2014 playoff overtime winner power rankings, UPDATED

Matt Larkin
Kane Wild OT

Think about the fleeting seconds of terror you feel watching a buzzer-beater attempt in basketball, a fly ball to the warning track in the bottom of the ninth or a game-winning field goal attempt. Extend it for 20 minutes straight and you have a playoff overtime period in the NHL. Nothing can match the sustained anxiety sudden death hockey brings, and perhaps that’s why overtime goals are so damned fun to watch.

With that, I introduce playoff overtime winner power rankings. I’ll grade them on a scale of 1-10, with seven points weighted towards the skill displayed in the goal and three points toward the significance within the context of a series. Nino Niederreiter’s Game 7 overtime winner against Colorado in round 1 earns a 3/3 in significance, for example, whereas P.K. Subban’s Game 1 diddy against Boston in round 2 nets a 1.

Why do this? Why eat a chocolate brownie? Because it’s fun. It’s also nice to stop and celebrate the game we criticize too much. Enjoy, and watch for updates throughout the post-season as more overtime winners occur.

1. Nino Niederreiter: Western Conference quarterfinal, Game 7, Wild over Avalanche

(6 + 3 = 9 points)

Not only does ‘El Nino’ end the series in Game 7, he does it with a beautiful laser of a wrist shot to Semyon Varlamov’s short side.

 

2. Mikael Granlund: Western Conference quarterfinal, Game 3, Wild over Avalanche

(7 + 2 = 9 points)

Granlund turns the Avs inside out before finishing off what is undoubtedly the most skillful overtime winner of the playoffs to date. Niederreiter gets the tiebreaker because Granlund’s came mid-series.

 

3. Jonathan Toews: Western Conference quarterfinal, Game 5, Blackhawks over Blues

(6 + 2 = 8 points)

This goal epitomizes killer instinct. Two-time Stanley Cup winner gets a breakaway in overtime, makes no mistake with a beautiful deke to the backhand.

 

4. Nathan MacKinnon: Western Conference quarterfinal, Game 5, Avalanche over Wild

(6 + 2 = 8 points)

A clinic in phone booth stickhandling. MacKinnon does an outstanding job navigating through Marco Scandella’s feet and places a perfectly timed shot past Darcy Kuemper.

5. Patrick Kane: Western Conference semifinal, Game 6, Blackhawks over Wild

(5 + 3 = 8 points)

This is more than just converting a scramble. Kane shows amazing poise in a split second, hesitating to freeze Ilya Bryzgalov before deking to the backhand. He’s consistently deadly in clutch situations. Wow.

6. Nick Bonino: Western Conference quarterfinal, Game 6, Ducks over Stars

(5 + 3 = 8 points)

Bonino shows a goal scorer’s release after a beautiful pass from Andrew Cogliano. A max significance score, too, since it’s a series winner.

 

7. Patrick Kane: Western Conference quarterfinal, Game 4, Blackhawks over Blues

(5 + 2 = 7 points)

Kane really turns the tide of the series with this rush, punctuated by a hard, accurate shot.

 

8. Alexander Steen: Western Conference quarterfinal, Game 1, Blues over Blackhawks

(5 + 2 = 7 points)

A double drop pass from David Backes to Steve Ott sets up Steen for a Game 1 winner. A bonus significance point since it comes in triple overtime.

 

9. P.K. Subban: Eastern Conference semifinal, Game 1, Canadiens over Bruins

(5 + 1 = 6 points)

Early in the series and Tuukka Rask doesn’t see it, but Subban deserves credit for such a well-placed blast.

 

10. Dale Weise: Eastern Conference quarterfinal, Game 1, Canadiens over Lightning

(4 + 1 = 5 points)
 

I’d be lying if I said I knew Weise had this kind of finishing ability in him. He buries the one-timer pass from Daniel Briere, top cheese.

 

11. Marian Gaborik: Western Conference semifinal, Game 1, Kings over Ducks

(4 + 1 = 5 points)

Great job by Gaborik getting into position for this redirection so quickly.

 

12. Derick Brassard: Eastern Conference semifinal, Game 1, Rangers over Penguins

(4 + 1 = 5 points)

Benoit Pouliot has the distinction of setting up an overtime winner, then scoring an overtime winner on the same play, as the refs don’t realize Brassard has scored at first.

 

13. Paul Stastny: Western Conference quarterfinal, Game 1, Avalanche over Wild

(3 + 1 = 4 points)

Stastny does well to find open space, but, sheesh, he shoots the puck at Bryzgalov. If you’re an NHL goalie, stopping a puck shot directly at you is a must.

 

14. Patrick Marleau: Western Conference quarterfinal, Game 3, Sharks over Kings

(2 + 2 = 4 points)

Low style points because Slava Voynov ultimately scores this one off his stick, but a good significance score because, in theory, it gives San Jose a stranglehold on the Kings at 3-0 in the series. Oops.

 

15. Matt Calvert: Eastern Conference quarterfinal, Game 2, Blue Jackets over Penguins

(3 + 1 = 4 points)

Fitting for Columbus’ first-ever playoff win to come on a workmanlike effort like this one. Marc-Andre Fleury denies Calvert once, but not twice.

16. Matt Fraser: Eastern Conference semifinal, Game 4, Bruins over Habs

(2 + 2 = 4 points)

It’s a big goal in that it evens a series at two games and Fraser’s a cool story, scoring in his first playoff game, but this goal is of the garbage variety.

17. Nick Foligno: Eastern Conference quarterfinal, Game 4, Blue Jackets over Penguins

(2 + 2 = 4 points)

Woof. This first-round winner calls for a clothespin on the nose.

 

18. Jarome Iginla: Western Conference quarterfinal, Game 4, Bruins over Red Wings

(1 + 2 = 3 points)

Nice deflection by ‘Iggy,’ but he loses style points with the pinball routine. As fluky as any winner we’ve seen in the 2014 post-season.

 

19. Barret Jackman: Western Conference quarterfinal, Game 2, Blues over Blackhawks

(2 + 1 = 3 points)

Jackman’s seeing-eye point shot is the quintessential “just put it on the net” overtime clincher.

 

Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blogFor more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazineFollow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin