In the NHL, there are very few plays more tense and compelling than the shootout. It is truly just a shooter against a goalie, one on one. And it is notoriously hard to score on these, but sometimes magic does happen and players not only score, but they do so in amazingly creative and difficult ways. Check out these 5 amazing shootout goals that these players made look easy.
1. Claude Giroux
Giroux’s shootout goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs truly took a ton of guts and skill to complete. He was skating at a full clip right to the goalie, deking along the way. What was crazy is that he was able to get within inches of the goalie, stop on a dime and score a goal without really even breaking stride of making it look difficult at all. His footwork and angle needed to be perfect here, and it was.
2. Jussi Jokinen
While he never turned into a huge star in the NHL, Jussi Jokinen definitely had his time in the spotlight. He became famous around NHL circles for his brilliant shootouts. And his crown jewel move for these shootouts was the one handed tuck in. He pulled this off numerous times and each was just as impressive as the last. Since him, a ton of other players have adapted his strategy as well in the shootout.
3. Marek Malik
While this goal itself is brilliant, the fact that Malik is a giant player that plays defense makes this just incredible. Malik was skating up late in the shootout and many thought they were in for a fairly routine shot, but they were dead wrong. Malik pulled off a brilliant move in which he actually scored form between his legs in a great show of skill, especially for a man of his size.
4. Mike Ribeiro
You wouldn’t think of a player like Ribeiro to have one of the best shootout goals ever, but he does. In 2009, against the Av’s, Ribeiro won the shootout in stunning fashion. While skating down, Ribeiro turned his back to the net, flicked the puck between his legs and just tucked the puck in under the crossbar for the stunning game winner. The creativity of this had to have been a set play and Ribeiro was gutsy enough to call on it with the game on the line.
5. Pavel Datsyuk
And now we have gotten to the king of the shootout, the man with the moves like no one else. With the puck on this guys’ stick and a ton of open real estate to work with, this is a recipe for disaster for goalies everywhere. However, his best shootout goal is something that even he shouldn’t be able to pull off. In a game against the Blackhawks, Datsyuk made Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemmi look silly. While it may not look like the best of all time, the difficultly is near impossible. To stop on a dime out of nowhere, pull the puck back to make the goalie react and then gingerly toss the puck over his body in an arc is truly brilliant.