April 12, 2013

Top Ten: Hockey's Best Shots



10 Tie: Al Iafrate/Zdeno Chara/Brian Rolston - Not necessarily the most noted goal scorers in hockey history, these three all had slap shots that based strictly on velocity make the must-mentions on this list.

9. Raymond Bourque - Bourque had a high quality shot from the point, but what was most impressive about his shot was that he seemingly always got the puck through traffic on net. He is the NHL's all time career leader in shots with over 6200, 840 more than runner up Marcel Dionne.

8. Steven Stamkos - The youngster still has a long ways to go in his career, but he is already established as one of the deadliest triggermen in the league, especially on the one-timer. Stamkos has already won 2 Rocket Richard trophies for leading the league in goals, and is on his way to another in 2013.

7. Joe Sakic - Joe Sakic had the best wrist shot I've ever seen. The puck was flying off of his stick faster than any player in the game. "Burnaby Joe" scored 625 goals over his 20-year career.

6. Jari Kurri -  Jari Kurri was a dangerous one-timer specialist, converting all those Wayne Gretzky saucer passes. Kurri had 601 career NHL goals, plus another 106 in the playoffs. He shares the record with Reggie Leach for most goals in a post-season with 19.

5. Bernie Geoffrion - They called him Boom Boom because legend has it he invented the slap shot. That's not exactly true, but he did perfect it and certainly played a big role in popularizing it. The long time Montreal Canadiens great scored 393 goals in his career, and was just the second player in history to score 50 in a season.

4. Brett Hull -  The ‘Golden Brett's signature goal was scored when he dropped down to one knee and one-timed the puck on net. He used it often and successfully. He scored 86 goals in 1990-91 - only Wayne Gretzky has scored more in a season (twice). And his 741 career goals ranks third all time (behind Gretzky and Gordie Howe). In all likelihood, no player scored more goals with a slap shot than Brett Hull.

3. Mike Bossy. Bossy scored 573 goals and his .762 goals per game is still the highest mark in NHL history.  His shooting percentage is 21.2%, the fifth best mark of all time among players with more than 100 goals. Unfortunately Bossy's career was ended early (age 30) due to chronic back problems. Bossy one of only three players (Maurice Richard and Mario Lemieux) with more than 500 goals in fewer than 1,000 games played.

2. Al MacInnis - As a defenseman, Al MacInnis was MacInnis a complete package. But all anyone ever focussed on was his truly amazing shot. "Chopper" once cracked the mask of goaltender Mike Liut. Another time his slapper not only broke the protective cup of goaltender Rich Parent, but it also ruptured the goalie's testicle! More than once he broke the glass behind the goal. Another time he actually put the puck through the boards!

1. Bobby Hull. He (and teammate Stan Mikita) perfected the curved stick, altering the game forever. He also had the scariest slap shot ever. It was once recorded at over 118mph, dwarfing today's top shooters even though Hull used an old-fashioned wooden stick. Hull scored 610 career goals, plus another 303 in the WHA. His shot was so fearsome that legend has it he used to fire the puck at the maskless goalie's head early in the game, just to spook him.

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