So far in the NHL, there have only been three players who have managed to put a Michigan, or lacrosse-style goal in league history. While there have been many attempts, including attempts from the likes of Auston Matthews, Claude Giroux, and Sidney Crosby however, none of these superstar names have managed to pot it in the back of the net. So who has managed this fantastic feat?
Forsberg managed to pull off the lacrosse-style goal in January of 2020 in a game against the Edmonton Oilers. It took multiple attempts for Forsberg to nail this trick, with him making attempts to pot it in the back of the net against the Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks all before finally landing this goal against Mike Smith. The goal didn’t go in without contention though, as it popped into the net off the goalie’s stomach. The goal was still quite impressive as it matched just slightly under the proper amount of speed and placement to nail it home, it was only slightly slow, as was shown by how quickly it dropped to the goalie’s stomach.
Zegras is the most recent person on this list to have potted in a lacrosse goal, putting it in the net against the Montreal Canadiens. Zegras had attempted this move in the NHL before, having it be an attempt at his first goal. This first attempt was against the St. Louis Blues, with Ville Husso in net, however, the attempt was blocked. Zegras was also the first person to use a Michigan deke to create an assist for Sonny Milano against the Buffalo Sabres. This move was infamous after John Tortorella made comment saying that it was disrespectful to the goalie, which the public has largely disagreed with. See this amazing assist below, and decide for yourself whether you agree with Tortorella, or find it to be an amazing feat of skill from the young forward.
This time, Zegras decided to take matters into his own hands and bring home the Michigan goal against Sam Montembeault who recently arrived in Montreal from the Florida Panthers, where he spent a majority of his time playing in the AHL with the Springfield Thunderbirds. Here’s the goal in question, where, all-star rookie Zegras finally got his first Michigan over the goal line.
Svechnikov was the first player to pull off a Michigan goal in the NHL and is currently the only player to pull it off twice in his career. His first goal of this style happened in October of 2019 against the Calgary Flames. The goalie in the net was clearly surprised by the attempt, as it was the first one to go in during an NHL game. The goalie in question was current Nashville Predators backup, David Rittich, who is still quite the impressive goalie, and was certainly shocked to see a shot coming at the height from behind the net. Here’s the goal that has already gone down in the history books, and that will continue to be there as the first-ever Michigan goal in NHL history.
The second goal that Svechnikov scored in this fashion was against the Winnipeg Jets, with Connor Hellebuyck in the net. This goal was scored only two months after his first, in December of 2019. The goal in question was scored in much the same fashion as his goal against Rittich, but shocked fans with how effective it could be given that Hellebuyck is considered one of the best goalies in the league currently. See below the second-ever Michigan goal scored in the NHL, and a large part of the reason why it was considered that it should be renamed to, “the Svechnikov.”
The most surprising thing that all of these Michigan goals have in common, is that they were all scored against Canadian teams, with no American teams currently having one scored against. How long will it be before we get to see another of these amazing goals, and who will be the one to tuck it under the bar? Only time will tell, but we can all hope that it won’t be as long as the gap between scoring has currently been and that we can see another within the same calendar year.
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