Ranking the 10 Flashiest Players in the NHL in the 2013-14 Season
The NHL has more duality than just about any other league in the world. Hockey can be brutal and beautiful, often within seconds of the separate occurrences. A big body check in the neutral zone causes a streaking forward to cough up the puck.
Perhaps Phil Kessel or Alex Ovechkin pounces on the loose biscuit, and dances into the offensive zone with speed before stick handling between two defenders and burying a goal.
All while the guy that got blown up in the first place is just now getting back to his feet.
Hockey has a lofty perch for the flashiest players. The guys that bring fans to their feet as soon as they get the puck on their stick. So far, the 2013-14 season has given us some magical goals, and some flashy plays and players to boot.
All statistics appear courtesy of HockeyDB.com unless otherwise noted.
10. P.K. Subban
Everything that P.K. Subban does seems to have a little bit of extra flare on it. Even a simple one-timer like the one showed here oozes with confidence, and not without good reason.
Few blueliners can impact a game from the back end like Subban can. His passing is outstanding, his vision is unique and his shot is an absolute cannon. Despite head coach Michel Therrien and his typical star-killing antics, Subban is having a spectacular season for the Montreal Canadiens.
He has 17 points in 18 games for the Habs and is on pace for 77 points right now according to ESPN.com. That's a lot of flash.
9. Alex Steen
Has there been a more surprising player in the NHL this year than Alex Steen? He's your goal-scoring leader at the moment and has kept pace with the likes of Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos for much longer than most figured that he could.
Steen is getting it done all over the ice too. Whether it's a net-front scramble like this one or a brutal one-timer, you can't mention top forwards around the league right now and leave Steen off the list.
If he continues on his current pace, it'll be very interesting to see what kind of deal the typical 45-point Steen could land as a free agent this summer.
8. John Tavares
From the time that John Tavares was drafted, he's been billed as a results-oriented player. While it took him a year or so to finally iron out his skating, the captain of the New York Islanders has been a dangerous scorer since his breakout year in 2011-12.
He has quietly produced 20 points through 18 games for the Islanders so far this year, and has been a monster in close and around the net.
Who says all the goals from the net mouth have to be dirty though?
7. Henrik Sedin
Passing may not end up on the highlight reels as often as scoring, but Henrik Sedin is doing everything he can to buck that trend this season. While he only has three goals to his credit right now, Sedin has been racking up the assists.
He leads the NHL with 17, and is pacing players like Sidney Crosby and Joe Thornton in that department.
The Vancouver Canucks have suddenly developed a very dangerous game from the middle of the ice after years as a corner-cycle team, and the chemistry of the Sedin twins is at the core of this movement. Just check out that sick tip pass.
That wasn't an accident. That's flashy.
6. Phil Kessel
You don't see goals like this very often in the NHL anymore. In a league that sees teams constantly trying to restrict movement in the neutral zone, the end-to-end rush has mostly gone the way of the dinosaur.
Phil Kessel isn't hearing any of that though. At least not on this play against the New Jersey Devils. The speed and tenacity on this play is thrilling, and the outcome is well-deserved.
Does Kessel need to cut it out with the passes through the middle of the ice and cool it on the turnovers? You bet, but at least he's putting up points in the offensive zone. Some flashy players just cough up the puck over and over without producing goals.
We're looking at you Nail Yakupov and Claude Giroux.
5. Pavel Datsyuk
Easy with the "Pavel Datsyuk at No. 5? This list is invalid" comments. We all know that Datsyuk is among the flashiest of the flashy. He's made Datsyukian deke a Google-relevant term and can be seen embarrassing defenders and goaltenders on a nightly basis.
We just thought it'd be nice to show a few other guys some love higher up on the list. On Planet Flashy, Datsyuk is king and everyone else is visiting. The best kings know when to take a step back and share the spotlight though, and that's what we're going for here.
4. Alex Ovechkin
Remember all that chatter about how Alex Ovechkin would never score goals at a rate like he once did? When his love of the game seemed to have vaporized and his body language screamed "KHL, here I come!"
So much for that.
Ovie is more in love with scoring goals than ever, and you won't see a more dangerous or flashier shooter in the NHL on a more consistent basis. He's been all but unstoppable on the power play, and the opposition hasn't been able to slow him down this year despite knowing the playbook by now.
3. Steven Stamkos
If anyone in the NHL can give Alex Ovechkin a run for his money in the goal-scoring race across an 82-game season, it's Steven Stamkos. He's been every bit as filthy as Ovechkin this year and is currently tied with Alex Steen for the goal-scoring lead.
Stamkos seems more dangerous than ever this season. He's shooting the puck with incredible velocity and frequency, and he's making the players around him better. Odds are, Alex Killorn wasn't on your radar before the season started.
He is now though.
2. Matt Duchene
If the modern-day NHL has an answer for Pavel Bure, it's Matt Duchene. This is what Duchene looks like when he's let off the leash by his coach. Patrick Roy came in and gave the flashy forward the freedom to take risks and use his skill as often as he could.
The results have been astounding.
Duchene is currently receiving billing as the NHL's next big thing and it's easy to see why. The Colorado Avalanche are flying high, and Duchene is on pace for nearly 100 points according to ESPN.com.
1. Tomas Hertl
So far this season, there's only been one forward to have deked a goaltender out of the NHL. That distinction belongs to Tomas Hertl, who has taken the league by storm since barely making the opening night roster for the San Jose Sharks.
Everyone associates the rookie with his flashy play against the New York Rangers a few weeks ago, but it's becoming evident that this is one kid that you don't want to see coming in all alone on the breakaway.
He's been the flashiest player in the league to this point without question. He's drawn the ire of traditionalists around the NHL for his antics, but it's tough to argue against the results.