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March 30, 2014

Shootout Surprise: Marek Malik

At 6'6" and 235lbs, big Marek Malik was an imposing NHL defenseman for 11 seasons totalling 691 games.

He steadily patrolled the defensive zone with his massive wingspan and long stick. Not the most agile skater Malik learned excellent positioning to compensate and play defensively with striking poise. While his penalty minutes (620 in his career) don't suggest it, he played a tough, physical game with authority.

Offensively Malik we all assumed Malik had a very limited upside. He had a heavy slapper from the point but otherwise played wisely within his limitations.

And then this happened:

Yes, Marek Malik went between his legs to score the biggest surprise goal in the history of the NHL shootout, ending the longest NHL shootout to date while he was at it. 

And in doing so Marek Malik - who only scored 33 goals in his entire NHL career - forever became one of the greatest hockey legends. The best part has to be his nonchalant reaction as if he did it all the time.

"I was watching everything before me," said Malik, the fun loving giant teammates always called Harry. "Olie was unbelievable. He stopped everything from shots, moves. I just thought to myself, 'Maybe I'll surprise him.' I tried the move and it worked."

The proud 2006 Czech Olympian last played in the NHL in 2009 but returned to the Czech Republic to play for several more seasons.

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