WELCOME TO HockeyGoalDigger.COM

Robert Ballot

A couple of years ago, in the middle of a tight early-round Stanley Cup playoff series, I posted something on Facebook, contrasting hockey to basketball, which explains the concept behind this site:

Read more…

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.

EVERY NHL GOAL SCRUTINIZED AND RANKED

GAME YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN: Senators 2, Blue Jackets 0

Among the many favorable things about hockey is that a game needn’t have scoring in it in order to be constantly captivating. In fact, sometimes it’s the very lack of scoring which creates the highest drama of all. The Blue Jackets and Senators played one such game in Columbus last night.

Ottawa goaltender Mike Condon stymied Columbus, turning aside all 42 shots, including a barrage of 19 in the third period. Kyle Turris and Ryan Dzingel had put the Senators up 2-0, but the Blue Jackets went on a 5-on-3 power play in the third period with just under four and a half minutes left. Condon turned aside two shots and Seth Jones bounced one of the cross bar, allowing the Senators to continue to keep Columbus at arm’s length.

The Blue Jackets have experienced a bit of a letdown following their run of 16 straight wins, going just 3 and 5 since then. In fact, they’ve been surpassed as the Eastern Conference leaders by the surging Capitals. Ottawa has overcome a mini post-holiday slump of its own and won its last two to hold on to a tie for the sixth spot in the conference, with only three points separating them and five other teams for three playoff spots. In fact, even the 16th team in the conference is just seven points out of the final playoff spot in a hyper-competitive East this year.

Neither of the Senators two goals resulted in any movement on any of the leader boards.

January 20th, 2017|Categories: Games You Should Have Seen|0 Comments

GAME YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN: Penguins 8, Capitals 7 (OT)

In an All-Star Game preview -- and not just because of the 8-7 score -- the talent-laden Penguins and Capitals engaged in one of the most memorable regular-season games in years. But where this colossal battle differed from the standard all-star affair is with the intense level it was played at. When you get 15 goals in a game and only five power plays, you can pretty much assume that this is river hockey, with falling through the ice a far more likely hazard than getting crushed by a body check. But these two arch-rivals and always formidable foes doled out a total of 74 hits between them in between the goal-scoring hysteria.

Nowhere was this purposefulness on greater display than with Alexander Ovechkin's double crunch behind the net, taking out Chris Kunitz and Matt Cullen simultaneously, allowing T.J. Oshie to flick the puck to Nicklas Backstrom cruising through the slot to receive Oshie's heady pass and give the Caps a very early 2-0 lead. That was one goal the hockey connoisseur could revel in. It would not be the last.

January 17th, 2017|Categories: Games You Should Have Seen|0 Comments

THROWBACK TUESDAY: A Teary Night at the Boston Garden for Normand Leveille

When the Bruins held a closing ceremony for the Boston Garden the night of September 26, 1995, there was scarcely a dry eye in the house.

But it wasn’t the passing of a building that the fans were were brought to tears over. Rather it was the presence of a player who played just two years for them and only 75 games before his career was cut down tragically during a game in Vancouver in 1982.

Normand Leveille was a mid-first round draft pick of the Bruins in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft. He joined the team immediately and scored 33 points in 66 games for Boston as a rookie. His second season got off to a very promising start, with three goals and six assists in nine games. And then the fateful night in Vancouver.

In the dressing room following the first period, Leveille complained of dizziness and shoulder pain. Moments later he lost consciousness and was rushed to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. He went into surgery immediately and emerged from it in a coma, which lasted three weeks. Three weeks after regaining consciousness Normand left the hospital and eventually was able to walk again.

But he couldn’t play hockey. Instead he dedicated his life to helping others with debilitating conditions therapeutically. His commitment to this was so strong that he founded the Centre Normand-Léveillé at Drummondville in Quebec.

His appearance during the closing ceremonies at the Garden made it clear that Bruins fans hadn’t forgotten him. Ray Bourque escorted him out on the ice — and Normand was on skates!

This exceptionally moving moment brought the house down at the Garden. Three years later, after being vacant for hockey during that stretch, the building would literally come down.

January 10th, 2017|Categories: Throwback Tuesday|0 Comments

GAME YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN: Stars 6, Kings 4

Not the kind of game the tight-checking and disciplined Kings like to play, but when they fell behind Dallas, 3-1, entering the third period Los Angeles was forced to let its skaters roam the ice looking for scoring opportunities.

That part of the plan worked out very well, as the Kings scored three times in the final period. But the Stars proved opportunistic, matching L.A. with three goals of their own, for a 6-4 victory at the Staples Center.

Dallas played an energetic game, blocking 23 shots and throwing 29 hits. It also got goals from five players who haven’t been making much of a dent on the score sheet this year. Aside from Tyler Seguin, who scored his 15th of the year, the remaining Dallas scorers had no more than 7 goals on the season coming in. Jiri Hudler, in fact, netted his first of the season, and Patrick Sharp, who sealed the game with an empty netter, had previously scored just once this season — though each has appeared in less than half of the team’s games.

