It always seems there’s one player at every camp who comes out of nowhere to make the team. Last season it was Connor Carrick. This season it was undrafted free-agent invitee Liam O’Brien.
The forward/two-time WWE champion, who managed just 42 goals in 261 junior games, did not get signed by Brian MacLellan to a three-year entry-level contract because of his scoring prowess. It was his tenacity and grit.
All of O’Brien’s strengths came through during Tuesday’s 6-5 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks. O’Brien tallied his first NHL point in his third NHL game and also got a bunch of media coverage for taunting bear-on-skates John Scott.
First, let’s take a look at his goal.
As Mike Green skates the puck out towards the blue line, he flings a shot on net. O’Brien, who demands the attention of two Sharks defenders, sets up a screen in front of goaltender Antti Niemi. The puck finds a hole and hits the back of the net.
A greasy goal for a team that last year didn’t get many.
O’Brien also was a pest tonight.
Late in the second period, there was a gathering of minds near Niemi’s net. O’Brien and (goal-scorer) John Scott talked trash. It was just a normal occurrence until O’Brien stuck out his tongue and wagged it at Scott. He looks like an Irish James Franco.
“I guess it kind of got on the air there,” O’Brien said to reporters after the game. “Just fooling around out there. Just having fun.”
He sure is.
Additional reporting by Fedor Fedin.
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