Hockey might be a very physical and intimidating game to play, but the sport has been entertaining fans across the world for countless decades. While the sport might get a bit bloody and testy sometimes, there is always room for some laughter, even if it comes at the expense of those gliding on the ice. Bloopers have long been a part of every sport, but some hockey bloopers are just too good to pass up on.
Here’s a collection of some of the more “light-hearted” moments in hockey:
15.) Jeff Frazee vs. University of North Dakota
Some goals are scored through hard work and determination. Others are scored through pure luck. Jeff Frazee was definitely the victim of a horrific bounce against the University of North Dakota, but the goalie was also playing very deep in his own crease, as noted by the TV commentator. While Frazee might have gotten frazzled by the bouncing goal, Robbie Bine was not complaining as he probably scored the easiest goal of his hockey career thanks to some weird bounces and a goalie playing deep in his own net.
14.) Vesa Toskala vs. New York Islanders
Vesa Toskala would sure want that goal back if he could rewind time. I remember watching this game in my dorm room and feeling awful for Toskala while rejoicing because the Islanders had scored a goal. Bouncing pucks can be tricky to handle and Toskala was certainly given a quick 101 refresher course on the matter in the worst possible fashion.
13.) Sebastian Caron vs. Washington Capitals
You might be wondering why there are so many bad bounce goals rounding out this top 20, but the most ironic part of Sebastian Caron’s gaffe was the fact that it was Ivan Majesky’s last goal scored in the NHL. Majesky currently plays in the Swedish Elite League, but he won’t soon forget the last time he found an NHL scoresheet because of a goal that he scored. While Toskala and Frazee both let in long range shots, Caron was set to play the bouncing puck properly, but was victimized by a very untimely change of direction.
12.) Semyon Varlamov Hoisting Russia’s Trophy at IIHF World Championships
Victory, sweet victory! Varly definitely had reason to celebrate Russia’s victory at the IIHF World Championships, but his blooper had to round out the highlights for the night as well. One can hear Queen’s “We are the champions” being played in the background, and Varly might have felt as such when he was hoisting the IIHF trophy, but his slip-up definitely earned him top 20 honors.
11.) Jaroslav Halak vs. Detroit Red Wings
Some of the other goalie gaffes might have been brutal to watch because of bad bounces, but Jaroslav Halak’s batted puck might have topped the previous goalie mistakes that were placed in the top 15. To add insult to injury, circus-like music can be heard in the background as replays of the own goal are being shown. Halak’s move is pretty routine by goalies these days, but the crossbar did not aid the netminder in the way that he hoped it would.
10.) Vernon Fiddler Puts on his “Angry Bieksa” Face
Fiddler’s antics had Vancouver’s head coach, Alain Vigneault, clearly cracking up. Fiddler’s imitation was priceless and even had the Vancouver players laughing it up on the bench as well. The “Angry Bieksa” face might not have been the traditional ice hockey blooper, but it definitely entertained the fans, coaches, players, and anyone else that was watching these events unfold.
9.) Craig Smith vs. Toronto Maple Leafs’ Empty Net
It could always be worse, but this was still pretty bad for Craig Smith. While Smith was a few inches away from potting an empty, he wasn’t alone in the night’s follies as the Nashville goal horn still went off and the lights adjusted to Smith for a quick second. Smith’s mistake won’t be one of his most memorable NHL highlights, but at least the overshot didn’t wind up costing Nashville the game.
8.) Alen Bibic’s Goal Celebration Irks Henrik Eriksson
Irk might have been describing Bibic’s goal celebration a bit lightly as Eriksson’s stiff jab let the viewers know exactly how he felt about his opponent’s jubilation. The best part was that Bibic seemed to be entertained even after getting jabbed in the jibs. While Eriksson wasn’t none too pleased about Bibic’s style, Bibic deserves credit for the smooth fashion in which he pulled off the celebratory hug.
7.) Marc Bergevin – The Quarterback
If Marc Bergevin decided that he didn’t want to be the General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens, then he might have had some success as a quarterback coach in the NFL. The way that Bergevin threw the puck into the net behind Turek, one could surmise that he would be pretty adept at pulling off a shovel pass to the running back if need be. Who knows, maybe Marc Bergevin does have some dual-sport talents that we do not know about.
6.) Chris Bruton vs. Memorial Cup
Winning the Memorial Cup would definitely be a moment of great excitement for a hockey player, but did the trophy really deserve such a fate? As Bruton tried to pass the Memorial Cup over to Trevor Glass the trophy snapped into two pieces, but the expressions from Bruton and Glass were priceless as both of the players were seemingly at a loss of words and did not know what the next move should be. While it wasn’t the worst of party fouls, at least Bruton can rest easy knowing that he didn’t drop Lord Stanley’s Cup.
5.) Doug Gilmour Raging
Dougie Gilmour definitely got his point across, but the penalty box glass caught the brunt of the damage. While nobody was injured by the broken glass, one has to wonder exactly how mad Gilmour was at the time. Hockey fans see penalty doors being slammed here and there, but Gilmour’s force will forever be documented on the world wide web. If anything, new recruits for the Kingston Frontenacs will think twice before letting their play slip up and facing the wrath of GM Doug Gilmour.
4.) Niclas Wallin Cashes In for the Washington Capitals
This might have been the best delayed penalty that the Washington Capitals have ever been given. Wallin did everything but gift wrap the goal for the Capitals as he did not receive any interference from a Washington stick. Own goals do happen, but Wallin’s mistake was egregious considering the fact that he could have moved the puck anywhere but his own zone and been much safer in the long-run.
3.) Dennis Wideman Shows Himself a Seat
Dennis Wideman showed everyone why it might not be the best idea to send a defenseman in for a shootout attempt with a hockey game on the line. However, Wideman definitely did get some air on his fall and could attempt to try his luck with pole vaulting once he retires from playing professional hockey. Until then, it might be safe to assume that we won’t be seeing Wideman sent in for any more shootout attempts.
2.) Dion Phaneuf and the Fight that Wasn’t Meant to Be
Hockey fans usually hear about a shooter whiffing on a shot, but it seems as though hockey players can sometimes be a bit too anxious to throw the fists around. Maybe Jarkko Ruutu was lucky that he didn’t feel the wrath of Phaneuf, but the d-man proved to hockey fans that players can be their own worst enemies sometimes.
1.) Patrick Stefan Gives the Oilers Some Late Game Help
Patrick Stefan’s empty net miss might be considered a consensus number one blooper because of its consequences and the effect that it could have had on the Dallas Stars. Stefan’s late game blunder will forever be remembered by hockey fans as one of the worst errors that a player could have committed as the player was near the empty net with 11 seconds left in the game and had no obstructions blocking his way for an empty-net tally. While the Stars won the contest against the Oilers in the shootout, Stefan’s gaffe nearly blew the game for Dallas at the worst possible time. Still, we all should be given a chance to learn from our own mistakes, right?
* A special thanks goes to Margann Laurissa for her great suggestions on some excellent hockey bloopers.
In his third year with The Hockey Writers, Toli covers all things related to the New York Islanders. Focusing on the Islanders, the NHL Draft & draft-eligible prospect goalies, and hockey history, Toli can be contacted on Facebook by searching/messaging Toli Metter and on twitter by searching @ToliMetterTHW.