Merry Christmas, everyone. Since we can’t buy all our readers an iPad2, we’ve put together a list of the best 10 NHL moments of the past year that we’ll be rolling out on the site all day long.
Sidney Crosby’s big night
The most bittersweet moment on the list, hands down.
If you can, put aside the aftermath for a moment. Forget the uncertainty, the headaches, the renewed worry and concern about No. 87’s future…and take a moment to remember that for one night, hockey fans witnessed something special. In a 5-0 wipeout of the Islanders, Crosby scored the first goal, assisted on the second, assisted on the third and scored the fifth. A dazzling performance, eerily similar to when Pens legend Mario Lemieux returned from Hodgkin’s disease in 2000.
Video: Kings, Kopitar exploit Edler’s gaffe for OT win vs. Canucks
As of this writing, this win places Minnesota in the last wild card spot, and they’re close to elbowing in on the Chicago Blackhawks (who own a standings point advantage, but have played two more games so far in 2015-16).
Jeremy Roenick labels this 2-1 win as a “team win” for Minnesota, and it showed on that 2-1 goal, as the Wild showed off some picture-perfect passing and a willingness to crash the net for rebounds.
Let’s face it, though; Devan Dubnyk deserves plenty of credit, too.
It won’t be easy in the Central Division, and things may get heated again. Still, this is the sort of win that may just help Minnesota build up some confidence.
Hey look: Flyers reel off three straight wins for first time in 2015-16
Sure, it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns – Radko Gudas might have gotten himself into some trouble, for instance – yet this is still a nice sign of life for a team expected to finish in the draft lottery.
If that fails … hey, the future may require shades.