The NHL has seen countless unforgettable moments since starting in 1917. Some of the greatest pictures and plays in sports history happened during a hockey game. Each franchise has been blessed with some priceless moments.
Which moment defines each franchise? What’s the highest of highs each team has experienced? Which tales are the ones that we, as fans, will tell our kids and grandkids about? In this article, I’ll attempt to answer those questions.
Now, this is a very subjective topic. So there are going to be some decisions you don’t agree with. That’s fine! Just let me know in the comments and tell me if you agree or disagree with my choices. Let me know what your favorite moments in your favorite team’s history are.
Let’s set some ground rules. First of all, I’m talking about specific moments. Secondly, I’ll pass along some honorable mentions if they are appropriate and I seriously considered them. With that out of the way, let’s get started and celebrate the most iconic moment of all-time from each NHL team.
Anaheim Ducks: Teemu Selanne Ends Game 5 In Overtime
The Anaheim Ducks Stanley Cup run in 2007 didn’t have that many defining moments. They caught lightning in a bottle, as three of their four series only went to five games. However, the Detroit Red Wings took them to six games in the Western Conference Final. The turning point of the series was Game 5.
Entering the game with the series tied at two, the Red Wings got a second period goal from Andreas Lilja, assisted by Dan Cleary. Facing arguably the greatest goalie ever, Dominik Hasek, the odds were against the Ducks.
And then the Mighty Ducks had their storybook moment. With 48 seconds left in regulation, defenseman Scott Niedermayer, who would later win the Conn Smythe, finally got Anaheim on the board with a power-play goal, assisted by Teemu Selanne and Chris Pronger.
In overtime, the Ducks didn’t waste anytime to end the game. A strong forecheck led by Andy McDonald forced the Red Wings into a turnover. Selanne pounced on the loose puck and did what he did best – he scored. McDonald didn’t technically get an assist on the play, but he should have gotten one because the goal wouldn’t have happened without him.
This took the life out of the Red Wings. They had the Ducks beat at home with under a minute left, but couldn’t convert. The Ducks later won Game 6 4-3 and eventually beat the Ottawa Senators in the Stanley Cup Final in five games. Teemu’s goal in Game 5 was the most iconic moment from that Stanley Cup run.
Honorable Mention: The 2003 NHL Draft is remembered as being one of the best of all-time. No team got more from the first round of that draft than the Ducks, who drafted two franchise cornerstones in Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.