If you’re American, at least the Miracle on Ice winning goal is considered the second greatest goal in the small book written by bestselling authors and trivia experts Don Weekes and Kerry Banks, entitled Hockey’s Top 100 The Game’s Greatest Goals. Weekes and Banks looked over thousands of goals over the years to make this list.
Right from the introduction the authors realize that this book will cause a bit of trouble. They assure the reader that the goals they chose are what they believe are great goals. Their definition of a great goal is the story behind the goal; if it was a milestone, done while battling adversity, while winning a championship, and how it impacted the sport. Not to say they did not care for highlight reel goals, but their research went much deeper. They researched goals scored before there even was YouTube or television.
The authors admit a real difficulty in showing the goals in a book format as there are either no great shots of certain goals or there never was a photo taken of the goal. For Modere ‘Mud’ Bruneteau from the Detroit Red Wings in 1936, there is just a short description of him ending the NHL’s longest game, but the authors do an excellent job of describing why the goal was so important. Photos of players staring are common, but so are photos of Wayne Gretzky nailing a howitzer against Calgary in 1988, Montreal Canadiens great Henri Richard about to unleash a wrist shot over Chicago Blackhawks goalie Tony Esposito in 1971, and Ron Hextall about to score from one end of the rink to the other are classic moments in hockey history.
Neat to see that the authors included the infamous no goal from the Dallas Stars and Buffalo Sabres Stanley Cup series of 1999. Although the goal did not count it did change the rules in the NHL immediately following the series. Jean Beliveau’s hat trick in 1955 is also another game changing moment as powerplays ended if a goal was scored after that.
The goals mentioned in this review are only a small sample of the classic goals featured in this handheld paperback edition. This book is great for those interested on learning about the history of some memorable moments in hockey. Some of the greatest teams, greatest players and greatest events are all in this 168 page read. Highly recommended for younger fans that are new to the sport.
Hockey’s Top 100 The Game’s Greatest Goals
By Don Weekes and Kerry Banks
Released in Sept. 2010