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NHL GOALS OF THE YEAR

Anaheim Ducks

Brandon Montour
Corey Perry
Richard Rakell

Arizona Coyotes

Lawson Crouse
Anthony DeAngelo
Christian Fischer
Jamie McGinn

Boston Bruins

Noel Acciari
Sean Kuraly
Dominic Moore
Riley Nash
David Pastrnak

Buffalo Sabres

Justin Bailey
William Carrier
Tyler Ennis
Brian Gionta

Calgary Flames

Mikael Backlund
Johnny Gaudreau
Sean Monahan
Matthew Tkachuk

Carolina Hurricanes

Sebastian Aho
Justin Faulk
Lee Stempniak
Valentin Zykov

Chicago Blackhawks

Ryan Hartman
John Hayden
Patrick Kane
Michal Kempny
Artemi Panarin
Richard Panik
Jonathan Toews

Colorado Avalanche

J.T. Compher
Tyson Jost
Nathan MacKinnon

Columbus Blue Jackets

Cam Atkinson
Markus Hannikainen
Scott Harrington

Dallas Stars

Jamie Benn
Patrick Eaves
Remi Elie
Julius Honka
Antoine Roussel
Tyler Seguin

Detroit Red Wings

Andreas Athanasiou
Danny Dekeyser
Tomas Nosek
Riley Sheahan
Tomas Tatar
Henrik Zetterberg

Edmonton Oilers

Matt Benning
David Desharnais
Leon Draisaitl
Zack Kassian
Jujar Khaira
Oscar Klefbom
Patrick Maroon

Florida Panthers

Aaron Ekblad
Aleksandr Barkov
Jonathan Huberdeau
Jaromir Jagr
Michael Sgarbossa
Shawn Thornton

Los Angeles Kings

Dustin Brown
Kevin Gravel
Adrian Kempe
Tyler Toffoli

Minnesota Wild

Mikael Granlund
Mikko Koivu
Zach Parise
Jared Spurgeon
Ryan Suter
Jason Zucker

Montreal Canadiens

Paul Byron
Phillip Danault
Brendan Gallagher
Max Pacioretty
Alexander Radulov
Nikita Scherbak

Nashville Predators

Viktor Arvidsson
Ryan Ellis
Calle Jarnkrok
Roman Josi

New Jersey Devils

Blake Coleman
Taylor Hall
Seth Hegelson
John Quenneville
Steven Santini

New York Islanders

Josh Bailey
Anthony Beauvillier
Cal Clutterbuck
Josh Ho-Sang
John Tavares

New York Rangers

Pavel Buchnevich
Michael Grabner
Chris Kreider
Ryan McDonagh
Derek Stepan

Ottawa Senators

Frederik Claesson
Erik Karlsson
Dion Phaneuf
Bobby Ryan
Kyle Turris

Philadelphia Flyers

Ivan Provorov
Wayne Simmonds
Jakub Voracek
Jordan Weal

Pittsburgh Penguins

Josh Archibald
Sidney Crosby
Matt Cullen
Patric Hornqvist
Evgeni Malkin
Carter Rowney
Conor Sheary

San Jose Sharks

Mikkel Boedker
Patrick Marleau
Daniel O’Regan
Joe Pavelski
Marcus Sorensen
Joel Ward

St. Louis Blues

Ivan Barbashev
Patrik Berglund
Colton Parayko
David Perron
Kevin Shattenkirk
Paul Stastny
Alexander Steen
Vladimir Tarasenko

Tampa Bay Lightning

Adam Erne
Yanni Gourde
Tyler Johnson
Nikita Kucherov
Matthew Peca

Toronto Maple Leafs

Nazem Kadri
Kasperi Kapanen
Auston Matthews
William Nylander

Vancouver Canucks

Brock Boeser
Alexander Edler
Markus Granlund
Henrik Sedin
Brandon Sutter

Washington Capitals

Brett Connolly
Evgeny Kuznetsov
Matt Niskanen
Alex Ovechkin
Zach Sanford
Tom Wilson

Winnipeg Jets

Joel Armia
Dustin Byfuglien
Andrew Copp
Mathieu Perrault
Mark Scheifele
Drew Stafford

THE SEASON’S MOST INTRIGUING GOALS

MICHAL KEMPNY, Blackhawks
FIRST NHL GOAL

After playing the first half of his 20s in eastern Europe, Czech-born defenseman Michal Kempny was signed by the Blackhawks prior to the 2016-17 season. He played in 50 games with Chicago and scored his first NHL goal in his 25th.