Dallas, which maintained a comfortable two-goal margin in both the first and second periods, relinquished the lead when Drew Doughty of the Kings fired a blast from above the right circle on a power play early in the third. It was Doughty’s fourth goal from that spot on the ice on the season, breaking a tie with Sidney Crosby for goals scored from above the right circle.

But Hudler countered a couple of minutes later when Los Angeles goaltender Peter Budaj got tangled up behind his net with Seguin and defenseman Jake Muzzin, leaving the net unoccupied long enough for Seguin to throw the puck out in front where Hudler proved to be Jiri on the spot, dashing in to plant the puck in the net past a prone Budaj.
Seguin put Dallas up 2-0 midway through the second period on one of the odder goals of the year. His wrist shot from the slot was tipped almost simultaneous to its release by the Kings Muzzin, resulting in what they call in baseball “a home run in a silo” — or at least an obvious infield-fly rule call. As the puck ascended straight up and marginally forward, the two Kings defensemen craned their necks to follow it. But Budaj — expecting a bullet from the slot — was on his knees and by the time he realized it was floating over his shoulder on a steep downward trajectory, could only flail at it with his waffle. But it snuck in under the bar and Sequin had a blooper-reel goal.

As with the Stars, Los Angeles received scoring from a couple of under-performing stars. Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown each scored in the third period and now have nine goals between them. Koptitar has some catching up to do to achieve his 9th 20-goal season, while Brown is struggling again this year to find the form that produced 131 goals over five seasons beginning in 2007-08.

January 10th, 2017|Categories: Games You Should Have Seen|0 Comments

S.A.T. SATURDAY

1. In which year did Bobby Orr win his last of eight straight Norris Trophies? And who supplanted him?

2. When the Rangers lost to the Islanders in three games in the Islanders first playoff win in 1974-75, they did receive four goals in the series from which player?

3. Which active goaltender with at least 10 years experience has the lowest career GA average?

4. Which team did both Donald Brashear and Guy Hebert finish their careers with?

5. Named after a famous ocean-liner, this former Buffalo Sabre made more appearances in New York the first time he skated on Aud ice than his ill-fated namesake.

6. Which native of St. Louis has scored the most NHL goals? And name one of the four active players who hails from the city.

January 7th, 2017|Categories: S.A.T. Day Saturday|3 Comments

GAME YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN: Wild 5, Sharks 4

The No. 1 and 3 teams in the Western Conference staged a thriller at the Shark Tank, with Minnesota’s four third period goals sparking a come-from-behind victory over San Jose.

Mikko Koivu tallied the final two goals for the Wild, who bounced back from a loss against Columbus with their 12th win in 13 games. Eric Staal also scored twice for Minnesota.

Partick Marleau inched closer to the 500-goal milestone, with his 492nd career goal on a burst down the left wing to get clear of the Minnesota defense, before sending a wrist shot by Devan Dubnyk from the lower left circle to tie the game early in the third. Another great San Jose goal came in the second period when Joe Pavelski scored on a one-play hat trick of sorts. He won a draw in the Minnesota end, positioned himself to redirect a shot on Dubnyk from the lower part of the circle and then pounced on the rebound to score over the fallen Wild goalie.

Pavelski had a quality opportunity to tie the game in the waning moments, but Dubnyk managed to track his shot with bodies in front to preserve the win.

MOVEMENT WITHIN LEAGUE LEADER BOARDS (With Categories and League Rankings)
JOE PAVELSKI, Sharks: Slide / Stuff / Poke / Jam / Tap / Chip / Shovel, 2nd of the Year
JOE PAVELSKI, SAN JOSE
Slide / Stuff / Poke / Jam / Tap / Chip / Shovel
3
MIKKO KOIVU, Wild:
Snap Shot, 5th of the Year
MIKKO KOIVU, MINNESOTA
Snap Shot
2
January 6th, 2017|Categories: Games You Should Have Seen|0 Comments
About the Author
Contact
Glossary
Other Leaderboards

