Browse Tag: NHL

Top 10 Goals from the 2013-2014 NHL Season

Before we begin to look ahead to the upcoming NHL season, let’s take one more look back at the best of last season. We saw plenty of unbelievable goals. Here are the top 10:

Honorable Mention: Steven Stamkos scores Baseball-style

This goal was originally called off, but it was ruled a good goal after review. What a beauty, though. Ondrej Palat takes the first shot that hit the crossbar, and Stamkos is right there to bat the rebound in. Stamkos is one of the most talented goal scorers in the league. It takes a lot of concentration and coordination to bat a puck out of the air like he did. Stamkos will continue to find ways to amaze us with his goals.

10. Corey Perry scores from his knees vs. New York Islanders

No legs? No problem. Perry gets tripped up but keeps the puck through the slot and scores an unbelievable goal on his knees. Perry is an absolute stud with Anaheim, and he is a big reason why they are consistently good year after year. Lost in all this is the beautiful no-look pass fromDaniel Winnik to start the play. That’s the kind of chemistry that linemates need to have.

9. Seth Jones‘ game-winner in Montreal

This was one of the few amazing highlights from the Predators last year. Jones executes the give-and-go with David Legwand to perfection and shows great patience as he toe-drags around the Canadiens defense to score the eventual game-winner. You can even hear Predators color commentator Terry Crisp laughing in amazement in the background. Jones is not even 20 years old, and he’s already making a big impact for the Predators.

8. Nathan Mackinnon’s gorgeous first playoff goal vs. Minnesota Wild

This youngster is too good. He breaks up the ice with tremendous speed and breaks a defender’s ankles before sniping one past Ilya Bryzgalov. This was Mackinnon’s first playoff goal of his career. That goal had everyone in the hockey world talking. However, Mackinnon’s skill was not enough, as the Avalanche fell in seven games to the Wild. Some call him the nextSidney Crosby. At this rate, that’s a fair comparison.

7. Corey Tropp turns Pittsburgh inside-out

Tropp gets a great feed as he dekes around a defender and buries it behind goalie Jeff Zatkoff. You won’t see dangles like that just anywhere. Columbus had a breakout year last season, and they will continue to make the highlight reel next year.

6. Ales Hemsky makes Tampa Bay look silly

Hemsky electrifies the crowd with an unbelievable individual effort as he dangles through his legs around the defense and puts one past goalie Ben Bishop. What else would you expect from Hemsky? After being traded from Edmonton to Ottawa at the trade deadline, Hemsky found his groove with the Senators. You can catch more goals like this from him next year with the Dallas Stars.

5. Nick Foligno goes between-the-legs on Tampa Bay

Yeesh, bad luck for Tampa Bay. A great forecheck leads to a wide-open Foligno in front of the net who puts the puck between his legs and scores for the Blue Jackets. You can be sure the crowd was fired up after that one. The announcers even gave a shootout to Fox Sports Live’s “The 1″ countdown. It was certainly the top play that night.

4. Nathan Gerbe pulls off the between-the-legs in Philadelphia

Ah, another between-the-legs beauty. The short but speedy Gerbe takes the puck and walks in alone on Steve Mason for a wonderful goal. Gerbe may be small, but he’s an unbelievably skilled player.

3. Tomas Tatar renders the Dallas defense useless

You know you’re good when you make the defensemen fall over each other. That’s exactly what Tomas Tatar did here. He breaks into the zone, makes two Dallas defensemen crash into each other, then buries one past Kari Lehtonen. As announcer Ken Daniels put it, “I don’t know how he did it, but he did it.”

2. Claude Giroux scores from the weirdest angle possible

Wow. Just wow. It doesn’t get much better than that (actually, just wait for #1). Giroux is falling to the ice and almost parallel to the net when he shovels a backhander on goal that somehow goes in. How he was able to elevate that shot at all, I haven’t the slightest idea. The Columbus goalie was hugging the post very well, too. There was almost no room for that puck to go in. But, it did. Sometimes, the Hockey Gods are on your side.

1. Tomas Hertl sends Marty Biron into retirement

There is no doubt that this is the goal of the year. In his coming-out party, Hertl had already scored three goals when he took the puck into the Rangers zone and put the puck between his legs before wristing it by goalie Marty Biron. He shocked everyone: the Rangers, his teammates, the fans, and the announcers. This may not be the reason why, but shortly after this game, Marty Biron announced his retirement from the NHL. Hertl had a breakout year before being sidelined with an injury. Some say the Sharks are an old team. Hertl is keeping them young.