Kempny had just come on the ice during a change and his momentum carried him to the top of the left circle. The always-alert Jonathan Toews spotted him and softly distributed the puck so that Kempny could one-time it while skating forward.

Kempny obliged by stepping into the puck and blasting it by Carolina goaltender Cam Ward, pinging the post in the process.

Toews immediately embraced his Blackhawks teammate, likely fully aware of the moment, and wrapped his arm around his shoulder. Kempny returned the gesture, patting Toews repeatedly on his back — no doubt a great debt of gratitude mixed in with the excitement of his first NHL goal.

12/30/2016 vs. Carolina

The Hockey GoalDigger views every single goal from every single game. Enjoying such a visual bounty is never less than a pleasure. He has learned there is no such thing as an “ugly” goal. There are wacky goals, goals that are the result of pure grit, and efforts that should be hanging in the Louvre. All are a banquet for the GoalDigger’s eyes.

MATTHEW PECA, Lightning
FIRST NHL GOAL

Seventh-round draft picks, should they make it to the NHL at all, often have to kick around the bus leagues for several years before getting rewarded for their commitment with that coveted call-up. But Matthew Peca of the Lightning made it to the show just a year-and-a-half out of Quinnipiac University.

Peca became the first product of the southern Connecticut school to score in the NHL. It took him just four games to register his first goal — though it was the only one he would score in his ten games for Tampa Bay during the 2016-17 season.

It was pretty much a do-it-yourself goal for Peca, who collected an indirect pass off the boards from teammate Vladislav Namesnikov as he crossed the Winnipeg blue line.

From there, it was a simple burst to the faceoff dot and a quick release of a snap shot that beat goaltender Connor Hellebuyck cleanly and tied the game 1-1 in the second period.

Following the goal, Peca glided behind the net and pushed both hands down and lifted one leg up in a restrained display of emotion. The embrace from his teammates was unremarkable, though Namestnikov appeared pleased with the outcome, and the trip past the bench revealed little emotion beyond the ordinary.

1/3/2017 vs. Winnipeg

In this section we present those extra-special efforts or just plain bizarre episodes where the puck happens to go in the net. We start with the most recent goals of note and work our way backward to the start of the season. Included are all the categories that these goals qualify for as well as a little teaser hint to prepare you for what’s coming. Those goals labeled “Best in Show” are literally that – the best goals of a particular scoring classification.

DANIEL O’REGAN, Sharks
FIRST NHL GOAL

With the Sharks playing nothing more than a tune-up game for the playoffs, they relied on a lineup filled with depth players and rookies in their final game of the year against Calgary. This situation was very much to the advantage of Daniel O’Regan, who scored his first NHL goal in this third game.

O’Regan can be forgiven if in later years he has a foggy recollection of his breakthrough goal. It may have even felt a little intangible to him as he was skating back to the bench before the next faceoff.

With San Jose leading 2-1 in the latter stages of the third period, O’Regan was given a chance to join the Sharks power play unit.

Setting up his big frame in front of the Flames net, O’Regan deflected home a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot from above the left circle, near the side boards. Only, it wasn’t quite that simple.

En route to O’Regan the puck was tipped by Calgary defenseman Dennis Wideman. O’Regan then turned his focus to goaltender David Rittich, anticipating a rebound. But fortunately he left his stick in its original position.

Though Wideman had deflected the puck, he didn’t alter its course much and O’Regan had himself a no-look goal, as the puck nipped his blade and then found its way behind Rittich.

O’Regan’s reaction kind of suggested that this wasn’t the way he’d always dreamed he’d score his first goal. Instinctively he wanted to raise his arms high, but thought better of it, indicating that either he felt a little sheepish about getting too excited about scoring his big goal this way or, perhaps, he didn’t want to upstage Vlasic, who had every reason to believe the goal was his.

The confusion was evident in the post-goal huddle as the five Sharks really didn’t have a good idea who to focus their attention on.

But chances are good that when O’Regan settles in for the off-season, he’ll be very glad to have his first NHL goal already behind him.

Advance to the 3:22 mark of this clip to see O’Regan’s first NHL goal.

1/7/2017 vs. Detroit

So enjoy what you might have missed. And keep coming back each day for more of the most interesting goals scored during the NHL season.

THE SEASON’S MOST INTRIGUING GOALS

THE OVERTIME OVERTURE

It’s overtime! Too soon to break open the Buds? Not when they’re the “buds” it’s not. Pop a couple. Stick them in your ears. If you’re anything like me, you could last the entire 3-on-3 without a whistle on these. I’m sure I’m not alone in wishing the league recognized iPods as legit performance enhancers!

This would be five minutes of uninterrupted madness. End-to-end. Sprawling poke checks. Then back on the skates for that overtime rarity: maniacal body checks. Headlong rushes whenever the puck was on my stick. If I put 10 shots on goal until one went in, that’s about what this anthem from Arcade Fire calls for. Doesn’t hurt that it was recorded not far from the Montreal Forum.

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EVERY NHL GOAL SCRUTINIZED, RANKED and CATALOGUED

COLTON PARAYKO, BLUES — COLTON PARAYKO NIKTO

COLTON PARAYKO, Blues
COLTON PARAYKO NIKTO
  • Wrist Shot
  • Right Circle (Lower, Inside Dot)
  • Second Period
Have you ever had the feeling you’re the only person living in the world?

The thought might have crossed Colton Parayko’s mind when he walked in from the blue line with the puck, while the other nine skaters in the Predators zone were apparently oblivious to him.

In the old sci-fi classic from 1951, “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” a peaceful invader from space hits a pause button and planet Earth goes completely still to enable him to showcase his powers. By all appearances he returned to Scottrade Center last night, but instead of commanding his robot Gort with the words Klaatu Barada Nikto, changed them to Colton Parayko Nikto for the occasion.

Parayko received a cross-ice pass at the right point, just inside the blue line. No one was in front of him — or the net — so he passed up taking a shot from downtown with no traffic in front. In fact, all the traffic had disappeared, as if everybody was having fun elsewhere.

So he tiptoed his way forward, tentatively moving the puck from forehand to backhand four different times as he inched his way through the circle, not quite sure what to make of his seeming invisibility.

Then suddenly, just as Parayko reached the bottom of the right circle, the other skaters came back to life. Not wanting to be the proverbial tree that falls silently in the forest, it was only then that Parayko finally released the puck.

Nashville’s Pekka Rinne had not yet re-oriented himself as a hockey goaltender playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and so the sharp-angle shot dribbled through his pads and into the net.

Time of goal, alas, was not 3:47, but 8:04 of the second period.

4/26/2017 vs. Nashville.
Highlight available at NHL.com.
April 27th, 2017|Categories: Goal Box|0 Comments

AUSTON MATTHEWS, MAPLE LEAFS — BEST IN CLASS (CAROM OFF CORNER BOARDS)

AUSTON MATTHEWS, Maple Leafs
BEST IN CLASS — CAROM (OFF CORNER BOARDS)

Mr. Matthews put equal quantities of awe and stun into his final goal of a historic rookie season.

In a scoreless Game 6 vs. the Caps in the opening round, Matthews stunned the crowd in Toronto by collecting a puck all alone in the slot which seemed destined to rattle around in the corner. And then he awed them by roofing a wrist shot from a spot no more than three feet from the edge of the crease.

The play began when Morgan Rielly dumped the puck in to the corner of the Washington zone from center ice. The boards at Air Canada Centre can yield erratic bounces and Rielly, whether by hook or crook, took advantage.

