CHICAGO -- Pitching legend Greg Maddux once coined the phrase "Dig Me Day," which he explained to be the day after a starting pitcher threw a gem. Everyone would "dig him" for his previous day's exploits.
Wednesday was "dig me day" for Chicago Blackhawks center Patrick Kane, who had a monster game against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday. Kane assisted on two goals and netted the game-winner in a 3-2 shootout victory.
But it was his helper to Marian Hossa, in the second period, which has the league talking. His spin-o-rama, no-look, backhanded pass onto Hossa's stick in the slot was a thing of beauty. Hossa finished an easy tap-in goal from there.
"It seems like the highlight has been [shown] a lot of places, and I've been hearing from my buddies and people back home and different players so it's pretty cool," Kane said Wednesday.
One person he heard from was his former coach and master spinner himself, Denis Savard, who was at the game Tuesday and left a message for Kane afterwards, congratulating him on the move.
"He does it better than I do," Savard said Wednesday recalling the play. "I did it against slow guys. He has to do it against guys that are bigger, stronger, faster. Give him the credit."
Savard wasn't the only one praising the move.
"It was definitely high-end," Joel Quenneville stated.
"I'd give him like an 8.5 (out of 10) because he passed it to Hossa instead of me," Patrick Sharp joked. "Otherwise it's a 10. You can't get much better than that."
But it was Savard who perfected the move years ago, to the point where his name and the spin-o-rama are synonymous in hockey. Savard has advised Kane on how and when to use it.
"It's going to create some more space," Savard said. "I told him the defensemen are going to anticipate you doing it so it's going to allow you some more space."
Savard said the spin-o-rama isn't something planned as you grab the puck in your own end and head up-ice. Its instinctive, yet there are signs to try it.
"If the defenseman crosses his feet over then, for me, it was a go, to do the spin-o-rama," Savard stated. "Its more by instinct, but if I see the defenseman crosses his legs, I'm trying it. It's impossible for the defenseman to get the puck away from you because you're protecting it at the same time."
So what does a blue-liner say about it?
"It's a move where it might not get around the defenseman 100 percent but it allows [Kane] to get the puck out on the other side where the defenseman's stick isn't at," Duncan Keith said.
Keith was asked how might someone defend against it.
"Its Kaner's move so I don't want to be giving out any secrets if there are any," he joked.
Kane says having success on it means he'll try it some more because more good than bad can come of it.
"It's a flashy move, and at the same time it's pretty productive too,'' he said. "You get acceleration and you protect the puck."
And you get the league talking about it. Dan Carcillo rated it a "10 out of 100" so Kane wouldn't get a big head. But it was hard for players to razz him too about it, that's how impressive it was.
"I remember watching," Sharp recalled. "I was on Team Canada, he was on Team USA and I stuck around in Halifax to watch him play and he did the same thing to set up Phil Kessel. So I've seen it before and usually he throws the shot on net. This time he found Hoss for a tap-in goal. It's a heck of a play. I don't think too many guys in the league can do that."
And when the greatest to pull off the move comes out of his seat to applaud the move, then you know it's an impressive moment.
"[By the time] his career is over he'll do it better than I ever did," Savard said.