The 50 Worst Goals in Hockey History
When you score a goal in hockey it is a truly wonderful feeling. Playing competitive hockey for 20 years allowed me to get my name on plenty of score sheets. While there were some nice goals, there were plenty of others that combined being in the right place at the right time.
In every level of hockey it is important to always be aware of your surroundings, especially given the fast pace of the game. When you lose focus on the ice you put yourself at risk for injury or embarrassment, sometimes both.
Over the years there have been plenty of mental errors, goofy bounces and just plain bad luck. Even the best of the best can look ordinary at times. Sometimes at the worst possible time.
Here's a list of the 50 worst goals in hockey history. Enjoy now!
Poor Brian McCabe couldn't find a home in his 15-year NHL career. Playing for six teams during that time, McCabe spent the majority of his 1100-plus games in Toronto. This game would provide one of his least favorite memories with the Leafs.
Another boneheaded play that occurred with ample time left on the clock came when the Carolina Hurricanes pulled goalie Cam Ward to get an extra man on the ice for a delayed penalty. What the Carolina coaching staff had not planned on was Niclas Wallin's back pass into the goal vacated by Ward.
Long before taking over as general manager for the NHL's most storied franchise in Montreal, Marc Bergevin was a journeyman defenseman who played for eight NHL franchises.
His unique hand pass here caught everyone from the cameraman to his defensive partner Chris Pronger completely off guard.
Well you had to know this gem from the mid-1980's would find it's way here. The Edmonton Oilers, the current two-time Stanley Cup champions were battling the hated rival Calgary Flames in Game 7 of the Smythe Division Finals.
With the score tied at two, Oilers rookie defenseman attempted to pass the puck from behind his net. Unfortunately, Smith banked the puck off the back of goalie Grant Fuhr's leg and into the Oiler net. The Oilers were unable to equalize over the final 14-minutes, and Calgary would win the series and eventually the Stanley Cup.
Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips isn't exactly known for his amazing stick-handling, however he chose the worst possible moment to try and make his case for the Norris Trophy during the 2007 Stanley Cup Final. Ironically, Phillips was held without a point for the series.
With Anaheim leading Phillips and the Senators 2-1 halfway through the 2nd period, Phillips attempted to bring the puck out from behind his net. To avoid the Anaheim forecheck, Phillips moved the puck to his forehand and lost control sliding the puck behind stunned goalie Ray Emery.
The goal put Anaheim up 3-1. They would go on to win the game 6-2 and the Stanley Cup four games to one.
Vesa Toskala didn't have many memories in Toronto that are worthy of a video slide. The puck, obviously being cleared by Rob Davison, bobbed and weaved past Toskala after taking some timely hops. In 266 NHL games, I assure you that the Finnish keeper has never allowed a more unusual goal.
I know that a certain amount of skill is required to fire a puck on goal from center ice, but when you have people who are paid to stop said puck, and from that distance?! I say, bad qoal.
J.C. Tremblay of the Quebec Nordiques is the beneficiary of some sub-par netminding. I swear when the Winnipeg goalie turns to fish the puck out of his net his mask actually looks sad.
Oklahoma City's Hardy Sauter benefits from a weird deflection and another crazy bounce as his 190-plus-foot effort right before the period buzzer finds the net.
The moral of the story for all of you young Sparky's who want to be the next Henrik Lundqvist or Jon Quick is to stay with the puck until you hear the whistle. The goalie here makes the initial save in the shootout, then skates off to the side, forgetting about the puck.
The momentum from the shot was enough to carry the puck slowly across the goal line resulting in a cascade of cheers and cowbells from the Rockford faithful.
OK, so this doesn't officially count as a goal, but Bret Hedican's dump into the zone gets redirected off the referee in to the vacated net as the Atlanta Thrasher keeper anticipated the dump.
Of course we all know Section 78.5 of the NHL rule book clearly states that any puck that goes directly off an official shall be disallowed.
To the international scene we go as Swiss player Phillippe Furrer's attempted zone clearance becomes a wicked slap shot goal from the left circle. The Russians probably didn't need any help topping the Swiss in this matchup, but Furrer's shot was probably the most unique.
One of the best agitators in the league clearly got under Marc-Andre Fleury's skin with this bad angle goal. Watch Fleury throw the puck angrily down the ice after he fishes it out of his net.
There is nothing that deflates a home crowd during a game more than an own goal. Add in a rivalry atmosphere and there was no place for Philadelphia defenseman Brayden Coburn to hide. His misplay of the puck off of Ray Emery put the Flyers in an even bigger hole at this point in the game.
He was under pressure from Penguin's forward Ruslan Fedotenko and I can't tell if his stick got hit, but that's still a terrible goal.
