Ross Colton isn’t on this roster to score goals. Yet, here we are.
On his second shift in the National Hockey League, and with the first shot he took in the NHL, he picked up his first career goal. Efficient use of his resources and very indicative of what he needs to do to stick in in the league.
First NHL game, first NHL goal.— NHL (@NHL) February 24, 2021
Congrats, Ross Colton! pic.twitter.com/417sR52ScQ
It’s really simple. Just go to the front of the net and be ready for the puck. Victor Hedman does a lot of the work on this goal, but Colton played it really well. First of all, with the Lightning having possession of the puck and cycling it back to the point, the rookie drifts through the front of the net. Vincent Trocheck has to follow him and that opens up the lane for Hedman to drive to the net.
Hedman now has the choice of heading straight at the goalie or circling around behind it and attempting the wraparound. Alex Nedeljovic has to respect both options and has to hold the post until he’s sure Hedman is going behind the net. The Big Swede’s attempt at a wrapping it in goes a bit astray as he stumbles, but Colton has position in front of the net with his stick on the ice.
When the puck comes to him, all he has to do is swat it past the goaltender.
Colton scored 26 goals in his 131 AHL games with the Syracuse Crunch. A lot of them were similar to the one he just scored for the Lightning. He has an excellent sense of knowing where to go on offense and plays well off of his teammates. However, offense isn’t what is going to keep him in the league. His ability to play well the entire length of the ice, win faceoffs, and kill penalties is where he’s going to earn his paycheck.
Congratulations to Ross Colton. Here’s hoping it’s the first of many for the Lightning!