50 Fun and Amazing NHL Videos to Get You Through the Summer
The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings capped off their run last month with a few obligatory appearances on late night talk shows taped in their area. With their guests, the likes of Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel flavorfully mixed hockey and humor, though there was no shortage of opportunity for that elsewhere in the 2011-12 NHL season.
The lighter highlights of the year range from celebrities to skill shows to steamed coaches and analysts. Blended with the comic foils is a host of straight-up hockey plays with an impact as meaningful as their appeal to the eye.
With still a good two-plus months (hopefully no more than that) until the start of the 2012-13 campaign, this variety pack of 50 leftover highlights from last season ought to slake puckheads over the summer.
NHL Back In Winnipeg
Four-plus months after their team’s return was confirmed, these were the final moments of waiting for Winnipeg Jets fans.
Teemu Selanne Back in Winnipeg
A former breakout sensation with the original version of the Jets, Teemu Selanne put in one appearance as a visitor with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in what would be Winnipeg’s last regular-season home game on April 14, 1996. He tallied one assist that night.
On Dec. 17 of this past season, it was a new Ducks team, a new Jets team, but the same Selanne and the same warm reception. In addition, Selanne doubled the output from his last visit with a pair of helpers, though the current home heroes prevailed, 5-3.
The Sid Sea
Some 18,000 placards flaunted by the masses in the Consol Energy Center welcomed back Sidney Crosby after nearly 11 months away from game action.
Crosby Crashes Back In
In his belated 2011-12 season debut, Crosby broke the ice with the eventual game-winner, executed in bona fide Crosby-esque fashion, and ultimately had a hand in four goals as part of a 5-0 throttling of the Islanders.
Crosby Crashes Back In (Again)
After another concussion-induced hiatus, Crosby came back on March 15 and pitched in two points to help Pittsburgh torch the Rangers, 5-2.
Eventual Calder Trophy winner Gabriel Landeskog slugs home a slapper from the circle top.
In this midseason matinee at TD Garden, key Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik all but effortlessly generated the top highlight-reel hit of the season.
The term “effortless” is quite operative when you see the replay and consider that, compared to recipient Daniel Paille, Orpik was barely coasting when he made contact.
Will Ferrell on Hockey Night In Canada
It’s Will Ferrell on Hockey Night In Canada. What else needs to be said?
Tracy Morgan’s “24/7”
Ferrell’s fellow Saturday Night Live alum, Tracy Morgan, constituted one of the comedic highlights of this year’s NHL Awards show. In the process, everyone had a chance to revisit the thoughts of philosophical Philadelphia goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
Brendan Shanahan Impression
Although Will Arnett has never been a Saturday Night Live cast member, he helped things go into full SNL mode at the NHL Awards, satirizing one of the definitive developments of the 2011-12 season.
Keeping with the subject of SNL for just one more slide, given that they fall under the same NBC family, this author has wondered why the late-night sketch show has yet to parody the NHL studio analysts.
This is just a theory, but maybe it’s because the likes of Mike Milbury tend to lampoon themselves enough as it is.
This clip from the Tracy Morgan-less 24/7 has Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette voicing the theory of several non-Canadiens rooters.
A Wild Winner
Was Chicago sizzler Patrick Kane tuning up for the beauty contest shootout portion of the All-Star skills competition? Just watch this and the slides that follow and decide for yourself.
Apparently, Blues stopper Brian Elliott didn’t study the tape of the Minnesota game that Kane ended in the previous clip.
Kane Crushes The Puck
Kane completes his highlight hat trick here.
To paraphrase Charlestown Chiefs announcer Jim Carr, Corey Perry is dropping his gloves…he’s not fighting, though…he’s…
Zdeno Chara’s New Record
In the middle of the last century, Boston sports fans had a Splendid Splinter in Ted Williams.
With his repeatedly revised record in this portion of the All-Stars skills competition, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara now gives New Englanders the Splendid Slapper.
Carey Price "Tebows"
Sometime circa December 2011 or January 2012, leading up to the NHL’s All-Star festivities, “Tebow” officially entered the American lexicon as a verb.
While staring down, or perhaps instead of staring down New York Islanders scorer John Tavares, the Montreal Canadiens stopper took a chance to get trendy and acted out the then-Denver Broncos quarterback’s trademark kneel in his crease.
Dennis Seidenberg Scores from Center Ice
Dennis Seidenberg is practically making an annual ritual out of beating a goaltender from empty-netter distance. There was this startling strike from December 2010 versus Tampa Bay, and then there was the game-clincher against Ottawa shown above.
Miller on Perry
Unlike the aforementioned mini-stick maneuver, this would have counted for Corey Perry and his Ducks. But Sabres stopper Ryan Miller had better calculations than Brian Elliott and salvaged his team’s 1-0 lead for the moment.
Smith on Datsyuk
Granted, this was a one-on-one confrontation in a sequence that can only occur in the regular season. But Mike Smith’s robbery of the crafty Red Wing Pavel Datsyuk, plus his subsequent postseason, must have had a few Coyotes fans wondering why he couldn’t have arrived sooner, back when Phoenix was dumped by Detroit in the 2010 and 2011 postseason.
Ovechkin on Ruutu
Like the commentator says, “Alex Ovechkin wasn’t too happy to lose his balance.” Well, that makes this all right then, doesn’t it?
Yes, actually, it does.
Not quite Orpik’s launch of Paille, but still impressive in its own right.
