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Pavel Barber breaks down Connor McDavid's art of deception vs. Leafs – Sportsnet.ca

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Each week, stickhandling specialist Pavel Barber and Sonny Sachdeva will go Inside the Highlight Reel to break down one of the silkiest moves from the NHL’s best, dissecting it to explain why it’s so dangerous and demonstrating how to master it yourself.

After what seems like an eternity, the sports world has begun its slow return. But with hockey having yet to join that equation, the task at hand for players around the country who saw their seasons suspended remains staying safe at home and finding any means of fine-tuning skill-sets during the downtime.

That being the case, we called on stickhandling specialist Pavel Barber to share his expertise. The YouTube phenom-turned-skills coach has made his name dissecting the finer points of offensive wizardry — while amassing half a million followers online, the Toronto native has trained NHLers like Jonathan Toews and Jake Virtanen, and recently linked up with Bo Horvat and the Vancouver Canucks to coach some local Vancouverites.

Each week, Barber and I will break down one highlight-reel move from one of the game’s best, and offer up a demonstration for aspiring danglers looking to master these game-breaking moves themselves (watch Barber’s tutorial in the video at the bottom of this post).

This week, we’re looking at the bit of deception Connor McDavid used to fool Morgan Rielly and Michael Hutchinson earlier this year.

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Investigating the finer aspects of McDavid’s game is like taking a magnifying glass to a circuit board. The more in-depth you search, the more complexities you’re bound to find.

But in this particular play against the Maple Leafs, much of what comprises No. 97’s skill-set is on display all at once — a string of decisions and movements that highlight the Oilers captain’s ability to misdirect, to burn opponents with speed, and to elude netminders with quick hands that need little space to make an impact.

It all begins and hinges on something incredibly simple, though.

“What McDavid does so well on this play is he looks off in the opposite direction he intends to go,” Barber says. “What this does is it gives the defender the impression that he’s going to make a play there, be it a pass or driving wide.”

McDavid uses his whole body to convince Rielly he’s waiting on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and considering dishing to his teammate. Forget the fact that the latter Oiler is miles behind McDavid and surrounded by blue jerseys — regardless of what Rielly’s instincts tell him of the chances McDavid is going to somehow cut towards the cage, he has no choice but to respect how No. 97 is moving, and where he’s looking, while the centreman lays his trap.

Look at the play from the goaltender’s perspective and you get a better sense of how McDavid convinces Rielly he’s gearing up for a pass to a phantom linemate — entering the zone, he doesn’t take that open space down the wing but cuts inside so far towards the middle of the ice, he’s almost skating parallel with the blue line for a moment, not only looking away from the direction he’ll soon cut to, but nearly turning back to centre ice to spy Nugent-Hopkins.

Once you’ve seen the entire play, the final result seems the obvious conclusion. But here’s what Rielly sees before the cut-back that ultimately sinks him:

“I always talk about body language in terms of mastering the art of deception, and you can see that from where he’s looking, his hand position and momentum — everything is signifying that he’s going to continue in that direction.”

Next up in the sequence is the cut-back, which we’ve seen McDavid use in different forms before to devastating effect.

“He then does a quick weight shift to the outside leg and catches Rielly in a crossover to cause the separation,” says Barber. “McDavid crosses over out of the hard cut to accelerate out of the move to keep his distance, then finishes it off with that backhand-forehand, strong-side shot he’s well known for.”

This is where McDavid’s all-world speed is a game changer, and where we see the versatility in its value . The end-to-end rushes are one thing, where defenders see the galloping begin and at least have some time to map out a momentary plan to obstruct his path up ice. But here, in situations where there’s only a moment to react, the separation created by his acceleration is the difference between being able to disrupt a shot and simply watching him move on to dismantle Michael Hutchinson.

Now, here’s the rest of that play, starting with the same angle as above:

Elite misdirection, elite speed, elite hands.

But there’s another key aspect at play here too, explains Barber — McDavid’s trust in the effectiveness of that initial deception.

“He’s not waiting for the defender to move,” Barber says. “He’s anticipating his movement based on his fake. He’s trusting his move to stay one step ahead of his opponent.”

