No. 5: Jeff Carter, 2012, Los Angeles Kings vs. New Jersey Devils
Do people actually remember the Devils have been in a Final this decade? I kind of forgot about that. But this one is all about the Kings anyway, so no worries.
It’s a good thing Carter got a piece of the puck before it went in, since generally useless (now-former) captain Dustin Brown got this shot off. The Devils pretty much stopped paying attention to Brown and let him get one off from just below the circles. Easy pickings.
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This goal shows what crowd reaction can do for a big play’s quality. The L.A. fans are chanting “We want the Cup!” right before the first-period goal. It was an entertaining play, although it was just another piece of an eventual 6-1 rout.
No. 4: Patrick Kane, 2010, Chicago Blackhawks vs. Philadelphia Flyers
I know, it’s sacrilege to not have this at No. 1, but hear me out. This goal was far more confusing than anything, as most on and off the ice had little idea what was going on when Kane and Patrick Sharp skated down the ice in celebration. It burns the ranking a bit.
Still, it’s an overtime goal to end a Stanley Cup Final and a 49-year championship drought, so it’s pretty great. Brian Campbell made a nice play along the boards in getting the puck to Kane, who got just enough of a step on future teammate Kimmo Timonen to turn the corner toward the net.
We all know how the rest of it goes. Kane throws the puck seemingly at random toward the net, it somehow gets past Michael Leighton, all but two people are really confused for about two minutes and then a celebration.
No. 3: Dave Bolland, 2013, Chicago Blackhawks vs. Boston Bruins
When combined with Bryan Bickell‘s game-tying goal right before this, we’ve got one of the wildest, greatest moments in playoff history. Alone, Bolland’s eventual winner is still really awesome to relive.
Joel Quenneville put his third line on the ice with Bolland, Michael Frolik and Marcus Kruger. It almost seemed like he did this to ensure overtime would happen. Instead, it produced a championship-winning marker, with Johnny Oduya‘s point shot ringing off the post behind Tuukka Rask to set it all up.
Bolland’s glove-throwing celebration, Dennis Seidenberg looking absolutely stunned alongside Rask and family members of the Blackhawks audibly celebrating right behind the play make this one really great despite it being in the opposing arena.
Next: Nos. 2-1