The best goals that won the cup

When every kid dreams of scoring the goal that wins the Stanley Cup–especially if that goal comes in overtime–I bet that dream includes the crowd and the millions watching at home actually knowing a goal was scored.

This mattered little to Patrick Kane last year. Once you win the cup and are therefore free to drink uncontrollably and get stuck atop fire ladders, you don’t really care how it happened. But we’re sure that somewhere deep down inside, the six-year-old Kane wishes it happened a little differently, and that he wasn’t the only one in the building who knew his cup-clinching goal squeaked past Michael Leighton.

Because of its sheer strangeness, Kane’s winner last spring–which was the 15th time an OT goal won the Stanley Cup–leads off our selection of the five best goals that made the boyhood cliché a reality, a list that will get you so pumped for tonight that you’ll literally rip someone’s face off.

Some swift justice for Patrick Kane!

What started as Leighton continuing his Stanley Cup Final impersonation of a perfectly designed sieve is now cemented in hockey lore as the most bizarre cup winner.

I stole this from a hockey card

Forever immortalized by The Tragically Hip, Bill Barilko’s diving chip shot over Montreal goalie Gerry McNeil to win the cup in 1951 was the last goal of his career. Later that summer and only a short time after the Leafs celebrated their ninth championship and fifth over the last decade, Barilko disappeared during a fishing trip. He wasn’t discovered for another 11 years, when the remains of his single-engine plane were found in northern Ontario.

The Leafs didn’t win their next cup until the year Barilko was finally discovered, adding fuel to the belief that there was a curse following the team.

Sorry, Buffalo

It’s been 12 years, and this one no doubt still stings in Buffalo. The city starved for sports success experienced the agony of seeing its football team lose four straight Super Bowls earlier in the same decade. The explanation in this video should finally put all of those hard feelings to rest though, right? Good, moving on then…

Really? Uwe Krupp?

Krupp had a remarkable playoff run in 1996, a spring that ended with Colorado quickly dismissing the upstart Panthers and ending their Cinderella story in four straight games. The German defenceman finished with 16 points over 22 playoff games, which becomes especially impressive when we remember that he blew out his knee and only appeared in six regular season games that season.

While there are perhaps more spectacular goals to choose from, Krupp’s makes our cut because of his status as the unlikely hero. Plagued with injuries over his 20 seasons at different outposts and levels of professional hockey, Krupp scored only 69 career goals, with his highest single-season total being the 12 he scored in 1990-91.

Some Beantown inspiration

As if they need any.

I’m pretty sure it’s grounds for an immediate dismissal if a hockey blogger is nostalgically looking back on the best Stanley Cup winners, and doesn’t include this piece of history. If you don’t still get chills while hearing the original call by CBS announcer Dan Kelly, you’ve lost your hockey watching privileges for this evening.