The National Hockey League celebrated its 100th birthday this past weekend and we couldn’t be more excited! All of us have special moments when it comes to the league. Whether your favorite moment includes getting your favorite player’s jersey, meeting some players after a game, or even just watching a game with your friends, hockey is important to us in a lot of ways. Here at Puck It Up, we’re sharing our favorite NHL moments to celebrate its 100-year achievement!
“I never grew up going to hockey games or watching them on the television. Growing up in the late 90’s-00’s in Chicago, Blackhawks games were not televised until 2008. It really wasn’t until 2009, after Kane and Toews had been drafted, that I started to hear the buzz about the Blackhawks. Fast forward to June 9th, 2010. The Flyers and Blackhawks were tied at the end of regulation and about to go into overtime in the 2010 Stanley Cup finals. The city was buzzing and everyone was constantly talking about the team. I remember asking my parents to let me stay up later than usual because I wanted the opportunity to witness history – history that could be made as the Blackhawks were on the verge of winning their first cup in 49 years. And then it happened – 4:05 into overtime, Patrick Kane shot the puck into the net past Michael Leighton. I so vividly remember not being able to see the puck but yet Kane had begun celebrating and throwing off his helmet. I was so confused and excited. My dad was jumping off the couch but my stepmom was cautious to. Half of the Chicago bench was celebrating while others were holding back just in case the goal was waved off. Then the replay of the goal kept being shown and, yes, there it was. The puck had gotten stuck underneath the padding in the back of the net. I went to bed that night to the sound of car horns and fireworks as the city celebrated outside my window. It was the first Chicago championship I had witnessed in my lifetime. I can easily say that goal is what started it all for me, and it will stick with me forever. That goal is what began one of the best eras in Chicago Blackhawks history – the beginning of the Dynasty.”
“In my effort to be unbiased and try not to respond with an iconic Blackhawks Stanley Cup moment, there is one particular instance that comes to mind. When the NHL fabricated their own Olympic-style competition last season, it was mocked by many, but they did get one thing right: the making of Team North America. One of my favorite moments I’ve seen on the ice is Nate MacKinnon’s overtime goal to bring this team an unforgettable victory over Sweden in one of the early qualifying rounds of the World Cup of Hockey. The goal wasn’t exactly one that brought home the gold or anything, but they sure celebrated like it was. And despite the fact that the infamous “young guns” did not make it as far as they should’ve, if you ask almost anyone, they were the heartbeat of the tournament. In what other circumstance will we ever see the likes of Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, and other bright-eyed heirs to hockey join forces? Though short-lived, the team’s youthful energy and excitement for the game was unmatched. Team North America embodied all the great things about hockey and its players in the most unbridled form: the guts, the glory, and the endless possibilities of their fruitful futures.”
“My favorite moment has to be the first time I went to a Stanley Cup Final game. It was the Rangers against the Kings and they had lost the night before. I went into the city to hang out in front of MSG and go to the hockey house they set up next to the Garden and have some fun with a friend of mine. When the start of the game got closer, we decided to take a chance and see how much tickets cost. We ended up buying tickets on the Chase Bridge five minutes before the game started and ran up there to catch them skating onto the ice. It was the first time I got to witness something historical and I’ll never forget it.”
“My favorite NHL moment occurred on May 13th, 2015. After their last season ended in a Stanley Cup Final loss and heartbreak, the New York Rangers were back in the playoffs and ready to embark on another deep run at the trophy. It only took them five games to down the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round, and they were fighting a hard battle in the second round against the Washington Capitals. In the end, the series was pushed to a game seven. 60 minutes wasn’t enough time to find a winner, so the game went to overtime. Before we knew it, “drive by Girardi, and a save, rebound, score! Stepan in overtime! And the Rangers move on to Tampa!” Though New York didn’t win Lord Stanley’s cup that year, they put up one hell of a fight, and I will never forget jumping up and down in front of the TV when Derek Stepan buried the puck in the net and sent his Rangers to their second consecutive Eastern Conference Final.”
“My favorite moment is the two-goals-in-17-seconds during the 2013 SCF. As someone who was born and raised in Chicago, any Blackhawks win is the best moment of NHL history. However, that was the last summer that I was going to be living in Chicago, as my family and I were moving to Minnesota. The parade, the excitement, and everything after that game will always be a great memory for me of everything Chicago sports emphasize, and I still remember exactly where I was when those two goals happened.”
“As a Blackhawks fan, my favorite NHL moment is the Blackhawks Game 6 OT win in the 2010 Stanley Cup Final and my next two favorites are their other two modern-era Cup wins. But since those have already been chosen, I’ll say my favorite non-Blackhawks moment in the NHL is the 2016 All Star Game. More specifically, John Scott’s story leading up and during it. John Scott was always known as your typical good, not a lot of hockey skills, but great at fighting and being a nuisance on ice. Fans around the league thought it would be funny to vote him into the All Star Game and they succeeded. In the days leading up to the game, the Arizona Coyotes traded Scott to the Montreal Canadiens in what was an obvious move to keep him from going to the All Star Game. The NHL allowed Scott to attend (after waiting a whole weekend to address the issue). At the game, Scott scored an iconic goal and got into a fake fight with his old teammate, Patrick Kane. He was voted as MVP of the entire game, thanks to fans in the arena chanting his name. It was inspiring and fun to see his journey to the game and see how no matter who was against it (the NHL), he didn’t care and proved them all wrong.”
“My favorite NHL moment was probably the Chicago Blackhawks 2015 cup run. My freshman year was pretty rough, so watching the Hawks that season was a great distraction for me, and seeing it end with winning the cup was perfect.”
Do you have a favorite moment that didn’t make our list? Maybe you agree with one of us and want to share your own opinion? Let us know by tweeting to us @Puckitupblog; we’d love to hear from you!