2014 was a year that featured many great moments across the hockey world. As we close out the last few days of the year, here’s the top 10 goals from the calendar year 2014.
10. Cody Franson vs. Montreal, January 18th, 2014
This one starts out the list not for the goal itself, but for the absolutely incredible move and assist by Nazem Kadri. Kadri carried the puck into the zone and turned Montreal defenseman Alexei Emelin inside out with one move, and then put it through his legs and made a perfect pass over to Cody Franson for the slam dunk. Kadri’s move is good for number 10 on our list.
9. Patrick Kane vs. Buffalo, March 9th, 2014
Here is Patrick Kane just doing what you would expect Patrick Kane to do. This gem came in March in a game against the Sabres. Kane didn’t even have possession of the puck through the neutral zone, but proceeded to poke it through one defenders leg and around another defender, all with one hand. Kane then fired a rocket through the defenders legs and into the top corner of the net. Pure skill. Good for number 9 on our list.
8. Gustav Nyquist vs. Tampa Bay, March 30th, 2014
This one involves some real grit and determination. Nyquist caught a pass at center ice with Tampa Bay defender Matt Carle all over his back. Nyquist fought his way over the blue line with Carle hooking and grabbing him the whole way. He managed to get a shot off, pickup his own rebound, spin, and beat the goalie from almost behind the goal line. An outstanding play which Nyquist never gave up on. This is good for number 8 on our list.
7. Tyler Ennis vs. Montreal, November 28th, 2014
Carey Price never stood a chance. Ennis’ one man effort started with him carrying the puck in over the blueline and taking it wide around defender Alexei Emelin. Ennis managed to get a weak shot on net, pick up his own rebound, and spin to throw a no-look backhander on net, beating Carey Price. Ennis’ leap and subsequent goal is good for number 7 on the list.
6. Vladimir Tarasenko vs. New York Rangers, November 3rd, 2014
One handed magic. Hockey fans may not have been familiar with the name Vladimir Tarasenko before this season, but he is quickly becoming a household name. Tarasenko had an incredible start to the season, and flashy goals were starting to come on a nightly basis. Tarasenko picked up a pass in the neutral zone, and proceeded to blow by four, yes four, Ranger players. Tarasenko then had the fortitude to pull off the signature Peter Forsberg move on Lundqvist for a highlight reel goal. This isn’t the last time you’ll see Tarasenko on the list, but this one is good for number 6.
5. Vladimir Tarasenko vs. New Jersey, November 6th, 2014
No, this isn’t a typo, I wasn’t lying when I told you Tarasenko would be back. On this beauty, Tarasenko receives a pass at the blueline and just works his magic. He didn’t just split three Devil defenders, he essentially made them open up a lane for him to skate through. But it gets better. Tarasenko then out waited Schneider, forcing him to go down. Almost at the goal line, Tarasenko then finished off the beautiful play by burying it right in the back of the net. Number 91’s quick feet and patience around the net are good for number 5 on the list.
4. Bobby Ryan vs. Los Angeles, December 11th, 2014
This one is brought to you by Cherry Hill, New Jersey’s pride and joy, Bobby Ryan. Ryan came from out by the boards in the neutral zone and proceeded to cut to the middle of the ice. He then toe-dragged Brayden McNabb and had four Kings watch him walk the puck and dangle Jonathan Quick. Ryan’s goal was the perfect combination of a beautiful move on the defense, and an even better move to finish it off, thats why it’s good for number 4 on the list.
3. Ales Hemsky vs. Tampa Bay, March 20th, 2014
Another Senator on the list? You bet. This one can’t go unnoticed by any stretch of the imagination. Hemsky skated the puck through the neutral zone and came into the zone with three Tampa Bay defenders facing him. No way he’s going to be able to get through, right? Wrong. Hemsky pulled off an absolutely brilliant dangle, pulling the puck between his legs and completely hanging the defenseman out to dry. But he wasn’t done. In tight quarters, Hemsky had to think quickly. He went backhand, forehand, and made no mistake about it. Hemsky’s sweet hands and picturesque finish deserve a spot on the museum wall, and definitely the number 3 spot on our list.
2. Alex Ovechkin vs. New Jersey, December 20th, 2014
After I saw this goal, I struggled to find the right words to describe just how awesome this goal was. Ovehckin picked up the puck far back in his own defensive zone and carried in through the neutral zone with a defender staring him in the face, and one backchecking. Ovechkin, who now had a defender infront of him and one right behind him, pulled the puck through his legs and avoided the hip check. But he wasn’t even close to being done. Barreling down like a runaway train, Ovechkin went forehand, backhand, and then while falling, still managed to shelf the puck and cap off one of his best goals to date. The whole rush showcased Ovechkin’s speed, finesse, and hands. It was not one we will soon forget, and that is why it’s number 2 on the list.
1. Alec Martinez vs. New York Rangers, June 13th, 2014
It just had to be. The top goal on our list is the one that clinched the Kings their 2nd Stanley Cup in 3 seasons. It wasn’t the flashiest, or the prettiest, but it was without any doubt the biggest goal scored in the NHL in 2014. With the game tied 2-2 in the second overtime, the Kings were out for blood. Henrik Lundqvist was standing on his head by this point, and you almost had a feeling the Kings were close to winning it. Kyle Clifford, Tyler Toffoli, and Alec Martinez broke out of their zone in a 3 on 2 against the Rangers. Toffoli shot the puck on Lundqvist who gave up a rebound that was right on the tape of Alec Martinez, and the rest was history. The Kings’ 51st shot of the game was the one that clinched them the Stanley Cup. Any game winning goal in the Stanley Cup Finals, but to score one that clinches the Cup in overtime is something only a select few players can lay claim to. That is why Alec Martinez gets the award for top goal of 2014.
Matt is a contributor for the Philadelphia Flyers at The Hockey Writers. He has previously covered the Flyers for GrandstandU. He enjoys playing hockey and making music in his spare time.