Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Goal Of The Year?

There have been some spectacular goals scored recently in the NHL. Buffalo's Drew Stafford made Toronto's Mike Van Ryn and Justin Pogge look foolish as he pulled off a circus move to score. Florida's Richard Zednik jumped over Islanders' defenceman Brendan Witt while controlling the puck before slipping the puck past goaltender Joey MacDonald. Toronto's Niklas Hagman, who had been laid out by referee Greg Kimmerly earlier in the play, absolutely undresses Florida's Nathan Horton, skates past Jay Bouwmeester, and slides the puck behind a sprawling Craig Anderson. Goals like these make hockey one of the most graceful and creative games on Earth, and only reinforces how athletic and talented the players are in the NHL. Let's look at the favorites for Goal of the Year thus far in the NHL.

Candidate 1: Boston's Blake Wheeler against the St. Louis Blues.

Wheeler beats, in order, Patrick Berglund and Carlo Colaiacovo, David Perron, Trent Whitfield, and Manny Legace. All while playing shorthanded. Wow.

Candidate 2: Buffalo's Drew Stafford against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Through his own legs past Van Ryn on a nifty deke, and then Stafford buries it forehand. Phenomenal full-speed move.

Candidate 3: Florida's Richard Zednik against the New York Islanders.

Zednik flips the puck past Witt's face before hurdling Witt, recovers the puck while in midair, and scores. Holy. Cow. That's incredible.

Candidate 4: Toronto's Niklas Hagman against the Florida Panthers.

A quick list: taken down by ref. Hit in face with puck. Hard work. Through Horton's legs. Powers through Bouwmeester. Red light lit behind Anderson.

There are your four early candidates for Goal of the Year. I'm informally doing this little vote, so post your selection in the comments below. Frankly, all of those goals are spectacular. If I had any video editing ability, I could create a highlight reel that would be nothing more than phenomenal goals. Let me know who you think deserves the early running for Goal of the Year!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Tony said...

Unbelieveable. All four are great!

I go with Hagman's goal. All that happens to you and you still stick it out? Damn, man!

Unknown said...

All of those goals are great but I am going to have to submit an write-in entry for best goal of the season. On January 8th Bobby Ryan of the Amaheim Ducks absolutely undresses Peter Herald of the LA Kings in one of smoothest spinorama goals I have ever seen in an NHL game. To make the goal even sweeter it was the third goal of the night for Ryan and on top of that Bobby Ryan is a rookie who presently has 35 points in 38 games which places him 2nd in the league in rookie scoring despite playing 10-15 less games on the year than the other rookie leaders.
Here is the link to the best goal of the season thus far:

Teebz said...

I'm very aware of Bobby Ryan's move on Harrold, but the problem is that Ryan has gone to that move a lot.

Drew Stafford's move? Unique to him, and completely unexpected from the Sabres' forward. Hagman? Hard work and beats three guys to the net. Wheeler? Beats five guys to the net while shorthanded. Zednik? Goes airborne and still scores.

Bobby Ryan's move was nice, but there have been a number of spin-o-rama goals in the last few years that have had bigger impacts. He deserves an honourable mention, but it's not one of the greatest in my view.

Texas Youth for Political Awareness said...

I have to call unfair bias. Florida is featured in two of these nominations!

Just kidding!

I think I have to go with the Zednik goal as best of the year, I'm a sucker for players who can fly through the air and play hockey at the same time.

Sarcastic annoucing of the year goes for the guy who was announcing during Hagman's goal. Could that guy have emphasized any more just how badly Hagman got laid out by that ref?

Teebz said...

That guy on the Toronto broadcast is Joe Bowen. Decent announcer, but he's quite the homer. He only does Maple Leaf games.

His catchphrase of "Holy Mackinaw!" is known throughout southern Ontario.

Anonymous said...

is it "Holy Mackinaw" or "Holy Mackinac"? Ha.

Anyway, my vote is for Wheeler. As you said, all that and he was playing shorthanded. Nice.

Eric said...

I think Zedniks goal may have taken the most skill.

I also back the Bobby Ryan goal. The entire spin-o-rama and goal occurred in one fluid motion. To me that puts it above any other spin-o-rama goal I've seen in the last few years.