Quick question: Do you instinctively want to get up and cheer when you hear the audio in the video below? (I know I do.)
If you feel like I do about the audio above, you’re going to like this post. I guarantee it.
Let’s clarify just a bit before we get to the good stuff though. All goals in hockey are not created equally. Sure they all add one to the team’s goal total for the game and the season, but some goals are simply better than others. These special goals fall into two categories. One, they are timely. Feel free to substitue “clutch” for “timely.” That is acceptable. These goals are scored when the team needs a goal the most. The second category of goal has to do with skill. Awesome skill. These are the types of goals that make fans stand up and cheer. These are the goals that influence fans to put their hands on their head and say, “Holy cow…what a goal” to themselves. Keep these categories in mind as you watch the highlights below.
Ladies and gentleman, out of the 208 goals the team scored this past campaign, I bring you my top 12 Avalanche goals from the 2011-2012 season. (Brought to you in chronological order because that’s a fair way to present them.)
The Scene: Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Monday, October 17, 2011.
The Scorer: David Jones at 1:11 of the overtime period.
The Victim: Leafs goaltender James Reimer.
With this goal the Avs finished a five-game road trip with a perfect 5-0 record. This was the first time that had been done in franchise history. Finish Jonesy!
Radio Highlight (courtesy of Marc Moser and Peter McNab (screaming) from Altitude Sports and Entertainment): David Jones cleans up on the doorstep.
The Scene: United Center, Chicago, Illinois. Saturday, October 22, 2011.
The Scorer: Gabriel Landeskog at 18:12 of the third period. This was his second goal of the game.
The Victim: Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford.
Avs super-rookie Gabriel Landeskog ties the game at four with just under two minutes remaining in regulation. Avalanche faithful hoped this would be the start of something very good. They were correct. The Avalanche eventually won this game on the lone goal in the shootout scored by Joakim Lindstrom. Remember that guy?
Radio Highlight (Marc Moser, Altitude Sports and Entertainment): GABRIEL LANDESKOG TIES THE GAME AT FOUR!
And the game winner, just for kicks. Does this goal remind anyone else of Wojtek Wolski?
Radio Highlight: Joakim Lindstrom wins it in a shootout for the Avalanche.
The Scene: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas. Friday, November 4, 2011.
The Scorer: Matt Duchene, a power play goal, at 8:32 of the third period. This was his third goal of the game.
The Victim: Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen.
Matt Duchene completes his first career and the only Avs hat trick from the 2011-2012 season with this power play goal in the third period. It all begins with a sprint from the Avalanche blue line and ends with a great toe drag leading to the goal. This was a wild back-and-forth game. The Stars defeated the Avalanche 7-6 in overtime.
Radio Highlight (Marc Moser, Altitude Sports and Entertainment): Matty with the Hatty.
The Scene: CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Tuesday, November 15, 2011.
The Scorer: Matt Duchene at 17:24 of the first period.
The Victim: Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.
Most of Paul Stastny’s passes are pretty good. The primary assist on the goal was not a good pass. Matt Duchene has hands that can solve a little issue like a bad pass. This is up there with the NHL goal of the year, let alone Avalanche goal of the year. Ladies and gentleman, I bring you Matt Duchene and some serious stick work.
Radio Highlight (Marc Moser and Peter McNab, Altitude Sports and Entertainment): An absolutely sick move by Matt Duchene. Holy cow!
The Scene: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado. Wednesday, November 30, 2011.
The Scorer: Milan Hejduk at 7:37 of the first period.
The Victim: Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur.
This goal began the scoring spree. It was the first of three first period goals that paced the Avs to a 6-1 victory against the Devils. There is nothing too special or significant about the goal, it’s just vintage Hejduk. Vintage Hejduk never gets old. Great work by Ryan O’Reilly and Gabriel Landeskog to create the scoring chance as well.
Radio Highlight (Marc Moser, Altitude Sports and Entertainment): Milan Hejduk rifles one home.
The Scene: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado. Wednesday, January 18, 2012.
The Scorer: Peter Mueller at 6:50 of the second period. This was his first of two goals on the night.
The Victim: Panthers goaltender Jose Theodore.
