He Shoots, He Scores: 20 Amazing NHL Goals You've Just Gotta See
In the National Hockey League, goal scoring has blossomed into one of the game's most important objective. When offense is at a premium in the defensive-favored sport, the NHL have made rule changes to accommodate the growing love for offense in the States.
Hockey has so many advantage for defensive players such as hitting, slashing, poking, and being an overall pest and the object you have to score on as a full grown man-child with pads trying to stop the puck.
It's just not the type of game that would excite Americans, and with hockey falling off the face of the U.S. sports scene since the lockout, Gary Bettman has been trying to make the game more offensive.
Today's game makes scoring a goal a lot easier by reduction of goalie pads, implementing the trapezoid to prevent goalies from killing forechecks, placed restrictions on player defenders can do to create a turnover, and calling more penalties.
By result, the NHL has provided quite a share of highlight reels for Sportscenter over the last five years. To celebrate some of the great goals in recent history, I've put together a list of 20 goals that you just gotta see...
...for a second, third or fourth time.
No. 20: Vinny Lecavalier's In Between His Legs Goal Against Montreal
Vincent LeCavalier has become a forgotten man in Tampa Bay the last couple years, regressing to at times, a fourth line player. While we all know he's not a fourth liner, LeCavalier just hasn't been the same force he was a few years ago for the Bolts.
So, when Vinny scored a goal on Montreal Canadiens' goalie Carey Price on Jan. 27th of this past season, it's only right for him to show off a bit.
No. 19: Dany Heatley Snipes Dwayne Roloson With a Turnaround Slapper
Like him or hate him, Dany Heatley possesses one of the game's most lethal shots. Heatley is a pure goal scorer, who knows how to deposit pucks into the net.
He has quite an impressive highlight reel to his name, but his goal against the Edmonton Oilers in a game dated Mar. 5, 2009 is a snipe job at a violent angle.
No. 18: The Jeremey Roenick Triple Pump, Wicked Backhander
Jeremy Roenick is one of the game's biggest characters who loved to enjoy himself on the ice while having fun with the off the ice activities to boot.
Roenick buries a player near the bench for the takeaway, dangles through the offensive zone to take a blast past the netminder. It's a classic.
No. 18: OK, For Real, J.R.'s Overtime Game-Winner Vs The Leafs In 04 Playoffs
O.K., my fun is through. Roenick, however is a character. He would have appreciated that.
J.R. also is one of the best American-born players in NHL history, and when he gathered a loose disc in the neutral zone on his was on a two-on-one with Eddy Belfour, Roenick picked a corner to send the Flyers to the Conference Finals.
Albeit, the goal is far greater to watch in it's full sequence. Roenick scored the OT winner just moments after Maple Leaf hooligan Darcy Tucker laid the smackdown on Sami Kapanen that knocked Kappy into la-la lands.
No. 17: Danny Carcillo's Thing of Beauty For a Taste Of Tastykakes
By no means should Danny Carcillo be in the "20 goals you've just gotta see", and in fact should maybe be in "15 just-watch NHL fights" if at all, however Carbomb provided some butter against the Maple Leafs on Jan. 6, 2010.
Who would have thought the thug Carcillo would have such dangles under his sleeve.
No. 16: Patty Kane's Game-Tying Tally Against Detroit In 08-09 Conference Finals
Patrick Kane is known for big goals for the Chicago Blackhawks. He has quite a few game tiers and game-winner under his belt, including the Stanley Cup winning phantom shot.
In the Conference Finals versus the Red Wings two years ago, Kaner carried a burst of speed to rip a backhander over the shoulder of Detroit's tender Chris Osgood. Clutch goal to say the least.
No. 15: The Great Ones Great Swing Nets a Goal Back In 1993
Wayne Gretzky is the best hockey player ever to lace up a pair of skates, and always will be. He's the definition of a once in a lifetime experience as there will never be someone able to come close to typing his scoring records.
So, the Great One mastered the sport of hockey, but flashed off his baseball skills when he played for the Los Angeles Kings in the 1993 season. Gretzky took a Ken Griffey-like hack the puck, connecting for the home run.
No. 14: Shea Weber's Laser That Penetrated The Net
When you can blast a slap shot over 100 MPH, you know you have a shot, and when you can use that shot to score a goal in the Olympics that went through the net, that's when players should be scared to get in front of it.
Shea Weber has one of the fastest shots in the NHL, and he used it for Team Canada against Germany in this past Olympics in Vancouver. It may not have happened in the NHL, but Weber's tally was worthy of the "you gotta see."
No. 13: Super Mario Embarrasses The North Stars,
If Wayne's the best, Mario's second.
