Ranking the Top 5 Goals from Week 2 of the 2013-14 NHL Season

Steve SilvermanFeatured ColumnistOctober 13, 2013

SAN JOSE, CA - OCTOBER 8: Tomas Hertl #48, Jason Demers #5 and Brad Stuart #7 of the San Jose Sharks celebrate Hertl's goal against the New York Rangers during an NHL game on October 8, 2013 at SAP Center in San Jose, California. (Photo by Don Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
Don Smith/Getty Images

There's something about the beauty of a goal in hockey. 

Give a hockey fan a shot from the point that blows by the goaltender and makes the net bulge, and he's got something to cheer about. 

Goals can be rare in hockey. A 1-0 or 2-1 game means that every goal is something to celebrate and every goal is beautiful in its own way.

As a result, hockey fans are programmed to celebrate all goals, but the best of those goals can live on in the memory—and in video highlights—for a long time.

Here's a look at the top five goals from Oct. 6 through Oct. 12.


5. Ekman-Larsson's Game-Winner

Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored the game-winner for the Phoenix Coyotes against the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 11, and he did it with style, grace and beauty.

With the score tied 1-1 late in the second period, the Coyotes were on the power play. Phoenix did a solid job of moving the puck around and putting pressure on the Flyers. 

Ekman-Larsson positioned himself near the top of the offensive zone. Once he got the puck, he took matters in his own hands with this stellar move that enabled him to rip a shot into the net.

The discouraged Flyers could do nothing to stop it and did not recover.


4. Datsyuk's Backhander

There must be something about the Flyers' penalty kill that invites highlight-reel goals. Pavel Datsyuk, of the Detroit Red Wings, found the hole in the center of the defense in the Red Wings' Oct. 12 meeting with the Flyers.

With the Red Wings leading 2-1 in the third period, Datsyuk dominated the power play. After making several strong plays with the puck, he positioned himself in the slot, took a pass from Niklas Kronwall and rifled the puck through Flyers goaltender Ray Emery.

Instead of doing it with his wrist shot or snap shot, Datsyuk fired a sizzling backhander and took the life out of the troubled Flyers.


3. Hall's Quick Moves

The Edmonton Oilers have not gotten off to a stellar start, and they appeared to be going down in a home game against New Jersey Oct. 7. The Devils had a 3-0 lead heading into the third period, but the Oilers were not about to go without a fight.

They roared back to tie the score, and Taylor Hall gave the Oilers a 4-3 third-period lead when he took a pass in front of the goal, made two quick moves on Martin Brodeur and tucked the puck into the net. 

It was a classic confrontation between a young, talented offensive star and the grizzled veteran in the net. This time, the youngster won the battle.


2. Vanek's Surgical Score

Very little has gone right for the Buffalo Sabres this season, and they did not do very many positive things in their 4-1 home loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Oct. 10.

However, Thomas Vanek is known for his surgical touch around the net, and he may have topped himself when he converted in close against Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.

Watch carefully as Vanek takes a pass from Steve Ott and goes between his legs to give the Sabres their only goal in a 4-1 defeat.


1. Hertl's Creative Shot 

Tomas Hertl's spectacular goal in the San Jose Sharks' 9-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Oct. 8 is likely to be at the top of this list for the month of October and quite possibly the end of the 2012-13 season.

Hertl, 18, capped a memorable four-goal effort by blowing by the New York defense and getting in alone on goalie Martin Biron. As he gets in tight to the Rangers goalie, Hertl made a spectacular between-the-legs move to send his teammates and the San Jose fans into a frenzy when he roofs the puck.

While Washington Capitals head coach Adam Oates considered Hertl's move disrespectful to his opponent, the majority of NHL players, coaches and observers applauded the creativity behind the youngster's sharp goal.