This may have been the feel-good goal of the year. After missing significant time with concussion issues, Peter Mueller was able to return and be a contributor. This was his first goal of the season. (On a snarky side note, Jose Theodore gets beaten five-hole? I’ve never seen that before.)
Radio Highlight (Marc Moser, Altitude Sports and Entertainment): Welcome back 88
The Scene: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado. Friday, February 10, 2012.
The Scorer: Ryan O’Reilly at 4:58 of overtime.
The Victim: Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward.
For lack of a better word, this may have been the “clutchiest” goal of the season. The Hurricanes, especially defenseman Justin Faulk, looked like they were going to be satisfied with a shootout. Ryan O’Reilly had different thoughts about that. Radar, take it away (literally.)
Radio Highlight (Marc Moser, Altitude Sports and Entertainment) : Ryan O’Reilly, The Hero!
The Scene: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio. Friday, February 24, 2012.
The Scorer: Matt Hunwick at 13:19 of the third period. This was his first goal of the season.
The Victim: Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason.
Matt Hunwick was known as a healthy scratch for most of the early part of the 2011-2012 season. When he got his chance later in the season I have to say he played well. This goal was his first of the year and was the final goal in the Avalanche’s 5-0 win in Columbus against the Blue Jackets. Hunwick ended up scoring two more goals in the next 14 games. Not bad for a guy that couldn’t buy a place in the lineup earlier in the the season. Well done 22.
Radio Highlight (Marc Moser, Altitude Sports and Entertainment): Hunwick makes the boos rain down in Columbus
The Scene: Pepsi Center, Monday, February 27, 2012.
The Scorer: Matt Duchene at 2:55 of the third period.
The Victim: Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller.
Matt Duchene scores his first goal after missing time with a sprained left knee and Paul Stastny with what I consider the setup of the year on this goal. SAUCER!
Radio Highlight (Marc Moser, Altitude Sports and Entertainment): Matt Duchene is back!
The Scene: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado. Monday, March 12, 2012.
The Scorer: Gabriel Landeskog at 1:52 of overtime.
The Victim (again): Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller.
Gabriel Landeskog missed morning skate with the flu. He looked off all night long. The flu is no match for the heart of this kid though. The national television audience got a great look at the favorite for the Calder Trophy that Monday night. 92 for the win!
Radio Highlight (Marc Moser and Peter McNab (grunting), Altitude Sports and Entertainment): Landy wins it in overtime!
The Scene: First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York. Wednesday, March 14, 2012.
The Scorer: Jamie McGinn at 19:58 of the third period. This was his second goal of the game.
The Victim: Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller.
Running out of time on the game and the season, the Avalanche picked up two big points on the road against the Sabres on March 14, 2012. With less than two seconds left in regulation Avs forward Jamie McGinn scored his second goal of the game to secure a point and force overtime. The Avs won this game 5-4 in a shootout to give Avalanche fans a heart attack for the second straight game. See the Landeskog goal just above here for details on the first heart attack. McGinn…again.
Radio highlight (Marc Moser and Peter McNab (screaming, clapping, and giggling), Altitude Sports and Entertainment): THE AVS HAVE TIED THE GAME! OH MY GOODNESS!
The Scene: Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Friday, March 30, 2012.
The Scorer: Milan Hejduk at 8:29 of the second period.
The Victim: Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff
Milan Hejduk gave the Avalanche a 3-0 lead a with a little more than half the game remaining with this goal. It was Hejduk’s first goal in 23 games. It was also his 371st goal for the Avalanche and could, quite possibly, be his last with the organization, on a rare Hejduk slapshot as well. We don’t see that very often from the Avalanche captain. If it his his last, thanks for the memories Hedgie. Looking forward to seeing that 23 banner hanging from the rafters of Pepsi Center someday. I, along with many Avalanche faithful, think you deserve that honor.
Radio Highlight (Marc Moser, Altitude Sports and Entertainment): Hejduk…slapshot…Scooooooore!
So there you have them Avalanche fans. The top 12 goals of the Avalanche season according to me. Agree with my picks? Did I forget a few? Let me know. I would love to hear from you.