Welcome to Backhand Shelf’s first edition of “The Fransie Awards,” where we recognize the best backhand shelf goals….since the last Fransies. For our purposes today, we’ll say that these are the best from the season to date.
So without any further ado, I present to you the top 5 “nominees,” with the winner being unveiled at the end.
#5 Pascal Dupuis vs. Niklas Backstrom
Dupuis gets sprung on a shorthanded breakaway against the Wild, goes to his backhand and outwaits Backstrom. Shelf.
#4 Sean Bergenheim vs. Dwayne Roloson
Bergenheim creates a turnover then gets a breakaway against his old team – oddly, also shorthanded – and sells the forehand shot hard before….well, you know.
Harry Ziehanbekajnadyk *cuts and pastes* Harry Zolnierczyk vs. Craig Anderson
Harry Z makes a real slick decision here, going with the backhand chip that he tucks, appropriately, in the top shelf. In a brutally unfair twist for the rookie, NHL.com lists his goal but shows Courturier’s instead, so you’ll have to go to the 1:03 mark of this video. Nasty goal.
#2 Chris Stewart vs. Henrik Karlsson
I had a tough time not picking this as #1. In the end, it lost out only because it wasn’t your prototypical forehand-backhand shelf breakaway move that earned Frans Nielsen the right to have an award named after him.
As an bonus/just for fun thing…. I have to add that there’s a very good chance Stewart is going to win one of these awards one day, as he’s got a simply nasty backhand. Check out this snipe from March before you move on to our champion:
The winner of our very first Fransie Award is…
#1 Zach Parise! (vs. Jonathan Quick, shootout)
You’re absolutely eligible to win a Fransie on a shootout goal. It’s a part of hockey as we know it today, and it’s where Frans Nielsen built his reputation as someone who feasts on the exact play we’re talking about.
This tuck is crisp:
For his prize, he gets to look at the following amazing picture that the geniuses at theScore cooked up. NOBODY ELSE. Don’t even scroll down. Only Zach gets to look at it – it’s a thing of beauty, and we’re not worthy.
Enjoy, Mr. Parise. You are the proud owner of one Fransie.