The silver lining here for the Vancouver Canucks is that they at least get to go on the power play after Shane O'Brien's self-inflicted empty netter. Another fun goal to watch as the puck goes just out of reach from the desperate player who can't believe that this is actually happening to him.
Dennis Seidenberg exploits a mental error from Tampa goalie Mike Smith, which of course causes Jack Edwards to declare it the greatest goal in NHL history.
Here's a carbon copy of Shane O'Brien's misguided effort from Dallas defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy. Unfortunately for the Dallas rookie, it's the third period and pretty much killed Dallas' effort to tie the game.
Often times when a player scores an own-goal it's a simple deflection or momentary lapse in skill. Then there are the others where a player appears to shoot the puck into his own net. During a mad scramble in front of the Washington Capitals net, center Nicklas Backstrom does just that while attempting to clear the puck. The timing of the goal and the opponent make a bitter pill for Backstrom to swallow.
Another full ice own goal effort comes from Anaheim sniper Corey Perry. Usually his goals fire up the home crowd at the Honda Center, but this one sent them home for the night unhappy, sealing a Duck's loss.
The home ice in Montreal is where dreams are made and where even more are destroyed. The Canadien's fans can be your best friends or worst enemies, and won't think twice about letting their team know how they feel.
Ryan O'Byrne didn't make things easy on himself by tying the game for New York late in the third period while Montreal's goalie had been pulled on a delayed penalty. Insult to injury as the Islanders won the game in overtime.
Jaroslav Halak emerged as a top goaltender in 2010 during the playoffs, helping the Montreal Canadiens reach the Eastern Conference Finals. Montreal brass chose to stick with Carey Price as their goalie of the future, trading Halak to St. Louis.
It was with the Blues that Halak performed this paddle ball own-goal against the rival Detroit Red Wings.
While I enjoyed the benefits of each of the two goals featured in the slides, I can't deny that they were each bad goals. The first against Dan Cloutier, is credited with changing the Red Wing fortunes in their 2002 Stanley Cup run. The second goal against Nashville from a couple of years ago took a wicked hop and beat Predator's goalie Dan Ellis from even further out.
Do you think Atlanta misses the NHL? Ondrej Pavelec of the now Winnipeg Jets is red hot or pedestrian. This long-range turd from Jeff Schultz shows a total lack of focus.
Young players, always keep your eye on the ball, or in this case, the puck. An epic misplay by Bruins stud goalie Tim Thomas provided Paul Martin with one of the most unimpressive power play goals of his career.
Tim Thomas' Face
The expression "insult to injury" is to be taken quite literally here as Dominic Moore shoots a puck off of Tim Thomas' face and into the net. There are several different replays shown to determine when the puck actually went in to the net, but the final clips show that Thomas has a busted eyebrow from Moore's effort.
Sometimes it's good to be lucky, and other time it's lucky to be good.....or something like that. Jakub Petruzalek is a little of both, benefiting from a goalie who loses track of his shootout attempt after deflecting it with his glove. The airborne puck flutters back to the ice and trickles softly into the corner of the net.
Never short on confidence, Patrick Roy was known for leaving his glove out to embellish a save just to get into an opponents head. Can't argue with his body of work, because the man could flat out play, especially in the clutch.
Towards the end of his career though Roy, attempted to flash some extra leather and hold up the puck after a save. Problem was, the puck was still on the ice for an easy tap in.
Boston vs Michigan
As the Michigan player (Porter) skates in, he dives and the puck is deflected up into the air. As the Boston defenseman races back to clear he inadvertently knocks the airborne puck into his own net.
Sorry to pick on the Leafs and Vesa Toskala, but it's not like I'm the one that let this goal in. I love the super loud Sabres goal horn just to make sure Toskala knew he gave up a goal. This replay could be a Southwest Airlines commercial.
Poor Toskala. Great name, great mask. Bad goalie.
What exactly was Philadelphia Flyers goalie Antero Niittymaki doing? Texting, napping? Doing an A-Rod and getting a phone number from a pretty lady in the crowd? Either way this is probably why he isn't in Philadelphia anymore. An opportunistic score from Max Talbot, but still an awful goal.
Here's Ken Hitchcock's take on the goal.
"Oh my goodness" is an understatement for the Game 1 winning goal in the 2006 Stanley Cup Final. goalie Ty Conklin, oblivious to the defenseman standing behind him, shanks a pass that is easily converted into the easiest Stanley Cup game winning goal ever.
Cody McLeod scores his first of the season with a weird smack of the puck in a crowd that Washington's Michal Neuvirth completely misses. Watching the replay, you wonder how the goalie totally misses the puck.
