(Puck Daddy presents its annual look back at the year in hockey. Check back every day through the New Year for our many lists and hot takes.)
At some point in the near future, maybe by the time the next lockout ends, the shootout will be a distant memory. NHL executives have been slowly minimizing its impact on the standings and the talk has only increased about holding different forms of overtime to avoid the shootout altogether.
In the meantime, we’re left to marvel at some of the magnificent moves pulled off by players in the one-on-one battle.
Here are the top 10* shootout goals of 2014:
This may not be a shootout attempt that counted for anything meaningful, but Yegor Milovzorov putting on a bit of a show with the fish head and swan dive during the KHL’s All-Star Skills Competition was funny and memorable.
Not only did Bjugstad pull off a pretty sweet move to beat Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals, he also ended the NHL’s longest shootout ever in Round 20.
8. John Tavares out-waits Steve Mason
Tavares showed here that sometimes patience is a virtue as he waited just long enough to fool Philadelphia Flyers netminder Steve Mason..
7. Jason Spezza dekes out Cory Schneider
Spezza used a good mix during this attempt by speeding up, slowing down, then deking, keeping Schneider guessing before putting the backhander home.
6. Blake Wheeler makes Reto Berra whiff.
In similar fashion to what Spezza did on Schneider, Wheeler speeds in, slows down, dangles and forces Reto Berra to move first before whiffing on the stick check.
5. Josh Bailey and Ryan Strome bid farewell to the spin-o-rama
OK, make it 11. The spin-o-rama was banned from NHL shootouts over the summer, but not before Josh Bailey and Ryan Strome performed the final two acts against Martin Brodeur.
There’s a little hint of Pavel Bure in this Klasen attempt as he represented Sweden during the Karjala Cup. During a shootout against Russia, he teed himself up with a pass off his skate to help extend Sweden’s lead.
3. Joe Thornton toe-drags Corey Crawford
Pavel Datsyuk has pulled this move off many times, as you’d expect from the Magic Man. But Big Joe Thornton? Yeah, he’s got some hands, too, as Corey Crawford found out.
2. Jonathan Huberdeau pulls a smooth 'Nilsson' versus Jaroslav Halak
There were many players who pulled the Kent Nilsson move in 2014, but the smoothness in the way Huberdeau delivered his gave him the edge in the end.
You may have to watch this twice to catch Arvidsson pinning the puck to the ice during his spin-o-rama before flipping it in for a goal. Quite impressive, young grasshopper.
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