For diehard ice hockey fans, the Stanley Cup Finals are the pinnacle of all Canadian and American sporting events. Ask any serious hockey fan what it means to them and he or she will probably tell you that they’d give anything to watch the finals. First commissioned in 1892, the Stanley Cup went through several transformations before being officially adopted by the NHL. In its glorious century old history, the finals have produced a number of great players and memorable moments that will stay at the forefront of generations to come.
Really great moments in sporting events do not come every day. They are not made, but happen spontaneously and leave a lasting impression on a spectator’s mind. And they can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Without further delay, here are Roadtrips’ 5 absolutely NHL greatest moments in Stanley Cup history:
- Bobby Orr scores an iconic goal and flies into the air: One of the most iconic moments in the history of NHL is the winning goal by Boston Bruins defenseman Bobby Orr, one of the greatest NHL players of all time, against the St. Louis Blues in 1970. Immediately after scoring the goal, he was tripped. The moment he flew into the air to celebrate his goal was captured for posterity by TV cameras and will be an inspiration for both players and fans for years to come.
- Patrick Kane scores a goal and nobody knows it: Considered rather anti-climactic at the time because nobody even saw it, Patrick Kane’s winning goal for the Chicago Blackhawks against the Philadelphia Flyers in the final of 2010 has got to be one of the greatest Stanley Cup moments. After getting possession of the puck during overtime, he took a shot from an impossible angle and made a perfect score. But as he threw off his gloves in a fit of joy, he was greeted with stunned silence because nobody had seen him score. This is one goal that will never be forgotten!
- Brett Hull’s controversial goal against the Buffalo Sabres: Probably the most controversial call in NHL’s history happened in 1999 when Brett Hull of the Dallas Stars scored a winning goal against the Buffalo Sabres. Players weren’t allowed to be in the goal crease before the puck at the time, the only exception given to the player who was in possession of the puck. The Sabres refused to accept the goal as similar goals had been disallowed throughout the season. But the referee allowed it and the goal stood. Despite the controversy, it was a great moment for Hull and his team.
- Mario Lemieux scores the perfect goal: One of the most dazzling goals in the history of NHL was made by Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Minnesota North Stars in 1991. In the second period of game two, he went coast to coast, smoothly sailing past the Minnesota defense and goaltender and then made a great goal. It is considered by hockey buffs to be one of the greatest goals in NHL history.
- Mark Messier keeps his word: A day before game 6 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals, Mark Messier, the captain of the New York Rangers, announced to the New York press that his team would win the next game against the New Jersey Devils. At the time, the Rangers were the underdogs and nobody believed him. The following evening, he scored a hat trick, leading his team to victory in the game, and throughout the playoffs where they eventually won the coveted Stanley Cup. What he did that day remains as one of the most remarkable moments in the history of NHL.
What‘s your favorite Stanley Cup Final moment? We’d love to hear from you!