Check out John Fischer’s August 15th piece entitled “NJ Devils Goal Breakdown: Ilya Kovalchuk’s Breakaway Beauty on 2/18/2011” on the In Lou We Trust blog.
I spent a good chunk of the offseason looking at the goals against the New Jersey Devils, separated by goaltenders Johan Hedberg and Martin Brodeur. While valuable, it’s not exactly uplifting to watch a heinous mistake by a skater followed by an opposing player just making a better play with an occasional “oops” by the goaltender himself. I’m done with the goals against, so let’s take a closer look at some goals by the Devils. I don’t want to go through every goal the Devils scored last season; just some of the more memorable ones.
The main idea is that in reviewing the video and highlighting certain events prior to the goal itself, we can get a better understanding of what results in goals. Perhaps it’s a bad break that leads to future fortune. Perhaps some hard work that doesn’t show up on the boxscore helps create the goal. Perhaps it’s just a wonderful shot out of nowhere. Whatever it is, it can provide some perspective on how goals are scored in the game of hockey. It can shape our expectations during games when we want to see the Devils light the lamp. Most of all, we can figure what makes a sweet goal sweet.
I’m going to start this series of posts with one of my favorites of last season: Ilya Kovalchuk’s breakaway goal on February 18, 2011. The Devils were hosting Our Hated Rivals, the New York Rangers. It was a tight affair on the scoreboard (but not on the ice) until just before midway through the second period. Marc Staal misplays a puck at the point, Kovalchuk pounces on it, and scores a beauty past Henrik Lundqvist for the game’s first goal. The highlight-reel play was the only goal scored in a dominating performance by the team we love over the team we hate. I named it my goal of the season back in April. Set your viewing to “Wide” and let’s take a closer look at the goal after the jump.
Video From NHL.com