TONIGHT’S MOVEMENT
ATOP LEADERBOARDS

RUNNING UP A BAR TAB
NIKOLAJ EHLERS vs. BLUES
3 Nikolaj Ehlers, Winnipeg
3 Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis
1/21/2017
DELAYED PENALTY
MARK SCHEIFELE vs. BLUES
2 Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg
2 Patrick Maroon, Edmonton
1/21/2017
GOALTENDER PULLED FOR EXTRA SKATER
MIKE HOFFMAN vs. MAPLE LEAFS
2 Mike Hoffman, Ottawa
2 Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg
2 Brayden Schenn, Philadelphia
1/21/2017
DEFLECTION (OWN STICK)
ANDERS LEE vs. KINGS
5 Anders Lee, Islanders
4 David Backes, Boston
4 Martin Hanzal, Arizona
4 Joe Pavelski, San Jose
1/21/2017
THIRD PERIOD
NIKOLAJ EHLERS vs. BLUES
11 Nikolaj Ehlers, Winnipeg
9 Brayden Schenn, Philadelphia
9 Michael Grabner, Rangers
9 Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh
9 Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg
8 Jeff Carter, Los Angeles
8 Anders Lee, Islanders
8 Alex Ovechkin, Washington
8 Max Pacioretty, Montreal
1/21/2017 – Excludes ENG
AHEAD OF THE PACK
JASON ZUCKER vs. DUCKS
3 Jason Zucker, Minnesota
3 Tomas Tatar, Detroit
3 Mitchell Marner, Toronto
1/21/2017
BACKHAND
JASON ZUCKER vs. DUCKS
6 Jason Zucker, Minnesota
4 Bryan Rust, Pittsburgh
4 Josh Anderson, Columbus
4 Brad Marchand, Boston
4 T.J. Oshie, Washington
4 Zemgus Girgensons, Buffalo
1/21/2017
WRIST SHOT
MAX PACIORETTY vs. DEVILS
13 Max Pacioretty, Montreal
13 Auston Matthews, Toronto
13 Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia
13 Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay
12 Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis
12 Patrik Laine, Winnipeg
1/20/2017
SCREEN
SHEA WEBER vs. DEVILS
6 Shea Weber, Montreal
5 David Krecji, Boston
5 Brent Burns, San Jose
5 Drew Doughty, Los Angeles
5 Cam Fowler, Anaheim
5 Patric Laine, Winnipeg
5 Anders Lee, Islanders
5 P.K. Subban, Nashville
1/21/2017
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
MICHAEL GRABNER vs. MAPLE LEAFS
5 Michael Grabner, Rangers
4 Jason Zucker, Minnesota
4 Connor McDavid, Edmonton
3 Andreas Athanasiou, Detroit
3 Bo Horvat, Vancouver
3 Paul Byron, Montreal
3 Jonathan Marchessault, Florida
3 Mitchell Marner, Toronto
3 Viktor Stalberg, Carolina
3 Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia
1/21/2017
EMPTY NET (NEUTRAL ZONE — OFFENSIVE SIDE OF RED LINE)
MICHAEL GRABNER vs. MAPLE LEAFS
2 Michael Grabner, Rangers
1/19/2017
CARRY (2 ZONES, RED LINE IN)
ERIC STAAL vs. COYOTES
3 Eric Staal, Minnesota
3 Connor McDavid, Edmonton
3 Bo Horvat, Vancouver
3 Viktor Arvidsson, Nashville
3 Mitchell Marner, Toronto
1/19/2017
HIGH SLOT
MARCUS JOHANSSON vs. BLUES
6 Marcus Johansson, Washington
4 Nathan McKinnon, Colorado
4 Cam Atkinson, Columbus
4 Tanner Pearson, Los Angeles
1/19/2017
EMPTY NET
MICHAEL GRABNER vs. MAPLE LEAFS
3 Michael Grabner, Rangers
3 Joe Thornton, San Jose
3 Alexander Steen, St. Louis
3 J.T. Miller, Rangers
3 Mikael Granlund, Minnesota
1/19/2017
BREAKAWAYS
MICHAEL GRABNER vs. MAPLE LEAFS
3 Michael Grabner, Rangers
3 Paul Byron, Montreal
2 Viktor Arvidsson, Nashville
2 Anthony Beauvillier, Islanders
2 Rick Nash, Rangers
2 Bo Horvat, Vancouver
1/19/2017
CARRIES
MICHAEL GRABNER vs. MAPLE LEAFS
6 Michael Grabner, Rangers
6 Nathan McKinnon, Colorado
5 Connor McDavid, Edmonton
4 Kevin Hayes, Rangers
4 Rick Nash, Rangers
4 Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia
4 Viktor Arvidsson, Nashville
1/19/2017
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
MICHAEL GRABNER vs. MAPLE LEAFS
5 Michael Grabner, Rangers
4 Connor McDavid, Edmonton
3 Andreas Athanasiou, Detroit
3 Bo Horvat, Vancouver
3 Paul Byron, Montreal
3 Jonathan Marchessault, Florida
3 Mitchell Marner, Maple Leafs
3 Jason Zucker, Minnesota
3 Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia
1/19/2017
SLOT
TYLER BOZAK vs. RANGERS
7 Tyler Bozak, Toronto
7 Nick Ritchie, Anaheim
6 Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton
6 Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg
6 Jeff Carter, Los Angeles
6 Jason Zucker, Minnesota
1/21/2017
Games to Watch
Games You Should Have Seen