Jaroslav Halak vs. Red Wings
St. Louis' Jaroslav Halak, along with his skating mates, demonstrate critical poise in preserving their chances of mustering an equalizer at the other end in the dusk of regulation.
Jimmy Howard Recovers
Wings' netminder Jimmy Howard lets his left boot bail out his stick blade against Chicago.
Boston’s Black Knight
Middle England meets New England, courtesy of the one-of-a-kind Jack Edwards.
No Cole-d Shoulder
Erik Cole, one of last year’s top producers on the Eastern Conference’s bottom-feeders, did what is ordinarily done on a mischievous dare. Upon breaking the ice for his Canadiens against Ottawa, he celebrated with the first person he passed by, namely referee Greg Kimmerly.
In an eventual 5-4 overtime loss to the visiting Flyers, Jets stopper Ondrej Pavelec at least saved a point for his club by hastily closing the window on Jakub Voracek. It was merely one of 50 stops on the night for the Winnipeg goalie.
Jarome Iginla Channels Himself
Visiting Calgary captain Jarome Iginla burned All-Star Detroit stopper Jimmy Howard on two virtually identical, kneeling one-timers within one bout at Joe Louis Arena.
Doan’t Give In
Shane Doan pulled the phrase “buzzer-beating three-pointer” out of hoops and into hockey, if only for one night, to secure the first hat trick of his 17-year NHL career.
Shawn Thornton Penalty Shot
If you ever wanted to see Warren Zevon’s “Hit Somebody! (The Hockey Song)” in action, this comes relatively close.
Singing Outside The Box
At this year’s Winter Classic, the Flyers evoked their distinctive duet to perform their preferred patriotic anthem in the venue that normally hosts the local branch of America’s pastime.
Henrik Lundqvist Halts Flyers Comeback
Philadelphia's Danny Briere issued a formidable challenge down the Broadway lane, but it was the Broadway Blueshirts' award-winning goalie, Henrik Lundqvist, who proved to be the cardiac closer at Citizen's Bank Park on Jan. 2.
Stamkos Strikes 60
Think Manitobans were still grateful to have the NHL back after six months? See how they received milestone-chasing visitor Steven Stamkos on a night when both teams were playing for pride, and be your own judge.
Peter Laviolette vs. Tony Granato
Um…well…that should set the tone for a playoff series, which was exactly what these intrastate set for themselves within a week of this highlight-reel incident on April 1. No fooling around here.
Frank about the Flyers
Crosby’s on-ice actions and subsequent post-game remarks during the Keystone State clash in the playoffs were naturally polarizing, as he generally is anyway. But isn’t polarization sort of an integral part of a rivalry?
Return of the Rats
The Florida Panthers ended a 12-year absence from the playoffs and a 15-year interval between playoff game victories, prompting the local crowd to party like it was 1996.
As always, NBC’s rinkside reporter, Pierre McGuire, tells his pregame interviewee, Claude Giroux, to “have some fun,” but Scott Hartnell is way ahead of them both.
The Kings' uphill battle upon nabbing the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference playoff bracket was hardly specific to a quest for the Cup.
The puck-based struggle was rivaled by the franchise's scrap for proper publicity in what was a busy L.A. sports media market this past spring.
Saving a Sweep
If hockey had defensive assists as a statistic, Anze Kopitar would have garnered one here as he heroically nudged the puck safely into the trapper of teammate Jonathan Quick, keeping intact a 2-1 lead at the halfway mark of the third period in a close-out game.
“Stop Coaching, Pat”
Watching and hearing John Tortorella’s terse calling-out to a specific metropolitan hockey writer can be beneficial in one of two ways.
Either you are an aspiring sportswriter who might as well get a glimpse of what you may be in for, or you have ambivalent feelings about sportswriters and want to fist-bump Tortorella for putting the scribes in their place.
No hard feelings if you happen to be the latter, by the way.
Jonathan Quick Proven Human
Here is another homeward-bound slapper from center ice, this one off the twig of Phoenix Coyotes defender Derek Morris amidst their postseason engagement with the Kings.
Anyone who sees this play by the Devils' future Hall of Famer ought to either aspire to still be this physically flexible at age 40, regret falling short of it already or feel blessed to have a comparable gift.
Kopitar Breakaway I
En route to helping the Kings delete a rare deficit in the playoffs, Kopitar found a seam in Smith that even Datsyuk could not in a previous slide.
Overtime Goal Compilation
Most of the bonus period goals from the first three rounds of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs are thrown together here.
Kopitar Breakaway II
This might as well have been an addendum to the previous montage.
Carter's Commanding Clincher
Doughty Dangles Through Devils
Before Carter stamped a startling 2-0 series lead for Los Angeles in overtime, Drew Doughty made like a mouse through a maze across the ice surface at the Prudential Center and thrust home a crucial icebreaker.
Firing Up Figueroa
South Park's Eric Cartman, the Kings' longtime animated amulet, reached a new height in his Staples Center Jumbotron gig as he rallied the home masses before L.A.'s third attempt to clinch the Cup.
Carter’s Cup Clincher
The Kings had yet to lose once in their 2012 playoff run when scoring multiple goals in a game. Jeff Carter's strike was the second of three unanswered power-play tallies that cracked open a 3-0 advantage for the Kings in Game 6.
Carter would tune the mesh once more in the second period to raise a 4-0 upper hand, which eventually morphed into a 6-1 victory and amounted to L.A.'s first title in 45 years of NHL membership.
We leave this retrospective with a two-minute glimpse at Nail Yakupov, the eventual first overall pick in the 2012 entry draft.