Marek Malik No. 1 on a skills competition ranking? Who knew? (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
So close, yet so far. Ottawa’s Kaspars Daugavins almost etched himself in history March 11 with one of the most creative shootout attempts in NHL history, controlling the puck with the tip of his blade and busting out a spin-o-rama, but Boston’s Tuukka Rask got post to post in time to make a great save. It was a valiant effort by Daugavins, who scored on the same move in the American League in a 2010 exhibition game.
Since he didn’t score on his NHL attempt, though, Daugavins doesn’t crack THN’s Top 10 shootout goals of all-time. Some goals make the list for their significance, others because they’re constantly imitated, and some because they’re just filthy dekes. Let’s have a look.
In the middle of Anaheim’s 12-0-4 run to start its 2006-07 season, a record broken this year by Chicago, Getzlaf helped the Ducks keep the streak going with a beauty against LA. He showed excellent agility for a big man as he jammed on his breaks and waited for Mathieu Garon to make the first move.
Gagner’s goal is probably the simplest on this list, but boy, did he execute it beautifully. Then just 18, he busted out a Gordon Bombay-style triple deke and undressed Giguere so badly Giguere didn’t attempt to get back across the net to the far post.
Blake represents all the players who’ve succeeded with the spin-o-rama in shootouts; Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Mason Raymond come to mind. He got so tight to Clemmensen that the Devils netminder had no chance once the spin was completed. The deke is among the most controversial shootout moves today, as it’s often difficult to tell if the shooter is moving backward, which he’s not allowed to do.
St-Louis gets major points for creativity against an athletic goaltender here. Goalies already find backhands the toughest shots to predict – and what about backhands when the shooter’s back is turned? St-Louis came in on Fleury butt-first before firing a backhander past the bewildered Pens stopper.
In terms of pure skill, this goal should crack the top three, but Datsyuk loses points for not being the move’s originator. By pulling the puck back and deftly flipping a knuckler over Niemi, Datsyuk copied a goal Linus Omark scored with Team Sweden the year prior.
Like Datsyuk, Jokinen takes a hit for borrowing a patented move. Peter Forsberg shocked the world in the 1994 Olympics with his one-handed reach-around deke better known as ‘The Postage Stamp’ and Alexei Zhamnov used it often in his career. But Jussi Jokinen has made a living off this move in the NHL’s shootout era. His best edition of it came against Thomas and left the outspoken goalie fuming.
Tell any player, from pro to beer leaguer, to attempt ‘The Datsyuk’ and they’ll know exactly what you mean, even if they can’t do it. Among the famous victims of the slick Russian’s gorgeous deke, in which he yanks back the string and waits out the goaltender before going top shelf: Marty Turco and Tomas Vokoun, who fell victim seven years ago.
There are better goals, but it’s hard to match Crosby’s in terms of significance. The NHL was just a month into the shootout era and No. 87 produced the first goal that had people talking shootout at the water cooler the next day. The leg kick and laser of a backhand that launched Theodore’s water bottle off the net became iconic and ushered in the New NHL.
Ribeiro actually has multiple outstanding between-the-legs shootout goals to his name and we had an office debate over this goal versus one he scored on the Kings’ Erik Ersberg in which he modified the Postage Stamp. But this one was more impressive. Ribeiro fed the puck between his legs and shot it – while skating backwards. Amazing stuff.
There’s simply no contest here. Type Marek Malik into Google and “shootout goal” will immediately drop down. This is his legacy. Malik’s marker had everything. It was significant because it capped off the longest shootout in NHL history, coming on the 30th attempt in the 15th round. It was impressive because it was a damn good move, with Malik shooting through his legs into the top corner. And it was hilarious because it came from a 6-foot-6 stay-at-home defenseman whose single-season career high in goals was seven. And naturally, he acted like he’d done it before. Malik’s goal is and always will be the supernova of shootout moments.
The THN.com Top 10 appears Wednesdays only on TheHockeyNews.com.