Top 10 plays of the 2008-09 NHL Season
TSN decided to run a play of the year poll; however, they did not make it a direct poll, rather they grouped the 20 nominees into groups of 5 and had the fans vote on which play was the best out of each group. This was evidently a time saving measure.
The problem I have is that with these groups, you sometimes eliminate in the first round of voting a candidate that should be in the final rounds of consideration. For example, Pavel Datsyuk's amazing play against Chicago was eliminated in the first round and I believe it deserved much better (Youtube it if you haven't seen it).
With that in mind I decided to go and find the clips for all the nominees and made my own list. So without any further ado I give you my Top 10 Plays of the 2008-09 NHL Season—with video footage!
#10 Alexander Semin
You'd have to see it to really get a grasp on how amazing it was. Semin, on his knees, stick handles and fires the puck past Cam Ward of the Hurricanes, far side, bottom corner of the net.
As a person who actually plays hockey, I can tell you that this is no easy feat. He might have made it higher on the list if it weren't for the large number of great plays this year, therefore, he hits #10 on my list.
#9 Alexander Ovechkin
Based on the enthusiasm of the commentary alone, you can tell how amazing this goal was. This play is pretty hard to describe in words. What I can tell you is that this is another example of how dangerous Ovechkin is, no matter what position he's playing.
I think the Habs still don't know what happened here.
#8 Richard Zednik
Zednik returns from his terrifying injury last season to wow us with this incredible display of concentration. In the process he, ironically, almost catches Brenden Witt with his skates as he jumps over Witt's head.
#7 Pavel Datsyuk
This play is probably the best team effort on this list; in fact, it's the ONLY team effort on this list. However, what makes this Datsyuk's play is the way he finishes it.
He pulls off the classic Peter Forsberg, Lillehammer-style deke with opposing players all around him! We're not talking about a shootout move, here. We're talking about being within eight feet of opposing players in the slot! That's just incredible!
#6 Bobby Ryan
"Bobby Ryan makes a fool out of Peter Harold"
That statement basically sums up how awesome the move it. However, as if that isn't enough, that goal was also for a hat trick!
Most hat tricks occur because the net is empty and the players on the ice try to get the puck to the guy who has two goals already.
Not Ryan. That's not how he rolls.
He's a go-getter and he does it in style. Props Bobby! Props!
#5 Olli Jokinen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RpUyDRuQ4g (play doesn't come until 3:44-4:02)
Probably one of the best displays of hand-eye coordination I have ever seen!
To flip the puck just over Ian White's head without it going into Gerber's glove or into the corner...
...then get around him in time to smack the puck into the net without the puck landing on the ice is amazing! Save that link. You won't see that play every year.
#4 Marty Turco
Despite a lackluster season with the Stars last year, Turco pulls off the best save of the year when he robs Jonathan Toews at the side of the net by kicking up his skate blade!
#3 Blake Wheeler
Shorthanded 1-on-4 goal=great.
He takes a hit, makes a couple great moves, and puts home his rebound! What more can you ask a rookie forward to do? Great effort!
#2 Johan Franzen
Franzen gets a gift from Ryan O'Byrne and makes three moves and an excellent backhand shot to the far side on Carey Price. Great move, great finish.
#1 Drew Stafford
This move takes so much coordination. Mike Van Ryn gets burned by a dandy dangle and then Stafford has the wherewithal to put the puck up under the bar. Amazing stuff!