Scoring goals against professional goaltenders is hard, so guys salivate when they get the chance to get out against an empty net. And hey, if you’re defensively responsible enough to be out there in the dying minutes, you deserve some potential stat-padding as a reward.

So much of a players worth is determined by numbers, so getting a freebie is just a little slice of heaven. Just put it in the back of the net, ice the game for your team, and call it a day.

Nah, I’ma go top cheddar with this CHECK ME OUT.

Take it away, Craig Smith:

Smith might be a wonderful, nice guy, but shelf? Good gravy man, you deserve that miss.

All the important tips on avoiding those pesky empty net goals are in this post: go cheese, get complacent, get fancy, you name it.

Thanks to these important videos, we can be sure a future generation of players comes up doing the same.

First, Patrick Stefan with the most spectacular empty net failure in hockey history:

The fall after the miss is the brass bonanza moment. “Ah, a nice easy goal as long as I don’t…” CALAMITY! …and then he pushes the puck back behind him to help start the rush. Too good.


I dunno who this next guy is, but if I crucified Craig Smith for trying to go shelf on an empty netter, I don’t even know what to do with a dude who pulls a head fake on an empty net…

There’s a special place in hell for that guy. Though I guess the fact that he missed makes up for the juke a little.


Nate Thompson isn’t exactly a massive goal scoring threat, but I used to think goaltenders were part of the reason why…

At least he was under some press– …actually you know what, I can’t defend that. He’s in the NHL.

I’ve missed empty nets before. In playoffs against Wisconsin I missed an empty net so far wide it wrapped around the boards, broke them out and left us hemmed in our zone in the final minute. I’ve missed in that bag skate drill where guys shoot to avoid having to make the team go down and back. I’ve missed from the wrong side of the red-line like a selfish ass.

But that was some next level awful right there.

NHLers: they’re just like us!