(Ed. Note: No Puck Headlines tonight through Sunday. Wyshynski and Leahy are spending some quality time with friends and in the bottom of several bottles. The good news: Our Winter Classic live blog will by a simulcast of the one on SBN featuring blogging deity James Mirtle and his merry gang of pranksters. Please join in the fun; it's going to be epic. Then, on Friday, we have a really cool treat: A first-person essay and photo-log from Kevin Kaduk of Big League Stew's Winter Classic adventure. Happy New Year to one and all, and thanks for reading.)
What would the end of the year be without one of those "Top 10" lists? Hockey fans love the big hits, the punishing fights, and breathtaking saves, but in the end, it's all about the goals.
Say what you will about Riberio and his on-ice antics in the past, but this was just a sweet display of skill and patience while handling the puck. The post-goal "shhhh" was also an interesting show of trash talk to the Los Angeles Kings bench.
9. Evan Trupp vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers, Feb. 1
Falling away from the net, Trupp's batted shot was the overtime winner for the North Dakota Fighting Sioux. It was Trupp's fourth game-winner of the season and the third time in five meetings that a Minnesota-North Dakota game was decided in the extra frame.
While everyone looked at the shot as a simple dump out of the zone, you can tell in Maple Leafs play-by-play man Joe Bowen's voice as he called it that he was not looking at it that way. It's like he was anticipating the puck to take a bad bounce and hop over Vesa Toskala's glove. Davison, who has three career goals in 208 games, has not scored since that night on Long Island. Toskala can take solace in knowing that there's another goalie out there that let up just as bad a goal.
This is fantastic for two reasons: 1) How many of Ovechkin goals aren't fantastic? 2) AO has one of the prettiest wrist shots in the NHL and this tally was his third of four on the night. Crisobal Huet knew he wasn't gloving that, but threw up his hand just to make it look like he was attempting to save the shot.
6. Johan Franzen vs. Montreal Canadiens, Nov. 26
While Phoenix isn't involved directly in the goal, they sure have to wish they still had Wheeler's rights. The 22-year old is having an outstanding rookie season with the surging Bruins, including this goal where he was pretty much 1-on-4 with the Blues defense while shorthanded.
Having the state of mind as you're spinning around airborne to put your stick to the ice and attempt a shot is something not many NHL'ers possess. The 2008 Conn Smythe winner showed his hockey sense and determination to somehow puck the puck top shelf.
Let us hope that NHL ice man Dan Craig and his crew give us some great ice on Thursday, where we'll have the opportunity to see the skating and puck handling ability that Toews displayed during a 5-4 shootout loss to the Red Wings earlier this month.
A few of the requirements for "Goal of the Year" candidates the last few seasons has included: game-winning goal, number of stick dekes and, of course, whether or not it was against the Coyotes.
What is it with Phoenix and highlight reel goals taking place in Jobing.com Arena?
1. John Tavares vs. Slovakia, Dec. 23
The fact that this goal was scored in Canada, by a Canadian wunderkind and during a World Junior Championship exhibition, was enough for the hype scale to blow up. Fortunately, Tavares' goal was a beautiful mix of concentration and hand-eye coordination deeming it worthy of the 2008 "Goal of the Year"
Be sure to also check out this sweet angle of the goal shot by a fan in attendance that night.