In Thursday’s 5-3 Nashville win over San Jose, Predators winger Filip Forsberg attempted—and almost nailed—a thing of beauty. While skating around the back of the net, Forsberg scooped the puck onto the blade of his stick and threw it on net while he skated past. He hit the post.
Call it a lacrosse-style shot, as most do, or just call it a Michigan Goal or a “Mike Legg” after the Wolverines forward who successfully scored with it in the 1996 NCAA Tournament (and in the process provided the highlight that I probably saw on ESPN as a kid more often than any other). Just don’t call it easy. To my knowledge, the move has never been successfully pulled off in an NHL game.
I’ve got a good feeling, though.
Forsberg’s attempt was the closest in recent memory, but Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov actually attempted one just three days before.
Fellow hockey fans, we appear to be in the midst of a renaissance. The Michigan Goal is back. Just a day before Kuznetsov, Keeghan Howdeshell of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds scored with it in the OHL playoffs.
Last month, Otto Somppi of the Halifax Mooseheads scored with it in a QMJHL game:
That we’re seeing a flurry of these is probably no accident—hockey players watch highlights, too, and once the idea’s in your head, when you’re back there behind the cage it’s hard not to want to at least give it a try. So I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this again before the regular season ends in less than two weeks.
And that’s all I want: to see this pulled off successfully in an NHL game. If you’re a player on a team that’s either out of the playoff race or your seeding is reasonably secure (like Forsberg and Kuznetsov), do this. You have nothing to lose but a low-percentage shot attempt, and highlight immortality to gain.