Ranking the Best Goals of the NHL Season So Far

Allan Mitchell@@Lowetide_Featured ColumnistNovember 3, 2015

Ranking the Best Goals of the NHL Season So Far

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    Andrew Nelles/Associated Press

    Pucks are going in from everywhere this NHL season, and many of the plays are spectacular. Nothing brings fans out of their seats like a well-executed and creative goal. With so many games already complete, there's little doubt that finding the 10 best involved a lot of difficult decisions.

    NHL goalies are the best in the world but were no match for these incredible plays.

    Here are the 10 best goals in the NHL so far this year.

10. Patrick Sharp's Sweet Tip Gives Dallas Stars a Lift

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    Date and Opponent: Thursday, October 29, versus Vancouver Canucks

    Goal: Patrick Sharp

    Assists: John Klingberg and Jamie Benn

    There were three distinct and important events that contributed to this goal. Jamie Benn's bull strength allowed the Stars to find a clear lane to the net for shooter John Klingberg. His low shot was perfectly placed, and Patrick Sharp's brilliant tip—shown fully in slow-motion—ranks as one of the best sequences we've seen this year.

9. Claude Giroux Scores a Brilliant Shootout Goal Against the New York Rangers

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    Date and Opponent: Saturday, October 24, versus New York Rangers 

    Goal: Claude Giroux

    Assists: None

    The tension of a shootout situation often dissolves into something less spectacular than anticipated, but the marquee matchup of Claude Giroux against Henrik Lundqvist delivered in a big way. Giroux won the battle with a dizzying array of dekes that finally left future Hall of Famer Lundqvist with no answer.

8. Frans Nielsen Scores a Power-Play Goal Against the Carolina Hurricanes

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    Date and Opponent: Thursday, October 29, versus Carolina Hurricanes

    Goal: Frans Nielsen

    Assists: Nick Leddy and Thomas Greiss

    The New York Islanders scored a power-play goal on a set play. Nick Leddy passes back into his own zone, catching Frans Nielsen in full flight. He slingshots into the neutral zone, passing the checkers and making a clean break into the Hurricanes' zone. He makes a nice deke and scores a wonderful goal.

7. Evgeny Kuznetsov Kills with Speed Against the Edmonton Oilers

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    Date and Opponent: Friday, October 23, at Edmonton Oilers

    Goal: Evgeny Kuznetsov

    Assists: John Carlson and Brooks Orpik

    An innocent play to start, John Carlson throws the puck up the ice to relieve pressure. Edmonton's Justin Schultz mishandles the puck, allowing Washington Capitals burner Evgeny Kuznetsov to take full advantage. The most impressive portion of the goal is Kuznetsov's exceptional speed; this was over in a heartbeat.

6. Jamie Benn Cashes Gorgeous Jason Spezza Pass Against the Tampa Bay Lightning

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    Date and Opponent: Thursday, October 15, at Tampa Bay Lightning 

    Goal: Jamie Benn

    Assists: Jason Spezza and Tyler Seguin

    A wonderful pass by Jason Spezza keys this power-play goal for the Dallas Stars. Three impact players combine on a goal that is finally cashed in by Jamie Benn, but the key is a stellar pass by Spezza to the goal mouth. This kind of creativity has become routine in Dallas, where so many exceptional forwards play every night.

5. Robby Fabbri Scores a Brilliant Goal Against the Edmonton Oilers

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    Date and Opponent: Wednesday, October 7, versus Edmonton Oilers 

    Goal: Robby Fabbri

    Assists: Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz 

    With No. 1 overall pick Connor McDavid watching, his good friend Robby Fabbri scored a brilliant goal for his first in the NHL. The key to the goal was a fantastic pass from Jori Lehtera that avoids three opponents to find Fabbri's stick. A memorable goal from a fine young player.

4. Connor McDavid Scores a Beauty Against the Detroit Red Wings

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    Date and Opponent: Wednesday, October 21, versus Detroit Red Wings

    Goal: Connor McDavid

    Assists: Benoit Pouliot and Nail Yakupov

    Nail Yakupov makes a nice touch pass off the boards to Benoit Pouliot. At the same time as Pouliot heads down the ice, Connor McDavid is working to slow down in the neutral zone and stay onside. The Edmonton Oilers rookie does two impressive things—a stealth interference of the Detroit checker to stay onside and a terrific finish for the tally—to give Edmonton an important goal that would eventually become the game-winner.

3. Tyler Toffoli Breakaway Goal on the Colorado Avalanche

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    Date and Opponent: Sunday, October 18, versus Colorado Avalanche 

    Goal: Tyler Toffoli

    Assists: None

    One of the great young guns in the NHL this season is Los Angeles Kings winger Tyler Toffoli. Although not credited with being a speedster, he was plenty fast enough to beat the defenders back on a turnover and score a pretty goal against the Avalanche.

2. Tampa Bay Lightning Execute a Perfect Three-on-One

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    Date and Opponent: Friday, October 23, at Winnipeg Jets 

    Goal: Ondrej Palat

    Assists: Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman

    The brilliance of three-on-three overtime is that it forces chaos into a game that features teams trying to control chances. An early example is a thrilling goal by the Tampa Bay Lightning. A turnover in Tampa Bay's end led to a three-on-one that was executed to perfection, with Ondrej Palat cashing in.

1. Jonathan Toews' Overtime Thriller Versus the Tampa Bay Lightning

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    Date and Opponent: Saturday, October 24, versus Tampa Bay Lightning

    Goal: Jonathan Toews

    Assists: Patrick Kane and Brent Seabrook

    Jonathan Toews took a neutral-zone pass off the boards and carried the puck into the Tampa Bay zone with authority. A deft move by the Chicago Blackhawks captain gave him a little room to split the defense, and he took it. In alone on goalie Kristers Gudlevskis, he made a move and followed it up for a big goal in overtime.

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