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 from Daniel 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 next Sidney 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.