Honorable mentions: Chris Kreider and Rick Nash
The first honorable mention came off the stick of Chris Kreider. I wrote about this goal back in December, but it’s worth mentioning again here.
Kreider has a rare talent, even in the NHL, with his release. He’s mastered shooting the puck mid-stride, thus taking goalies off-guard. This goal was one such play, but with an added twist: he faked a shot, first. Kreider shot this puck with both of his feet off the ice—an incredibly awkward proposition—and put an absolute laser top shelf.
Our other honorable mention goes to Rick Nash, giving him his second inclusion on this list.
Nash’s backhand goal against the Carolina Hurricanes was a thing of beauty, culminating in a short-side, bar-down goal. He stole the puck in the defensive zone before rushing down the ice and splitting two Hurricanes defensemen. The finish was pure skill.