I’m thinking no one enjoyed a piece of cake. What a waste.
“Right in the boot”? “Right in the hoop”? I listened to this 15 times and I can’t tell. Damn your think Ontarian accent, Stamkos! No candy came out, so should take another whack at it. Also, it would have been fun if they tried that one blindfolded.
His first shot takes out six of the nine plates. Shot two cleans up some rubble and takes out the seventh plate. Shot three clears out the last two. I could see him and Steve Downie doing this at their old apartment complex instead of actually washing the dishes. Nice, indeed.
My favorite shot of the bunch. They should play this clip after after every one-timer he scores from now on. Again, think of the poor PA who has to find every one of those gumballs after the shoot is done, lest a Bauer athlete blow out a knee skating over one in their next commercial.
More proof that these old TVs were damn near indestructible. It took two shots to crack the screen and four overall to cause the damage they were looking for. If you’ve ever had to move one of these 700 lb monstrosities, hopefully it’s cathartic to see one get destroyed by a hockey puck.
The Fish Tank:
We see some folk setting up the fish tank for the grand finale. Pretty sure these are the people responsible for cleaning up the mess Stamkos has created. Adding the camera into the tank was a genius move because now everyone can experience what a fish sees seconds before it’s killed by a Stamkos slapshot (see photo above).
Having studied this commercial closer than the Zapruder film, I’m 99% confident there were never any fish actually in the tank. However, if I’m ever in a position to get a Stamkos autograph I’m asking him to inscribe it, “Good night, fishies.”
Thanks to Bauer we now have a rating scale for Stamkos’ slapshots. If he catches all of one we can call it a fish tank shot. If he doesn’t get all of it, then we can call it a “3 plate shot” as in it would have only broken three plates.