The bad news for Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier is he allowed one of the worst goals you will ever see. The good news is he wasn’t the first and won’t be the last.
The bad news for Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier is he allowed one of the worst goals you will ever see on Sunday night. The good news is he wasn’t the first and won’t be the last.
Bernier’s gaffe against the Rangers is just the latest in a long line of embarrassing goals scored from long range. In his honor, here are the top five:
5) Tim Thomas: March 24, 2006 vs. Devils
Thomas was still three years away from his first Vezina-winning season when he let in this softy against the Devils. The Devils were already leading 3-1 when this Paul Martin shot completely fooled Thomas. Trying to play it the way he did was probably a bad decision and the execution was event worse. He played the puck about as well as an Atom-aged goalie strapping on the pads for the first time.
4) Vesa Toskala: March 18, 2008 vs. Islanders
This goal, unfortunately, is pretty much what Vesa Toskala’s career is remembered for. Toskala had been a serviceable backup goalie with the Sharks until he was sent to the Maple Leafs for a first-round pick. Tasked with being the starter Toskala struggled to an .894 save percentage over two-and-a-half seasons with the Maple Leafs. What makes this goal so bad is that Toskala is obviously struggling with it the entire way down the ice, and makes one last athletics kick-save attempt to stop it. To no avail.
3) Antero Niittymaki: Oct. 14, 2005 vs. Penguins
The great thing about this terrible goal is just how unprepared Niittymaki is. He appears to be watching the jumbotron as the puck is still coming toward him. If the stakes had been higher, this goal could have been a contender for No. 1 on the list but it is truly awful. Nice way for Maxime Talbot to get his first career NHL goal though.
2) Dan Cloutier: 2002 first round, Game 3 vs. Red Wings
This goal is one that long-suffering Canucks fans no doubt remember, or have tried to forget. After stunning the Red Wings by wining the first two games of the series on the road, the Canucks seemed a strong bet to finish off the upset. Tied 1-1 in the final minute of the second period of Game 3, Nicklas Lidstrom crossed centre ice and let a hard shot go that beat Cloutier on the glove side. It was the winning goal in Game 3 and Detroit won the next three as well to win the series, and went on to win the Stanley Cup.
Internet ‘memes’ weren’t really a thing yet in 2002, but you’ve probably seen a photo of Cloutier in the same pose as this goal with a beach ball behind him.
1) Martin Brodeur: 2003 Stanley Cup Final, Game 3 vs. Mighty Ducks
It’s probably not the most egregious goal on the list, but given the situation and the pedigree of the man who allowed it, it’s the most embarrassing.
In the third game of the classic 2003 final between the the Mighty Ducks and Devils, NHL all-time wins leader Martin Brodeur allowed one of the most forgettable goals of his career. After the Devils had just tied the game 1-1, Brodeur mishandled a shot form Sandis Ozolinsh and allowed the puck to trickle through his legs. The Mighty Ducks went on to win 3-2 in overtime. Brodeur did get the last laugh, however, as the Devils went on to win the series in seven games, winning his third Stanley Cup and making this goal a distant memory.