Eccentric Kaspars ‘Dogman’ Daugavins brings show to Boston

RP – Original by Mark Daniels, Boston Herald

Kaspars Daugavins worked on his trick shot for two years with the Binghamton Senators before he unleashed it in an AHL exhibition game against the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2010.

“The guys told me I had to do it,” Daugavins recalled. “I was the last guy with a chance to win the game so I went and it worked.”

On March 11, in a shootout against the Bruins, the 24-year-old thought he’d give it a shot in the NHL. The then-Ottawa Senator put the tip of his stick blade upside down on the top of the puck, stickhandled down the ice and spun 360 degrees trying to catch Tuukka Rask off-guard.

It didn’t work, and the Bruins went on to win.

“It worked in practice, but obviously I chose the wrong goalie to do it in the NHL against,” Daugavins said. “His legs were way too long. He got back there pretty quick. I was a little surprised he got it.”

The eccentric left winger, whom teammates call “Dogman,” has been known to bark on the ice after scoring. His show arrived at the home locker room of TD Garden last night.

Two weeks after his zany shot attempt, the Latvian was claimed off waivers by the Bruins; he made his debut last night against the New Jersey Devils.

Daugavins joined Rich Peverley and Jay Pandolfo on the third line, playing 9:21 — all even strength — with two shots and one block in the 1-0 win.

After losing to the Bruins three times this season, Daugavins said before his debut he’s happy to be here.

“Definitely, it was really hard to play against these guys,” Daugavins said. “They never quit. No matter what the score is they keep going, keep going. I’ll try to fit in here and do my best.”

He scored three points and excelled in the penalty kill in 19 games with the Senators this season, but Daugavins’ playing time diminished as this season went on.

He was disappointed when he was placed on waivers, but pleasantly surprised when the Bruins claimed him.

“They kind of told me like I might go to a team where the PK is struggling, and then all of a sudden, I go to the best PK in the league,” he said. “It was a surprise, but I’m really, really happy about it.”

Bruins coach Claude Julien called Daugavins a “solid individual” that will bring “grit” to the team. But he could also bring some comedic relief.

The former third-round pick says he just might practice some crazy moves on Rask in practice, and perhaps let out a bark or two on the ice.

“Well see,” Daugavins said. “I’m going to try and help this team.”