The NHL selected their top five goals from the 2010-11 season, and they are fantastic. It’s always fun getting to watch the things that players at the highest level are capable of doing with the little rubber disc. Here are my thoughts on how I would rank those goals, with the only real criteria being how awesome I thought the goal was. (Note, I didn’t choose these randomly, they are featured on the NHL website.)
Jordan Eberle’s goal was fantastic, and was my favorite of the bunch. The toe-drag he does around an outstretched defenseman while hopping over the stick AND keeping control of the puck is outstanding. He caps off the goal with a nice forehand-backhand deke that froze the goaltender, and somehow managed to snap the puck into the net while falling down. That level of stickhandling and skating skill is impressive, and I would slot this one as the best goal of the five.
The number two slot was probably the toughest choice for me. Dave Bolland’s goal was a little bit nicer, but Tomas Vanek’s was in OT to earn Buffalo the win. After watching the clips multiple times, I have to go with Dave Bolland for the second best goal. He reads the play well after an intercepted pass and moves into open ice while keeping himself available for a pass. The move he uses to slide past the defender is slick, and I like the way he calmly gets the goalie moving and simply tucks a shot through the five-hole.
That means Tomas Vanek is third on my list. As I alluded to before, his was scored in OT, but it was yet another incredible move. Vanek snags a puck in the neutral zone and catches the Capitals flat-footed. His finish may be the best of the bunch, as a pulls the puck around the goaltender and wins one for the Sabres.
I’ll take Bobby Ryan’s goal scored with someone else’s stick as the fourth best goal on the list. It has more to do with the hard work the line put forth on that shift than an indication that it was the “prettier” goal. Plus, how can you not like a guy getting his stick ripped out of his hands and picking up a stick on the ice (not even the correct hand!) and scoring with it. Love it.
Even though he comes in last amongst this group, Datsyuk’s goal is still a dandy. He pops the puck between two defenders, skates through them like they aren’t even there, and somehow manages to settle the puck down before the Sharks goalie could poke it away. Great stuff by Datsyuk, who also happens to be one of the most consistently fun players to watch.
Now, I guess I’ll see if I get any Red Wings hate mail for putting Datsyuk’s goal as only the fifth best scored in the NHL this season (like Kevin Bartl did for suggesting Nik Lidstrom might not have been the best defenseman ever to breathe last year). Chime in with which goal you thought was best under the blog post on the Condors Facebook page!
Bob Mills is the Broadcasting and Media Relations Manager for the Condors, and part of the Broadcast team. He just completed his first season with the Condors. His blog will be posted every Thursday on bakersfieldcondors.com.
Follow Bob’s Twitter: @Mills_Bob