I was just talking to somebody about Sidney Crosby's overtime heroics and my friend said that it was probably the greatest goal in Canadian hockey history.
But is it?
Canadian hockey has seen so many special moments and so many special players. I have compiled a list of what I think are some of the greatest goals and moments in Canadian hockey history. Hope you enjoy it and feel free to comment.
Back in the 2007, Canada was heading into the World Junior Championships as back-to-back champions. Canada once again proved to be the team to beat heading into their semifinal match-up against the United States with a perfect 4-0 record.
This proved to be a classical Canada-USA hockey game with both sides fighting hard. There were plenty of chances, big hits and great goaltending from both sides.
At the end of regulation the score was tied 1-1. The score remained tied at the end of overtime and headed into a shootout with a berth in the gold medal game on the line.
Enter Jonathan Toews.
This proved to be a classic and hard fought shootout with the Canadians edging out the Americans 5-4 in seven shootout rounds. Toews pulled off an amazing shootout performance scoring three times on three attempts eventually winning the game for Canada, sending them on to their third straight gold medal game where they would beat Russia 4-2.
Although this may not be a great goal in Canadian history it sure was a memorable one. Anson Carter's overtime goal in the gold medal game against Sweden is probably one of the most memorable goals in tournament history that nobody except for team Canada saw go in. Not even the officials.
Anson Carter wrapped around the net and just squeaked the puck past the goal line on Mikael Tellqvist who tried to squeeze his right pad against the post. Carter knew that the puck went in and the entire Canadian bench jumped onto the ice to celebrate the goal...while the play was still going on.
The official did not see the puck go in so while team Canada was celebrating what they were sure was a gold medal in the tournament, not one referee saw the puck squeak past Tellqvist.
However, after a lengthy five minute review it was called a gold and Canada won their first World Championship in six years.
Heading into the 2008 World Junior Championships Canada was already the reigning three year champions. The team had very high expectations heading into the tournament after posting perfect records in the last three tournaments.
It was a shock to see them lose to Sweden in the round robin forcing them to play in the quaterfinals for the first time in three years. Canada would get a second chance to beat the now tournament favorites Sweden in the gold medal game.
Jumping out to a two-goal lead in the first period, Canada had all the momentum and carried that lead into the third. But the momentum would shift and Sweden would score an early goal in the third and then the back breaker with 48 seconds to go sending the game to overtime.
I remember watching that game on the edge of my seat not being able to comprehend how Sweden could have come back.
Heading into overtime it seemed like Sweden would have had all the momentum, but Canada stormed out and just three and a half minutes into overtime Matt Halischuk scored probably the biggest goal of his life helping Canada win their fourth consecutive gold medal.
In the tournament forever known to Canadian fans everywhere as "the drive for five," Canada looked to tie the tournament record (which they set from 1993-97) for most consecutive gold medals.
Most importantly they looked to do it on home ice with the tournament being played in Ottawa.
Heading into the semifinal against Russia, Canada had once again posted a perfect record and also led the tournament scoring 36 goals.
Canada headed in as the heavy favorite, but Russia proved to be a formidable opponent.
It was a back and forth game with Canada constantly going up and Russia constantly replying. It was this way until Russia managed to take the lead with just over two minutes left.
Canada struggled and tried as hard as they could to tie the game, but with the clock winding down it didn't look good.
With under 10 seconds to go the puck was held along the boards. The seconds continued to tick away and then with just a hand full of seconds left the puck came free and founds its way to Jordan Eberle who was alone in front of the net.
Eberle brought the puck to his backhand and put it home.
It was probably one of the loudest cheers I have ever heard for a World Junior game. The game would eventually head to a shootout where it was only fitting for Canada's World Junior hero in Jordan Eberle to score the shootout winner sending Canada on to their fifth straight gold medal game where they would eventually beat the Swedes 5-1.
The 1987 Canada Cup proved to be some of the greatest hockey ever seen with two of the biggest hockey powerhouses in Canada and the Soviet Union battling for supremacy.
Although Canada finished to tournament with an undefeated record, every game was hard fought and could have gone either way.
As expected Canada and the Soviet Union went on to play the three-game Cup series.
After the Soviets won the first game 6-5 in overtime, Canada came back hard in Game 2 jumping out to an early 3-1 lead, but the Soviets came back to tie it.
It was an even match the whole way through and this game would also head to overtime.
There was no score after the first overtime so the game would head for a second overtime.
Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky were having great games and they would connect once again when Lemieux put in the game winner in a scramble around the net. Gretzky collected his fifth assist on the play and Lemieux would complete a hat trick to tie the tournament's series at 1-1.
The very first Canada Cup was held in 1976, a year when Canada bolstered the likes of Phil Esposito, Bobby, Orr, Marcel Dionne, Guy Lafleur and many more.
