It’s Wednesday, January 20th (at publishing); you know what that means, NHL fans.
What, you don’t? Well, for one, it’s hump day, which is fun. It’s also Inauguration Day in the United States of America, wing night internationally, and funny enough, the first day of the calendar year that’s a palindrome.
Oh yeah, it also marks the first of the second official week of the 2020-21 NHL season, which officially opened up a week ago today on 1/13/20.
While there is still oh so much good hockey left to play, with every team having at least 50 games left on their schedule, the hockey watching masses have been blessed with oh so many good games, storylines, and even jersey reveals that could fill an entire blog with a seemingly endless string of content… oh hey.
And do you know what else we’ve been blessed with? Goals. Oh so many fun, exciting, potentially all-time favorite goals that we’ll surely be seeing on highlight reels and NHL b-roll for months – if not years – to come. But how will we be able to find the best of the best to watch and rate as we turn our collective attention to Week 2? Well, as it turns out, the fine folks over at the NHL did the hard work and compiled “Top 10 Goals from Week 1” for all of our viewing enjoyment.
Gosh, how nice of them?
Highlight reel goals are coming fast and frequently in the NHL this season.
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Now just to preface this list right from the jump, it’s by no means definitive. It only features goals from at most 10 teams (duh), and you’ll even see a few more than once over the video’s duration. My New Jersey Devils are noticeably absent despite both Jack Hughes and Yegor Sharangovich having shots that should clearly qualify, as are the Ducks, Flyers, Kings, and about a dozen other teams.
The list is also, in my humble opinion, clearly made by someone with a bias against the Ottawa Senators, as Tim Stützle had arguably the best ‘pure’ goal of the entire season thus far and yet was somehow relegated to the seventh spot despite having a much higher degree of difficulty than some of the shots higher up on the list.
Is it because Stützle isn’t a household name? Or because his last name has an umlaut and thus is hard to type? Either way, the fix appears to be in, and I, for one, won’t stand for it.
But what shouldn’t be up for debate – even if you’re a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers – is the top overall goal, as it just might be the most ridiculous play I’ve seen in a very, very long time.
After having the puck cleared into his zone, Carter Hart tried to do Carter Hart things behind the net and was rewarded for his efforts with an intercepted pass courtesy of Sidney Crosby‘s stick in what may go down as the least challenging goal of his career. The play was goofy; it looked ridiculous both in the moment and in replay, and, most importantly of all, it counts as a point, which is really all that matters.
While the Flyers were still able to leave the game – and their two-game series against the Penguins – without suffering a loss, Hart was pulled from their subsequent game against the Buffalo Sabres 28:09 into the contest after four goals on 22 shots.
Fortunately, Hart will be just fine after his early-season faltering, but it is a storyline to monitor moving forward – especially if he lands on the wrong end of another top-10 goal next week.
So there you have it, the “Top 10 Goals from Week 1” in the NHL by the NHL. While the list wasn’t perfect, and the league clearly needs to put some respect on Tim Stützle’s name, it’s clear the real winner from Week 1 is the fans who finally got to watch some meaningful hockey after an extended offseason and an uncertain couple of months. That’s what really matters.