NHLers are humans. Sometimes we forget that when we watch them because they’re able to execute and think the game at such a fast pace at the highest level. When they do make a rare mental mistake, they’re chastised (deserved or not), and are reminded that every human makes mistakes.
In these 15 cases, the mistakes or brain farts tended to be a little bit more memorable. Some are funny and harmless, others had significant consequences for their teams. Let’s get the countdown started:
15. Tie Domi & the Flyers Fan
Serving a two minute unsportsmanlike penalty in the box, the ever hot-headed Domi squired water at a Flyers fan who was berating him two rows back. The fan didn’t appreciate it, and got a lot closer than he anticipated as the glass gave way and Domi found himself in a brawl with the fan in the penalty box.
14. Water Bottle Mishaps
First, it was Dustin Brown.
The, it was Dale Weise.
Then this season, it was Mark Stone.
They try to play it off like nothing happened, and hope nobody noticed. But you know their teammates will never let them forget it.
13. The Biting Incidents
It’s one of the darker spots on the game, but biting incidents have reared their ugly head as of late. Even worse, some of the most notable incidents have occurred on the highest stage in the playoffs. Most famously was Alex Burrows biting Patrice Bergeron in the 2011 Finals.
There have also been biting accusations thrown at Scott Hartnell, Marc Savard, and most recently Andrew Shaw during the 2015 Finals.
12. Keith Ballard Decapitates Tomas Vokoun
Keith Ballard was angry at himself not being able to catch Ilya Kovalchuk on a breakway, allowing him to score on a rebound. He tried to take his anger out on his stick by breaking it over the post, but he caught something else in the process:
11. Bizarre Golfing Injuries
In the summer of 2008, Erik Johnson was enjoying a nice round of golf after a productive rookie season. However, things took a turn for the worse when he got his foot stuck between the brake and accelerator, tearing his ACL in the process. The injury forced him to miss the entire 2008-09 season.
In August of 2013, Claude Giroux was forced to have surgery on his hand after his golf club shattered and splintered into the tendons of his hand. It’s remained a mystery whether it was was actually golf that caused the injury, but regardless, it caused Giroux to miss almost all of training camp, and he started the season very slow before picking it up to finish with 86 points in 82 games.
10. Spokane Chiefs’ Memorial Cup Victory
Ever wonder what it would be like if somebody dropped the Stanley Cup? This is probably the next closest thing that happens. Thankfully, the one that broke was only a replica and not the original.
9. Mark Donnelly’s Anthem Commitment
Mark Donnelly has been singing the National Anthem at Vancouver Canucks games since 2001. Recently, he took to a Penticton Vees game to do the same. He was so immersed in his singing that he didn’t realize a carpet was placed at center ice. You have to give him credit, he did not miss a beat despite the mishap.
8. Celebration Gone Horribly Wrong
Picture this: you’ve just scored a beautiful goal and want to celebrate. Why not channel your inner Alex Ovechkin and do a glass jump? The answer: the boards aren’t nearly as supportive in your local rink, as this New Jersey Titan found out:
7. Steve Smith’s Costly Mishap
It was Game 7 of the Smythe Division Final between the Oilers and Flames in 1986. The score was tied 2-2 in the third period when Flames forward Perry Berezan made a seemingly harmless chip-in into the Oilers zone. What followed was the most famous own-goal of all time:
The Flames went on to win the game by a score of 3-2. Smith’s own-goal was the series clincher as the Flames went on to win the Stanley Cup that year.
6. They Hurt Themselves…Doing What?
On a January morning in 2012, Dustin Penner sat down to eat “some delicious pancakes that my wife made.” When Penner reached for his flapjacks, his back gave out and began a fit of back spasms that would cause him to miss the next game. Of all things that could have happened, and injuries hockey players play through, Penner was injured reaching for pancakes.
Five years earlier in 2007, Brent Sopel was playing for the Vancouver Canucks, who were scheduled to face off against the Dallas Stars in the first round of the NHL Playoffs. However, Sopel was unable to suit up for Game 1 of the series because he injured his back. The cause? He was picking up a cracker off the floor that his daughter had dropped.
5. The Statue of Liberty
It was Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals in 2002, and the Avalanche held a three games to two lead over the Red Wings. Patrick Roy made a beautiful save on Steve Yzerman, and proudly held up his glove hand (looking like the Statue of Liberty) to show the robbery he had just committed.
Problem was, he didn’t have the puck in his glove.
Roy left the puck sitting in the crease where Brendan Shanahan hammered it home to take the lead in the game. The Red Wings would go on to win the series, and later, the Stanley Cup.
4. Dennis Wideman’s Shootout….Attempt
The goalie never touches him. I’ve heard of losing an edge, but I’ve never seen losing an edge quite like that.
3. The 200 Foot Goal
Killing a penalty for the New York Islanders, Rob Davison made a seemingly innocuous clearing attempt from his own goal line. The puck bounced and trickled towards Vesa Toskala, and right past him for a goal about 197 feet away.
In Toskala’s defense, the puck took a number of bounces on its way and bounced away from him just as it reached him. However, he needs to save that.
2. Patrik Stefan Blows It
Patrik Stefan’s NHL career did not go according to plan. He was the 1st overall pick in the 1999 NHL Draft, but played just seven seasons in the NHL and never scored more than 40 points in a season. No play other than this one epitomizes the bust that was his career better than this one:
1. The Best Fight in NHL History
No explanation needed.
What are your favorite hockey related gaffes or bloopers?
Bill Schoeninger is a Philadelphia Flyers writer and current Boston University student studying business. Coming to THW from Hometown Hockey, Bill follows and writes about the Flyers, Boston University Terriers, and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @BSchoeninger17