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‘He can beat elite NHL defensemen with his speed’: Ryan Huska praises Martin Pospisil’s skating ability

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Middleton
5 months ago
“What a (blank)-ing pass,” Nazem Kadri exclaimed after tying the game against the Arizona Coyotes.
A quick point at the man who delivered it, and then the hugs commenced.
The play that got Kadri so fired up was a one-handed sweeping pass across the crease and through two defenders by the right-winger and 24-year-old, Martin Pospisil, who has found a place in the Flames lineup as an agitator and physical presence with sneaky skill.
At first look, it’s hard not to notice Pospisil’s size. He stands at 6-foot-2 and weighs only 172 pounds, but his frame makes him look two or three inches taller. As I mentioned, he has made a name on the line, with Kadri and Connor Zary being the physical, forechecking presence that can find those two for chances with his underrated playmaking ability. However, the one part of his arsenal that was showcased on that play before the assist (and even in the overtime period during that game) was his skating and speed.
Pospisil’s speed was so evident, that head coach Ryan Huska made a remark about it in his postgame presser:
“If you’re blessed with being a good skater, you want to use [keeping your feet moving] as often as you can. And one thing that Marty [Pospisil] has, he can beat elite NHL defensemen with his speed, but in order to do that you have to have some courage because sometimes that means you’re going to get hit on the wall. It doesn’t bother him, he just keeps going.”
– via @NHLFlames on Twitter/X
We’ve seen Pospisil make some fantastic plays using his speed since making his way into the lineup, but if you need the evidence, well, I’ve gathered it.
Here’s the first bit of film that occurred against the Vegas Golden Knights, where Posipisil used his speed to exit the zone and then used his underrated passing ability to find Kadri on the wing:
The next clip has to be one of the easiest goals of Blake Coleman’s career and probably top three easiest (if not top one) of the 20 he has scored so far this season, created by Pospisil’s skating and playmaking ability once again:
These last two clips are two of Pospisil’s four goals so far in 2023-24, and both of them are good representations not only of his skating ability but also the way that he uses his frame in tandem with the other parts of his offensive toolkit to protect the puck and create scoring chances for himself.
And the cherry on top, a sweet backhand finish off the rush after an outlet pass to space by Kadri:
Fans and coaches alike raving about a player’s skillset is huge. After spending four seasons in the AHL with the Stockton Heat and Calgary Wranglers, Pospisil was finally called up to the NHL, and not only has he been an acceptable third man on a line with Kadri and Zary, but he has blown by that expectation and been fantastic in his role. No, he’s not scoring as much as those two, but he doesn’t need to be.
There is a certain swagger Pospisil plays with that only a guy like him could. Combine his agitator-esque personality on the ice with the tinted visor, underrated hands, good hockey sense, and, as Huska alluded to in his post-game presser, excellent speed that could beat the best defencemen in the NHL, and you have a player who can be a mainstay in the middle or top-six for years to come and be trusted in big minutes, just as Huska did in overtime.
The kid is quickly becoming a fan-favourite, and it’s well-deserved, as he has been an underrated part of a line that has driven much of the Flames’ success as of late.

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