Super Mario Lemieux scored plenty of eye oozing goals in his career, but his prettiest may have been his tally against the North Stars when he went through the entire team, skated smoothly into an open net with the goalie swimming in the crease.
No. 12: Jaromir Jagr Dances Through Three Defenders, Then Scores On a Backhander
The Pittsburgh Penguins have had quite a few superstars in their franchise history from Mario Lemieux to Sidney Crosby. Don't forget about Jaromir Jagr.
Jagr scores an incredible goal against the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Finals in 1992 where he beats three defenders before going to his backhand, and sniping Ed Belfour.
No. 11: Pavel Datsyuk Pulls The
Red Wings crafty center Pavel Datsyuk is one of the best puck-handlers in the NHL. His hands are as soft as Charmin Ultra. He's a wizard when it comes to shootouts, and has done a maneuver that has been known to be called the "Datsyukian Deke."
So imagine him pulling it off on a breakaway during regulation, not a shootout or a penalty shot. Datsyuk carved up Stars goalie Marty Turco for his second of the game.
No. 10: Sid The Kid Scores On The Backhand While Falling Backwards
Sidney Crosby is hockey. He's the best player in the game bar none, and has accomplished everything a hockey player can by the age of 22.
To see how great a player he is, look at how accurate Sid the Kid was in his second year in the NHL while falling backwards, between traffic. Simply amazing.
No. 9: Paul Kariya's Rifle As He Slides In The Slot
Paul Kariya was a shade of his old self in his days with the St. Louis Blues, however that doesn't mean he couldn't turn in a few highlight reel goals.
Kariya shows that he still had great hand-eye coordination as he ripped a shot past his former team as he was falling forward. You have to appreciate these kind of goals.
No. 8: Peter Forsberg Showcases Abilities With Tremendous Moves Before Scoring
When you needed a great individual effort, Peter Forsberg always came through.
Forsberg showed he still had the ability to take over even past his prime while with the Flyers against Chicago a few years ago on national television when he split former Flyer Patrick Sharp, and slipped it through the Hawks' goaltender.
No. 7: Drew Doughty Shows Defenseman Can Score Too
Defenseman aren't supposed to score goals like this, so when Drew Doughty splits two defenders with blazing speed to score on the forehand-backhand move to beat Jason LaBarbera, you know it's something special.
That's why Drew Doughty should have won the Norris Trophy last year.
No. 6: Ovechkin Scores On His Back Against The Coyotes Four Years Ago
Alexander Ovechkin knows how to score goals. He's the best goal scorer in the game, without question. You could make a highlight reel of 20 goals you've gotta see scored by Alex Ovechkin, but that wouldn't be too fun, would it?
Here's the first of a few to close out our show: a classic backhander from his back as he slides into the boards against the Coyotes four years ago.
No. 5: The Great 8 Scres On His Back Again, This Time After Self-Pass
Told ya, you'd see a lot of Alex Ovechkin as you get closer to the end.
Here, Ovie banks a pass off the boards, does a 360, falls on his behind as he crashes the nets, and deposits it into the net for a wonderful tally against the Canadiens in Feb. of 2009.
No. 4: Alex Ovechkin Can Score With One-Hand Too
Alex Ovechkin has dangles that even Chuck Norris wish he had.
Ovechkin makes a beautiful toe-drag, to score on the backhand while holding the stick with only one-hand against the Rangers this past season. Yeah, that's right, a one-handed backhander with only eight seconds left in the period.
No. 3: Jussu The Shootout Special Does His Best Peter Forsberg Impression
Peter Forsberg is known for his shootout maneuver he revealed while playing for Team Sweden in 1994 where he comes in, and dekes the goalies out of position to slip the puck past the tender with one hand.
Well, Jussi Jokinen mastered the move and is a shootout specialist in his own right. Against the Bruins a couple years ago with Dallas, Jokinen makes a fool of Tim Thomas with a dandy.
No. 2: Mike Ribeiro Scores an Amazing Shootout Goal Vs Los Angeles
Mike Ribeiro has a bad rep of being a wussy, once diving and pretending to be injured, but he is a pretty good hockey player.
In a shootout attempt against the Kings, Ribeiro puts the puck between his legs, then scores with one-hand. To make matters worse for LA, Ribeiro signals the crowd to silence.
No. 1: Rick Nash Takes It The Full Length Of The Ice For Best Goal Ever
Rick Nash has credit for the No. 1 goal you just gotta see because simply put, it's the best goal I have ever witnessed.
Nash takes the puck the entire length of the ice, makes fools of three defenders to score a beauty against Phoenix. Not many tallies come close to this one Nash scored in 2008.