It seems like a simple enough approach, and fundamentally it is — McDavid lays a trap that he knows will grant him a moment of space, and in that half-second it takes for his opponent to adjust, he exploits it. But it all hinges on commitment — first, to wholeheartedly selling that potential pass, and second, to following through on the move based on anticipation and not reaction, as Barber says.

Another look at the play from a few alternate angles makes clear how well McDavid sells that pass option, even though there’s really no way to effectively get the puck back to Nugent-Hopkins given how far behind the play he is.

For those honing their skills at home and looking to add this bit of McDavid deception to their arsenal, we asked Barber to demonstrate the sequence, explaining how to pull it off with maximum effectiveness and offering up a drill that’ll help build the skills to do it.

Watch Pavel Barber’s tutorial on how to master the art of on-ice deception like McDavid:

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'A Different Perspective' art show – pictouadvocate.com

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TRURO – Visual Voice Fine Art is showcasing A Different Perspective a solo art exhibit with new artworks by Bob Hainstock.

Since graduating from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design 24 years ago, the artist has lived and maintained his studio on the southern edge of the province’s unique North Mountain, that 100 kilometre long ridge of struggling farmland and forest that separates the powerful Bay of Fundy from the fertile and productive Annapolis Valley. His perch sits more than 700 feet above a Valley floor of constantly changing textures and colours, which gives Hainstock a distinct aerial perspective of shifting pattern and shadow depending of the time of day and season. Skies look bigger from that place and there’s always a panoramic glimpse of distant weather systems approaching. Everything is simplified with the higher perspective; especially in the abstracted light patterns of nighttime on farms, towns and villages – nearly 35,000 people and their homes will almost disappear with the coming of morning light. And if the artist needs a dramatic change of visual language, a brisk 20 minute walk gives him the alternate colours, temperatures and textures of The Fundy. 

See the exhibit from June 13 to July 11 at the Visual Voice Fine Art gallery as it reopens. The gallery does not see many visitors in a regular day, but patrons may book the gallery for a PRIVATE viewing, see all the artwork on Facebook.com/VisualVoice.ca or have a virtual catalogue of pieces within their budget send directly to their email.

Contact the gallery at 902-VIEWING (843-9464) for more information.


Bob Hainstock, Quilted Landscape Valley mixed media

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Dan Fumano: Questions, shock as art studio's death blamed on COVID-19 – Brockville Recorder and Times

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Although Vancouver has, sadly, seen the loss of many art spaces in recent years, many agreed the particular case of William Clark Studios seems unusual.

Artist Dana Cromie, who with other artists, has his studios at William Clark Studios in Vancouver.

Arlen Redekop / PNG

Vancouver artists were devastated this week to learn of a long-running studio’s seemingly abrupt demise and are hoping it’s not too late to prevent yet another loss of crucial art space.

News has been spreading about the imminent closure of William Clark Studios, described as “an institution” of the city’s art scene for more than two decades where about 50 artists rent space. While the building’s managers blamed the facility’s closure this month on losses incurred because of the pandemic, artists who use the space and city staffers told Postmedia they have unanswered questions — as does the commercial landlord who ultimately owns the East Van property.

The disappearance of Vancouver’s cultural spaces is a long-standing problem faced by arts groups and city hall alike, both of whom released reports in the past year on the subject, warning of the risk of becoming “a city without art.”

The scale of this week’s William Clark situation — 50 artists told to vacate with only one month’s notice — makes it one of the biggest single losses in recent memory, said Esther Rausenberg, artistic and executive director of the Eastside Culture Crawl, which has used William Clark Studios in its annual event since its inception in the 1990s.

Vancouver “just can’t afford this type of loss,” Rausenberg said.


Artists Dana Cromie and Janine Brecker, who with other artists, have their studios at William Clark Studios in Vancouver, B.C., June 2, 2020.

Arlen Redekop /

PNG

Although Vancouver has, sadly, seen many studio closures in recent years, Rausenberg and others agreed the particular case of William Clark seems different.