Again, with limited footage, this was the only clip I could find to show Jamie Langenbrunner's overtime winner. Dallas fans may argue that this is their equivalent to the Yzerman goal from 1996, but this goal was actually redirected into the net by Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood. Forward to the 6:40 mark for the goal.
You never want to lose a game on a goal like that, but Osgood would redeem himself as the Red Wings went on to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions in 1998.
Jeff Carter has put together a pretty nice resume of goals in his career. This is probably not near the top as he catches Penguin netminder Brent Johnson sleeping.
Another fun clip of an extra attacker gone horribly wrong as Northern Michigan seals defeat with a 180-foot empty net on itself.
Sergei Kostitsyn has probably never scored an easier goal in his life. Hopefully Bruin fans will see less of this and more of the real Tuukka Rask whenever the season starts.
Jonas Gustavsson is now a Detroit Red Wing, to the chagrin of most Red Wing fans and delight of most Toronto Maple Leaf fans. While the "Monster" has shown flashes of brilliance, he has also shown equal flashes of terrible play.
This video is a compilation that someone put together of Gustavsson's efforts .
Even Conn Smythe winners lose focus every once in a while. Derek Morris puts everything he has into this long range slapper, but Jon Quick would love to have that one back.
Here's an example why goaltenders always need to know where the puck is. Mason Raymond flips the puck high in the air from center ice and it literally drops into Miikka Kiprusoff's net.
Try to keep your eye on the puck. Roberto Luongo could not, and this fluttering biscuit was eventually credited to Chicago Blackhawk Dave Bolland.
Marty Havlat shows all you young spark plugs out there why there is no such thing as a bad shot on net. At the exact same time Curtis McElhinney shows us why he is a career backup goalie.
As hockey fans we've gotten to know Martin Brodeur as a symbol of goalkeeping excellence and consistency. Who would have thought that Brodeur would have let in this howler against the Ducks in the 2003 Stanley Cup Final?
Brodeur and the Devils would recover of course and win their third cup in eight years, but his Game 3 incident helped keep the Duck hopes alive and showed that Brodeur was in fact human.
Poor Roberto Luongo gets victimized again by wayward sticks and a goofy bounce off the hand of Alex Edler's hand this time. Nashville's David Legwand gets credit for the tally on a fluky bounce.
Nothing like an absurd bounce off the boards to win a playoff game in overtime. How about a scoreless game in overtime? Ouch. Sorry Toronto Marlies.
Watch the full video as the Marlies players literally sit on the bench and watch the replay in total disbelief.
Poor Dan Boyle interrupts a a goaltending masterpiece as Colorado and San Jose were both scoreless through regulation. Boyle's backhanded dump attempt behind the Shark goal actually squeezes between his own goalie and the post to give the Avalanche an overtime win.
At least the Colorado announcer doesn't seem to get overly excited about it.
Let me first say that Clayton Stoner has one of the best names in hockey. This might be one of his favorite goals too. New Jersey goalie Johan Hedberg terribly misjudges this dump by Stoner, and the puck caroms into an empty net.
I know Vancouver fans will say this is a glorious goal, but it really isn't the way you want a series-clinching double-overtime goal to be. Kevin Bieksa is apparently the only person on the ice that actually sees the puck bounce off the stanchion and back to the point. It almost looks like he mis-hits the slapshot as it flutters towards the Shark net.
Fortunately for Vancouver, nobody saw the puck except Bieksa and the goal judge. Hey, sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, but it helps to be both.
Fortunately for Minnesota Golden Gopher goalie Jeff Frazee, this atrocity happened in the first period. While I understand that a hockey puck can take some wicked bounces and bobbles on some chewy ice, the "shot" came in from North Dakota's Robbie Bina from over 180-feet.
I love the call from the Chicago announcers. The "27-mile-per-hour" backhand from J.P. Dumont of Nashville tied the game for the Predators and tied Antti Niemi in knots.
During the 2002 Olympics, Tommy Salo must have forgotten that he was actually wearing goalie pads. His jumping, ducking, glove save attempt on Belarus' defenseman Vladimir Kopat resulted in the game winner for the Belarus side.
On an international scale, this win for Belarus was every bit the same as the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" at Lake Placid for the United States. Though it was only a quarterfinal win, the Belarus team was a 10-million-to-1 shot to win the gold medal.
Somewhere Marty Moose Is Smiling
Another example of a team pulling it's goalie for an extra man when there is a delayed penalty. The Chicago Wolves were set to be up a man for the final minute of overtime against the Manitoba Moose.
Wolves forward Steve Martins recognizing the situation, gains possession of the puck and passes it out to the point. Unfortunately his pass split the defensemen and slithered all the way down into his own net giving the Moose the overtime win.