The NHL history started in 1917. Now that the matches have been taking place for over a hundred years, it’s safe to say there have been a few truly legendary moments. Of course, we all have our own preferences, which allows for countless “best games” lists. However, there are some games that are and will be remembered for decades by every hockey fan no matter what team they support. Now that the 105th season is started, let’s get nostalgic and look back at some of these games.
Stanley Cup finals of 1950
These are known as some of the most thrilling finals of all time. The Detroit Red Wings had a 3-3 tie with the New York Rangers. The game was already extended to the second overtime before Detroit’s Pete Babando won the cup. It was undoubtedly the most important goal out of the total 86 goals Pete scored throughout his career.
Stanley Cup semifinals 1979
The time the Boston Bruins suffered the consequences of the too many men on ice. The penalty that followed tied the score of the game and was simply painful to watch for the Bruins’ fans. Later, the Canadians won in overtime. This resulted in the Boston Bruins’ elimination from the competition and a setback in their coach’s career.
The Shootout 2005
This was the first year the shootouts were implemented. No longer games could end in a tie. Each draw now has to be followed by a series of penalties that will determine the winner. Although over 30 games ended in a shootout that season, one of them was more memorable than the others. The Washington Capitals found themselves in a 2-2 tie with the New York Rangers. The score was only settled after fifteen rounds of shootouts. The Rangers’ Marek Malík scored the final goal and brought a legendary victory to his team.
The five goals of 1988
On the day of the New Year’s Eve of 1988, Mario Lemieux made history. It should be mentioned that he scored 690 goals in his career, and 85 of those goals took place throughout only 76 games of the seventy-second NHL season. What made the goals of this game legendary is the fact that this was the first (and still the only) time someone scored all five different types of goals there are all in one game. In 2017, the fans decided that this moment deserves to be named one of the greatest moments in NHL history. It’s needless to say the title is well-deserved.
Hat Tricks of 2009
In 2009, a match between the Penguins and the Capitals put two rivals on the same ice rink. Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin played a beautifully intense game. Crosby was the one who started the game score that night, but both players went back and forth throughout the match. Ovechkin managed to score a hat trick towards the end of the game. And thirty seconds before the end, Crosby completed his own hat trick with another goal. There are not many games that show such fascinating dynamics between professionals. This is why the game went down in history as one of the most exciting ones.
Hopefully, you got inspired to rewatch some of these legendary moments and reminisce about the rich history of the NHL. If not, then you’ve got plenty of time to watch the matches of the 2021-2022 season. Soon we will find out if the next “top” lists will include any moments from the new season. You can never know when history is about to happen, and that’s why the moments we witness it are so precious.