In Vancouver, as in other cities from San Francisco to Berlin, the biggest culprit in recent loss of art spaces has been real estate development pressures. But in this case, William Clark management blamed COVID-19 for the studio’s closure in a message sent the night of Sunday, May 31, telling artists to clear out by the end of June.

The tenancy arrangement at William Clark Studios is not uncommon for these kinds of art spaces. The property, a warehouse on Clark Drive, is owned by a group of investors, who lease it to William Clark Studios Inc., which then rents studio space to the individual artists.

When artist Janine Breck received the sad news Sunday night in an email from William Clark’s managers, she replied to inquire if her contacts at the city might be able to help save the space. But managers Tina Ozols and Gregg Steffenson replied to Breck saying the closure was a done deal, due to the “unprecedented pandemic event.”

Ozols expressed her sadness about the situation, but said she couldn’t discuss details. “I appreciate the care that people have for this situation, it’s too bad that I can’t really talk about it because it is confidential business,” Ozols said.

Ozols said William Clark was no longer viable after “a handful” of tenants moved out since the start of the COVID pandemic, and management couldn’t fill those spaces.


Artists Janine Breck (front-left) and Dana Cromie (front-right) with other artists who have their studios at William Clark Studios in Vancouver, B.C., June 2, 2020.

Arlen Redekop /

PNG

Dana Cromie, a painter who works at William Clark, said: “This place has been an institution. … It just doesn’t make sense to me to kick everybody out so it can sit empty.”

As is common in these situations, the artists said they had no idea who owned the property, but wondered whether plans might be in the works to redevelop the site.

But that’s not the case here, the landlords say.

Michael Chiang, a representative of the company that owns the property, told Postmedia that while his group might consider redeveloping the property in the future, they have no plans and “no timeline” to do so. Chiang said he only learned of William Clark Studios’ closure when Postmedia asked him about it.

The landlords had offered to waive some of the rent to support William Clark Studios’ application for federal assistance, Chiang said, although it seems the studio may not qualify for that program. The landlord also offered to defer half the rent until “an undetermined time,” Chiang said, but did not get a response from William Clark.

“We understand small businesses are having a tough time during the pandemic and we are trying to help out as much as we can,” Chiang said. “Now I’m finding out they’ve told their tenants over the weekend that they’re getting kicked out. It’s weird, I don’t know.”

The city is also stepping in to see if there’s anything they can do to help save William Clark.

Alix Sales, Vancouver’s head of cultural spaces and infrastructure, said Wednesday her team has been working to track down both the landlords and William Clark management since learning Monday about the “brutal” closure.

“It’s such a big blow, it’s such a critical space,” Sales said.

Sales and her colleague, cultural planner Kristen Lambertson, agreed some of the details and questions surrounding the William Clark closure make it an unusual one.

But, Lambertson pointed out: “We’re also in a very unusual time.”

dfumano@postmedia.com

twitter.com/fumano

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Dan Fumano: Questions, shock as art studio's death blamed on COVID-19 – Vancouver Sun

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Article content continued

The landlords had offered to waive some of the rent to support William Clark Studios’ application for federal assistance, Chiang said, although it seems the studio may not qualify for that program. The landlord also offered to defer half the rent until “an undetermined time,” Chiang said, but did not get a response from William Clark.

“We understand small businesses are having a tough time during the pandemic and we are trying to help out as much as we can,” Chiang said. “Now I’m finding out they’ve told their tenants over the weekend that they’re getting kicked out. It’s weird, I don’t know.”

The city is also stepping in to see if there’s anything they can do to help save William Clark.

Alix Sales, Vancouver’s head of cultural spaces and infrastructure, said Wednesday her team has been working to track down both the landlords and William Clark management since learning Monday about the “brutal” closure.

“It’s such a big blow, it’s such a critical space,” Sales said.

Sales and her colleague, cultural planner Kristen Lambertson, agreed some of the details and questions surrounding the William Clark closure make it an unusual one.

But, Lambertson pointed out: “We’re also in a very unusual time.”

dfumano@postmedia.com

twitter.com/fumano

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