His dump-in struck at the precise point where the end boards give way to the side boards and the puck made a beeline for the unguarded slot.

Enter Matthews and the three Capitals who crossed over the blue line a step ahead of him. Two went to an area where the puck could reliably be expected to settle. The third, Evgeny Kuznetsov, followed Matthews, who reacted without missing a beat to the puck as it slid toward the center of the ice.

Matthews shook off a half-hearted hook from Kuznetsov and collected the puck immediately in front of goaltender Braden Holtby, who was standing tall in his crease.

Remarkably, Matthews was able to scoop the puck just under the crossbar and into the top of the net.

The instincts and dexterity Matthews displayed on what would become the Leafs final goal of the season should leave metropolitan Toronto only momentarily crestfallen by the Maple Leafs sudden exit from the first round in the overtime which would follow.

There will be a lot of forward-looking by the Toronto faithful during the offseason and Matthews’ remarkable goal ensures that the lingering taste in their mouths will be far more sweet than bitter.

4/23/2017 vs. Washington
April 24th, 2017|Categories: Goal Box|0 Comments

JASON ZUCKER, WILD — BEST IN CLASS (LEFT CIRCLE — LOWER, INSIDE DOT)

JASON ZUCKER, Wild
BEST IN CLASS — LEFT CIRCLE (LOWER, INSIDE DOT)

When Jason Zucker tied Game 5 against the Blues with five minutes left in the eliminating third period, it was with a move so breathtaking that the spectators simultaneously exhaled and jumped to the rafters.

St. Louis had proven largely impenetrable throughout the series, in spite of the Wild peppering goaltender Jake Allen with a consistent barrage of shots. So when Zucker broke in on the left wing a step ahead of the Blues Jaden Schwartz, the tension in the building grew rope-thick.

With a burst of speed, Zucker got some separation on Schwartz, but still had to solve Allen — and from an angle, at that. Quality scoring chances like this were rare, so getting off a hard shot on goal was imperative.

Zucker, however, kept his cool at a cryogenic level and pump-faked a shot from just below the dot, with Allen out to cut the angle. With a slight swerve to the left and still in full control of the puck, Zucker slammed the puck home after whizzing by Allen and the Xcel Energy Center erupted with relief and delight all rolled into 18,500.

4/22/2017 vs. St. Louis
April 24th, 2017|Categories: Goal Box|0 Comments

SEAN KURALY, BRUINS — FIRST and SECOND NHL GOALS

SEAN KURALY, Bruins
FIRST and SECOND NHL GOALS
4/21/2017 vs. Ottawa

All year, the league’s official web site NHL.com has listed Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Kane as the three most searched-for players. It’s probably not going to happen, but one of them should give way to Sean Kuraly.

The entire hockey world should want to know who he is after his performance last night in an elimination game against Ottawa. Certainly, if the Bruins win the series, his will be one of those names the city never forgets, regardless of what happens from here in his career, or even the remainder of the playoffs.

Usually when a player scores his first NHL goal, the memory is not supplanted by the second, but Kuraly will need to occupy both hemispheres of his brain to contain the momentousness of his astoundingly clutch play last night.

With the injury-plagued Bruins seemingly dead after allowing two goals on clean breakaways, David Pastrnak got Boston on the board midway in the second period. The Boston faithful was still gimlet-eyed, as they’d seen the Senators time and again score when it was absolutely necessary in building up a 3-1 series lead. But when Kuraly banked in a shot off Ottawa defenseman Chris Wideman from below the end line, the Calvinists suddenly had reason to be optimists.

[…]

April 22nd, 2017|Categories: Goal Box|0 Comments

DAVID DESHARNAIS, OILERS– BEST IN CLASS (OVERTIME)

DAVID DESHARNAIS, Oilers
BEST IN CLASS — OVERTIME

One of the NHL’s most diminutive players stood as large as an Alberta oil field gusher last night.

Late-season pickup David Desharnais lifted the Oilers and carried them on his back during two crucial junctures in Edmonton’s 4-3 overtime thriller against the Sharks.