One player on that team who may not have received as much publicity was Darryl Sittler who at the time had the best season of his career putting up 100 points (career high being 117 points in 1977-78) with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Sittler would add one more goal to his impressive year by scoring the overtime winner in the second game of the best of three finals against then Czechoslovakia, winning the very first Canada Cup for Canada.
The 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City will forever be known as Canada's year. Heading into the tournament Canada had not won a gold medal in men's hockey at the Olympics since 1952.
Joe Sakic led the way with an inspired performance in the gold medal game scoring two goals and adding two assists to help Canada beat the Americans 5-2.
Joe Sakic would score the gold medal winning goal late in the second period. Sakic then would add the clincher on a breakaway making the lead almost insurmountable late in the game helping Canada win their first Olympic gold medal in men's hockey in 50 years.
Earlier I put up Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky's double overtime connection in Game 2 of the 1987 finals series against the Soviets. Once again we have another connection from the two greatest players ever to play the game in Game 3.
Once again Canada and the Soviet Union provided another amazing game with the winner in the Canada Cup.
Canada fell behind the Soviets early 3-0, but they were able to battle back. By the end of the second period, Canada was up 5-4.
The Soviets battled back in the third period to tie the game and with the clock winding down it looked like there was going to be another overtime.
But then one of Canada's greatest moments occurred.
Wayne Gretzky stole the puck along the boards and Canada broke out on a three on one advantage. Gretzky dropped the puck back to Lemieux and with nobody in front of him, he sniped it over the goalie's glove hand to give Canada a 6-5 lead.
They would hold on to that lead to win the Canada Cup.
That goal will forever be known as the moment when hockey's two greatest players combined to score one of the greatest goals in Canadian hockey history.
There isn't much we can say to contradict how much Sidney Crosby has done at such a young age. He's a team captain, he's won a Stanley Cup (also being the youngest captain ever to win the Cup), and he's won an Olympic Gold Medal. He's accomplished all of this before the age of 23.
Winning the Stanley Cup is an accomplishment that every player remembers, but what Crosby did to win the gold medal for Canada will forever be one of his greatest personal accomplishments.
Heading into the gold medal game against USA, Canada was looking to redeem themselves after a less than stellar performance against them beforehand.
Canada jumped out to an early 2-0 lead against the Americans but then it seemed like they were just sitting back instead of increasing their lead. This gave USA the little breath they needed to get back in the game. USA scored one goal midway through the second period to cut the lead to one.
In the third period USA dominated and with under 30 seconds left to play, they tied the game.
You could hear all of Canada fall silent when Zach Parise scored that goal. In overtime I was scared everytime the Americans touched the puck but Canada seemed to be in complete control.
Throughout the Olympics critics had been saying how Sidney Crosby hadn't been living up to his expectations. People said how this was supposed to be Crosby's team and everyone expected him to be Canada's top player, but that wasn't the case.
Crosby was not Canada's most dominant but just like great players do he stepped up when needed the most.
Midway through overtime Crosby fired a quick shot past Ryan Miller to win the gold. Not only was that a significant moment for the Canadian hockey team, but for the country of Canada.
Crosby's goal gave Canada 14 gold medals, more than any country ever in the history of the Winter Olympics.
That will give Crosby's critics something to talk about.
The 1972 Summit Series was played between the the Soviet Union and Canada. It was an eight game series in which four of them were played in Canada and the other four in Moscow, Russia.
The series was to be played by the Russian Olympic team (who proved to be the best international team in the world) and the Canadian NHL all-stars.
The series was played during a heightened moment of the Cold War. Both sides played this series not just for hockey supremacy, but also for political pride.
The first four games were played in Canada with the Soviets winning two, the Canadians winning one, and one ending in a tie. Heading back to Russia the Soviets led the series.
The first game in Russia, Canada lost once again. They now faced a very likely possibility of losing the series. With three games remaining, the Canadians were down two games.
Reluctant to lose, Canada edged out the next two games with scores of 3-2 and 4-3. The eighth and final game would decide the winner of the Summit Series.
The game proved to be a classic match.
At the end of the first period the score was tied at 2-2, but by the time the second intermission came around the Soviets were ahead 5-3.
Things weren't looking good for the Canadians but they managed to jump back in the third period scoring two early goals.
At this point there was a lot of ruckus in the crowd and the Soviet police even had to detain a few people which delayed the game for a bit.
With the clock winding down and the score tied it looked as though the Soviets were going to win because they had the better goal differential.
Paul Henderson jumped on the ice out of shift to replace Peter Mahovlich. Phil Esposito took a shot on net with 34 seconds left and Henderson put home the rebound to win the series for the Canadians.
Many in the Soviet Union did not view this as a fair win because a lot of their better players weren't playing at the time, but many of the great Canadian players at the time (mainly Bobby Orr, Bobby Hull, and Gordie Howe) were.
Regardless of what may or may not have been a "fair win," this still proved be a monumental win for the Canadians both in hockey and politically.
This is the greatest and most famous goal in Canadian history.