April 03, 2009
Alexander Ovechkin's goal against the Montreal Canadiens has already been placed in the 2009 time capsule as the goal of the year, because some consider it to be the goal of his career. But submitted for your approval as a finalist: Johan Franzen's goal last night for the Detroit Red Wings, in which he beat St. Louis Blues goalie Chris Mason while levitating over the ice:
To really appreciate it, you need to witness the super slow-mo of this YouTube clip, because it really is one of the most remarkable tallies in recent memory.
Franzen begins the play with a smart rush through the neutral zone where Niklas Kronwall hits him with a pass. The Blues defenders collapse on him, but Franzen's speed (always remarkable for a guy listed at 6-3 and 220 pounds) has them off-guard.
Defenseman Mike Weaver does the only thing he can do to attempt to stop Franzen, getting low for a hit that never happens and then sticking out his leg to trip the Red Wing. Franzen, meanwhile, keeps his eye on the puck and prepares a shot ...
... as Weaver sends him airborne. The Mule gets a skate down, but is actually horizontal over the ice when he fires his shot -- one that beats Mason to the five-hole. Pretty darn good accuracy for a guy about to fall flat on the ice.
The Wings eventually lost the game, 5-4, as the Blues continued their inspired playoff push. Franzen picked quite a time to score a highlight-reel goal, as his contact extension talks are heating up with Detroit. Does the Collective Bargaining Agreement allow a "goals scored with no skates on the ice" incentive clause?