Yes, he scored the winning goal. But if ever it was inevitable that one team would come out on top in OT, it was surely the Oilers. Edmonton was seemingly always in the San Jose end — and when they weren’t they were crossing the blue line with speed and only token resistance by the Sharks.

So when Desharnais cruised through the slot with the wind at his back and one-timed a wrister by Sharks goalie Martin Jones, it fulfilled what everyone in attendance and in TV land saw coming all along. Jones was screened and Desharnais smartly one-timed the pass, as the only reason this game was 18 minutes into overtime was the play of the San Jose netiminder. Time and time again he not so much stood on his head as did cartwheels in his crease, always managing to fling a limb onto what looked like a certain game-ending goal.

If Desharnais’ overtime goal was a mere formality, his set-up of the tying goal late in the third period was anything but.

The Sharks had held the lead since the midpoint of the game and as the clock wound down in the third period, the Oilers were getting only the occasional shot off at Jones. And that’s when Desharnais decided to shake things up.

As the clock ticked under three minutes, Desharnais collected a short entry pass from the blue line, but entered the San Jose zone full tilt, along the right boards. Nothing opened up in the center of the ice, so Desharnais held on to the puck and circled right around the back of the Sharks net.

He made it all the way out to the faceoff dot in the left circle and then found his man. It was Oscar Klefbom drifting in from the left point. Desharnais fed him a soft pass, allowing Klefbom to one-time the shot with forward momentum. His slapper needed to go through traffic in front, but it was precise, striking the far post and then fluttering the net inside the opposite post.

The little big man who had come over from Montreal just ahead of the trading deadline twice made Edmonton a sonic boomtown in a pivotal Game 5.

4/20/2017 vs. San Jose
April 21st, 2017|Categories: Goal Box|0 Comments

BOBBY RYAN, SENATORS — BEST IN CLASS (OWN REBOUND)

BOBBY RYAN, Senators
BEST IN CLASS — OWN REBOUND

Fans at the TDGarden and indeed all across New England and eastern Ontario were well into their toenails when Bobby Ryan scored the only goal of Game 4 in the third period.

This nerve-wracking series, which had already seen two overtime games, and a third which Boston won, 2-1, was scoreless when a familiar duo went to work for the Senators.

In overtime in Game 3, Erik Karlsson sprung Bobby Ryan on a semi-break with a long headmanned pass that resulted in Ryan tapping in the puck from the left side of Tuuka Rask’s crease, after a splendid give-and-go with Kyle Turris. Last night, the tandem executed again, but eliminated the middleman.

Karlsson, who has riveted the Bruins attention every time he controls the puck, soaked up the attention and then happily handed the glory off to Ryan.

Five minutes into the third period, Karlsson was set up at the center point for a one-timer with no Boston player within 15 feet of him. All eyes were on him. But his eyes — or at least one of them — were on Ryan, who had slipped into the low left slot.

Zdeno Chara was actually hip to what Karlsson and Ryan had up their sleeves, but the Ottawa defenseman’s slap pass was extraordinary. It slipped just passed Chara’s skate and on to the stick of Ryan, who had now snuck behind Chara by a step.

But Ryan didn’t receive it completely cleanly, causing him to corral the puck on the end line, just to the left side of the crease.

By this time Rask had made a desperation dive, leading with his goal stick, to try and at least seal off the ice, if not all the space above it.

With his stick practically touching the left post and the bottoms of his skates out in the low slot, Rask made a fantastic effort to prevent the goal. In fact, Ryan’s initial attempt to slide the puck into the net was thwarted by Rask.

But Ryan carries an especially long stick, and as he flew by the net and end line, had just enough shaft left to flick blade to puck once more.

Chara had replicated Rask’s headlong dive, but from the opposite direction. But by the squeakiest of margins, the puck got both under Chara’s stick and past his glove before ultimately clearing the goal line.

In this extremely hard-fought, tight-checking series, this play exemplified the razor-thin margin separating the two teams as well as the brilliance and effort being turned in game-after-game, shift-after-shift.

4/19/2017 vs. Boston
April 20th, 2017|Categories: Goal Box|0 Comments
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