If Tomas Hertl’s fourth goal on Tuesday is a very early contender for the best of the season, then Buffalo Sabres forward Thomas Vanek’s goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight deserves to be up there too.
With his team down 1-0 midway through the first period, Steve Ott fed the puck to Vanek, who shot the puck between his legs to beat goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. You can see the goal for yourself below:
While the goal isn’t identical to Hertl, it’s worth noting that the 19-year-old rookie drew some criticism for his actions.
Washington Capitals head coach Adam Oates in particular was a vocal opponent, suggesting that the move was disrespectful and a “rookie mistake.” Thomas Vanek is 29 years old and, as NHL.com and PHT’s Joe Yerdon pointed out, he attempted the manuever a second time.