Ranking the Carolina Hurricanes' Top 5 Goals of 2013-14 NHL Season
Considering their offensive struggles to date, the Carolina Hurricanes have recorded a relatively impressive highlight reel of goals through the first seven weeks of the 2013-14 season.
From Alexander Semin's laser against his former team in early October to Tuomo Ruutu's eventual game-winning goal Sunday against Ottawa, the 'Canes—while certainly not lighting up the box score on a consistent basis—have produced more than a few jaw-dropping plays.
Most of them, interestingly enough, have also occurred in the past two weeks.
An entirely objective ranking of the club's five best goals (plus an honorable mention) of 2013-14 falls on the coming slides.
Scores were judged by skill required, teamwork involved and aesthetic beauty but not by in-game importance.
Honorable Mention: Drayson Bowman (Nov. 15 vs. Ducks)
Drayson Bowman, while boasting only five points in 23 games, has shown glimpses of the star power that got him drafted No. 72 overall in 2007.
November 15 against Anaheim was certainly the most prominent of those nights.
No. 21 recorded a career-high six shots in 14:23 of ice time that night, highlighting his spectacular performance with this never-give-up goal.
Carolina won the game 3-2 in a shootout.
5. Alexander Semin (Oct. 10 vs. Capitals)
Alexander Semin's first Verizon Center goal as a Hurricane likely took longer than he hoped, but it was a rocket—a literal dagger into the net of the team he grew to so despise.
His unstoppable one-timer came off a power-play feed from Eric Staal and tied the game late in the second period. Braden Holtby had absolutely no chance to make the save.
Carolina went on to win the game 3-2.
4. Tuomo Ruutu (Nov. 24 vs. Senators)
In a exciting period filled with three pretty Hurricanes goals, Tuomo Ruutu's sweet one-on-one finish after a perfect Eric Staal lead pass stood slightly above the rest.
No. 15 decisively outskated Ottawa's Milan Michalek in a net drive, and Staal had the terrific sense to pull up just across the blue line, all equating into a smooth goal.
Ruutu now sports two crucial confidence-building goals in the past week as he tries to re-establish his scoring rhythm.
3. Eric Staal (Oct. 8 vs. Penguins)
Deflecting an NHL-speed slap shot takes talent. Deflecting it accurately for a goal takes even more.
Deflecting it past Marc-Andre Fleury while falling to the ice in an unfamiliar rink takes an unfathomable amount of perfection.
Hurricanes captain Eric Staal did it in the team's first road game of the season, tipping Justin Faulk's low blast up into the top corner. The goal gave the 'Canes life and cut the Penguins' lead to 2-1.
Carolina tied the game early in the third period but went on to lose 5-2.
2. Patrick Dwyer (Nov. 23 vs. Bruins)
After a borderline invisible first month of the season, Patrick Dwyer seems to have rediscovered his scoring touch as the holidays approach.
He notched the Hurricanes' fourth shorthanded goal in as many games Saturday in Boston, taking advantage of an errant Milan Lucic pass and then flying down two-thirds of the ice before beating goaltender Chad Johnson with a nice backhand move.
Carolina earned a point in the match thanks to No. 39's tying tally but lost 3-2 in overtime.
1. Andrej Sekera (Nov. 21 vs. Red Wings)
Andrej Sekera has transformed from lukewarm Jamie McBain replacement to acquisition of the year in rapid fashion.
The 27-year-old blueliner has averaged 23:04 of ice time per game (trailing only Justin Faulk) and leads the 'Canes in both blocked shots (41) and takeaways (29)—the No. 1 defenseman in the NHL in the latter of those two statistical categories.
However, Sekera also falls behind only Eric Staal on the team scoring leaderboard; his 11 points and five goals each rank second on the team.
There exists no better example of Sekera's dynamic defense-to-offense transition than his magnificent goal in Detroit last week.
No. 4, beginning the clip deep in his own zone, receives a pass in stride, crosses the Red Wings blue line with ease, brutally undresses Todd Bertuzzi and roofs a wrist shot far side on Jonas Gustavsson in Carolina's goal of the season to date.