NoVa Caps final look back at the 2014-2015 season is capped with a look at ten of the best goals of the season. Ranking these types of things is so subjective, but we think we got the 10 best, regardless of the order. How would you rank them?
10. Ovechkin Passes Peter Bondra For the Franchise Goal-Scoring Record
Description: Alex Ovechkin not only moved past Peter Bondra in points, but The Great Eight also surpassed the Capitals’ great in goals. In an eventual 5-4 shootout win over the Montreal Canadiens, Ovi scored two goals (No. 51 and 52) to take possession of the franchise goal-scoring record. To add to the milestone, “Bonzai” himself was attending the game and congratulated Alex after the game.
9. John Carlson’s Goal vs Boston
Description: In what would become an eventual shutout over the Bruins, John Carlson took a Nicklas Backstrom pass and let a bullet go, past the blocker of Tuukka Rask. Gathering the loose puck, Backstrom moved towards the net before threading a pass to a streaking Carlson for the goal.
8. Ovechkin Rockets One While Falling
Description: In a similar fashion to his New Jersey goal, Ovechkin worked his way between New York Rangers blueliners Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh and while falling, fired a wrist shot past King Henrik’s glove. The MSG crowd was silent yet again as Ovi was mobbed by his teammates.
7. Ovechkin Fires a BB Past Lundqvist
Description: In the Capitals’ second-round series against the New York Rangers, Alex Ovechkin had two memorable goals. One was so fast, the officials had to review to confirm the puck went in. Speeding down the sideboards, Ovi cut in towards the slot and let a shot go that whistled over the shoulder of Henrik Lundqvist. The Madison Square Garden crowd was dead silent; everything had happened so fast. It was one of the best goals in the series.
6. Nicklas Backstrom’s Hat Trick
Description: Nicklas Backstrom is arguably, the Capitals’ best all-around player and there’s no denying he could easily reach the 20-goal mark if he shot the puck more. This season, Backstrom recorded his first career hat trick against the Tampa Bay Lightning and it was a memorable night in a 4-2 Washington victory.
5. Nate Schmidt’s Goal vs Boston
Description: Nate Schmidt began the year playing 39 games for the Caps before a string of healthy scratches led to his being returned to the Hershey Bears to get playing time. Unfortunately, Schmidt fractured his shoulder-blade and missed eight weeks as a result. After being recalled by the Caps for a game versus the Boston Bruins, Schmidt (playing in place of the injured Brooks Orpik) fired a shot past Tuukka Rask for his first of the season.
4. Andre Burakovsky’s First Goal
Description: In the Capitals’ season-opener at Verizon Center, young Swede Andre Burakovsky hammered a one-timer past Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price. As his first career goal, in his first career game, Burakovsky celebrated by jumping into the glass in an Ovechkin-esque fashion. Taking a pass from Troy Brouwer, Burakovsky released a howitzer past Price.
3. Evgeny Kuznetsov Takes a Patient Approach on Jaroslav Halak
Description: The Caps proved that they were still a Cup contender and their first-round playoff series against the New York Islanders was proof of that. With the game tied 1-1, Kuznetsov collected the puck off the boards and swung in front of Isles’ netminder Jaroslav Halak waiting until Halak went down before firing a wrist shot top-shelf. It ended with a celebration mimicking a basketball shot (members of the Wizards were in attendance). It showed the promise of Kuznetsov, who had been considered the best player not in the NHL until his debut. It secured the win and the series for the Caps.
2. Troy Brouwer Scores With 12.9 seconds left to Secure A Winter Classic Victory
Description: While Troy Brouwer may no longer be a member of the Washington Capitals, he certainly left an impact in his four seasons in the District. Perhaps his biggest goal in a Capitals sweater came on the grandest of stages: national television. The Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks were deadlocked at two goals apiece heading into the final minute of regulation. After ‘Hawks’ captain Jonathan Toews was called for hooking on Karl Alzner, the Caps had an opportunity to cap off a memorable week with a win. Taking a pass from Mike Green, Ovechkin attempted to shoot the puck but his stick was chopped in half by Brent Seabrook. Brouwer was in the slot, and blindly spun and shot the puck….right past Corey Crawford. He was mobbed by his teammates and the Capitals won their second Winter Classic and improved to 2-0 in those games.
1. Alex Ovechkin’s “Danglicious” Goal vs New Jersey
Description: In what would become a blowout win against the Devils at Prudential Center, Alex Ovechkin scored one of the best goals of the entire season league-wide. With the Caps leading the Devils 2-0, Ovechkin picked up a missed shot by New Jersey on the sideboards and dangled the puck through his legs and around NJ defenseman Jon Merrill. All alone on Cory Schneider, Ovi began to fall and backhanded the puck over the shoulder of Schneider. Caps play-by-play announcer Joe Beninati called the goal a “Danglicious” goal. It was a classic Ovechkin goal; magnificent and non-repeatable.