Zach Weissbach The Hockey Writers
NHL’s Top 5 Goals of the Decade
In a 10-year span that has seen so much talent, and so many incredible moments, how could you possibly narrow it down to five superb goals? It’s a difficult ask to say the least, but we attempt to find the five most spectacular goals from the NHL decade. From the elite superstars of the game to the depth players who only see a rare moment in the spotlight, we dug deep into the archives to find all the best highlights from 2010 to now.
5. Jordan Eberle’s Introduction
Jordan Eberle was already loved by Edmonton Oilers fans when he stepped on the ice for his first NHL game against the Calgary Flames. After all, he had just scored the game-tying goal against Russia in the World Juniors with five seconds to go.
Then he goes and scores a beauty like this in the battle of Alberta. The toe-drag was sensational, but the finish was impeccable. For a teenager to burst onto the NHL scene and pull off a highlight reel move like that in game one… unbelievable.
4. Matt Duchene’s Hand-Eye
Turning back the clock to 2018, we get to witness the insanity Matt Duchene possesses within his game. There is fantastic hand-eye coordination, and then there’s Major League Baseball ability.
Duchene’s nomination comes from the sheer distance and velocity of the goal. To bat the puck in is one thing, but to get that much mustard on it from the face-off dot is truly special. Not to mention it was on his backhand! Great discipline from the current Nashville Predators center to stay with his shot, and an amazing goal against the Philadelphia Flyers.
3. Andrei Svechnikov Doubles Down
If Andrei Svechnikov had only scored the first lacrosse goal against the Calgary Flames it would have been a tough debate between him and Filip Forsberg. But, he didn’t do the move only once. He doubled down on the incredible maneuver against the Winnipeg Jets, and pulled off the deke at a much higher speed.
Listen to those Jets fans and how unhappy they were with the 19-year-old Russian superstar in the making. The kid is talented, and his hands are among the best in the game. This goal gets its credit because Svechnikov is changing the NHL game forever. Goalies are now on high alert, and other players are perfecting the move in practice. It’s highly likely this isn’t the last goal we see scored in a similar fashion!
2. Tyler Ennis Behind the Back
The second best goal of the decade deserves an elegant “wow!” For whatever reason, Carey Price seems to find his way into more highlights than any other goalie. Unfortunately, this one is on the bad side of the coin.
For Tyler Ennis to fly through the crease at top speed, take some contact along the way, and maintain his balance is already an accomplishment. That’s not even acknowledging the no-look backhand to beat the best goalie in the world. This marker was something special and should stand out as the top highlight in Ennis’ journeyman career.
1. Anthony Duclair’s Puck Protection
For a guy already on his fifth NHL team in six seasons, Anthony Duclair possesses an unbelievable quantity of talent. The recently named All-Star put his abilities on display in 2018 for the Columbus Blue Jackets, and wins the award for top goal of the decade with this beauty (from ‘Senators winger Anthony Duclair is headed to the NHL All Star weekend’, Ottawa Sun, 12/30/2019).
How Duclair is able to protect the puck from Ivan Provorov and a forward in this situation is baffling. To have the poise and composure to draw the puck into himself while on his knees, and then make a move to the forehand is jaw-dropping. The Flyers get burnt again defensively on an amazing highlight, but one could hardly blame them for this extraordinary effort. Look for the budding Duclair to rake in a significant amount this summer via contract extension.
Five unbelievable plays to wrap up an inspiring decade of NHL action. The 2019-20 season has already featured some mind-blowing moments and it’s a very safe assumption there will be many more before the Stanley Cup is handed out. That’s one of the great parts about the sport of hockey — there is never a dull moment during the NHL season.
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