Joe Thornton scored an incredibly odd goal on Roberto Luongo last night as the San Jose Sharks were defeated by the Vancouver Canucks. It’s a play that you’ll see happen dozens of times throughout the course of a hockey game. The forward takes the blue line and chips the puck in on a dump and chase play.
Only this time the puck gets up on its end, somehow pinwheels off of the inboards, rolls up and over the back of the net, off of Luongo’s back and in.
In a year that has been filled with weird and fluky goals, Thornton’s might be the strangest. Goalies get beat from 120 feet out on a yearly basis. No one seems to have ever (ever) seen a goal like that though. The Canucks came right back down the ice to tie the game at one and would eventually take the contest by a 4-2 final, but it’s the fact that Thornton could very well be a wizard that will have people buzzing for the next few days.
Or maybe Thornton isn’t a wizard. Maybe he just loves playing against goaltender Luongo.
Joe Thornton’s fluky goal off the boards was his 13th in 37 career games against Luongo.
— Darin Stephens (@SharksStats) November 8, 2013
Regardless of the cause, players around the NHL are going to be trying to replicate the play in practice this morning. Thornton’s teammates in San Jose are going to watch the replay and try to get the same thing to happen in their home arena. Could we see another marker like that?
Highly unlikely, but that won’t prevent the players from trying.
It’s possible that the shallower nets had a little something to do with the puck’s ability to scale the back of the goal en route to this insane occurrence. Or perhaps science doesn’t offer a conclusion.