New York Islanders and Nassau Coliseum: A Final Goodbye

On Saturday, April 11th, the New York Islanders played their final regular season game at Nassau Coliseum against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

On April 25th, they played their last game ever at the Coliseum, a 3-1 playoff victory over the Washington Capitals. Largely considered one of the last “barns” in the National Hockey League, the Coliseum has been the Isles’ home since their inception in 1972.

For many around Nassau County, NY, life without the Islanders will be dreary following this season. Despite what the geography may say, Brooklyn is quite far from Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

Back in October 2012, the Islanders announced their move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, following repeated attempts to remodel or replace Nassau Coliseum.

Once the lockout-shortened season started in January, the excitement started to rebuild itself at the Coliseum, as the Islanders made the playoffs and gave the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins a good challenge.

This season, the excitement was back in a big way at Nassau Coliseum, reminiscent of the Islanders’ Stanley Cup runs in the early 1980s.

This Islanders team and their fans brought the noise and buzz back to The Barn. However, the buzz was bittersweet for fans, as they know that next season will bring drastic changes to the franchise, and the fanbase.

Pat Lehrmann, 27, a diehard Islanders fan since he was a teenager, said he’s probably missed no more than 10 home games over the past few years. He said that the atmosphere this season has been loud and rowdy, compared to the last few losing seasons.

“The past few years, it’s been kind of dead,” Lehrmann said.

“The fans were frustrated, and weren’t really showing up. This year, with the singing of goaltender Jaroslav Halak, and trades for defensemen Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy, the organization was building a winning team, and people started to come back. Almost every home game is very loud.”

Star Islanders forward John Tavares concurred with Lehrmann, telling ESPN.com’s Johnette Howard that the Barn is the loudest building he’s played in. Tavares also told Howard, “Leaving here is certainly going to be bittersweet. It’s going to be a different way of life for all of us in here, just like the fans. It’s been one way here for over 40 years. And I’m sure there’s going to be a breaking-in period once we do go. But I think things will be great in Brooklyn, too.”

It also doesn’t help that the Islanders were eliminated from the postseason in quite frustrating fashion, losing in seven games to the Washington Capitals. They didn’t even get to give Nassau Coliseum a proper sendoff, as the seventh game was in Washington.

Melissa Kelly, an Islanders fan since 1990, went to about half of the home games every season. She said that it will be strange to see her beloved Isles play their home games in a different arena.

“This has always been their home,” she said. “I really don’t know. I think it’s more sad than anything else.”

On the move to Brooklyn, Kelly said, “I’m obviously against it. I think Nassau Coliseum offers a lot to Long Islanders. It has certain things that Barclays Center won’t have, like the tailgating parties. Brooklyn won’t have that. There’s also the ramp that fans go to and greet players after the game. I don’t think Brooklyn will have that either. It’s going to change a lot of things.”

The tailgating culture has been a big part of the Islanders fanbase for a long time. Many other fan traditions will also die with the move to Brooklyn.

Another controversial part of the move is the appearance of Barclays Center for hockey. In preseason games at the arena, the left side of the ice had obstructed views, what looked like a garage door, and elevated, strange seats.Also, the jumbotron was not over center ice as it is supposed to be, but rather, over the left blue line.

They may fix this by the time meaningful hockey starts there in October, but if they don’t, it will look even worse for the Islanders.

As the season ends for the Isles, it’s time to truly say goodbye to Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders went out at home on a high note, and a loud note, as they won a thriller in the last game ever at the Barn. However, even before the playoffs, fans knew that the moment would be tough.

Kelly said before the playoffs started that she would get quite emotional when that final buzzer sounds.

“I think a lot of people will be a mess,” she said. “We love watching our Islanders. It’s going to be hard.”

Lehrmann also said before the playoffs started that the last game will be tough for him, and his passionate section-mates.

“We’ll be as loud as we usually are,” he said. “After the game, it’s going to be emotional. I expect to see a lot of people crying and angry. Probably some belligerent drunk people. When it comes down to it, there will be a lot of mixed emotions. People are happy that the team is getting a new home, but a lot of fans would rather be in Nassau than in Brooklyn.”