Top 10 Backhand Goals and the history of the Back Hand in Hockey!

by Nyden Kovatchev on Mar 01, 2024

Backhand Bandit
  • The backhand shot in hockey, known for its subtlety and surprise factor, has a rich history that reflects the evolution of the sport itself. The technique and utility of the backhand shot have evolved alongside advancements in hockey equipment, particularly the hockey stick.

    Historically, hockey sticks were one-piece constructions made from wood, specifically from the hornbeam tree. These sticks were entirely flat, which made the backhand shot a popular and necessary technique. The introduction of curved sticks, a concept popularized by Stan Mikita in the late 1950s to early 1960s, transformed the game. Mikita, alongside Bobby Hull, experimented by curving their sticks using hot water, which allowed for greater puck control and velocity on shots, but also introduced challenges in handling due to the increased power of shots. The NHL later regulated the curvature of sticks, setting a limit to ensure fairness and safety in the game​

    The backhand shot, once considered a "hidden gem," has become a critical component of a player's skill set, valued for its ability to catch goalkeepers off guard and for its use in tight spaces. The evolution of the backhand shot can be attributed not only to changes in stick design but also to the players' continuous efforts to improve their technique and effectiveness on the ice. Players like Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby have been noted for their exceptional backhand shots, demonstrating that the technique can be as powerful and accurate as a forehand shot when executed properly. The development of the backhand shot is a testament to the innovative and evolving nature of hockey, illustrating how changes in equipment and player skills can influence the dynamics of the game​

    The transition from flat to curved sticks marked a significant turning point in the use of backhand shots. Curved sticks, initially difficult to control due to their power, eventually led to more sophisticated shooting techniques and greater puck control, allowing players to execute more complex and effective shots. This evolution underscores the backhand shot's transition from a basic necessity to a refined skill that can significantly impact the outcome of a game.

    In summary, the history of the backhand shot in hockey is deeply intertwined with the development of the hockey stick and the creative strategies of players. From its origins with flat sticks to the modern game's high-tech equipment and skilled executions, the backhand shot remains a vital and celebrated aspect of hockey.

  • Bobby Orr's Flying Goal to win the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals for the Boston Bruins against the St. Louis Blues. Orr's goal, which saw him flying through the air, is one of the most iconic images in NHL history.

  • Wayne Gretzky's 802nd Goal, surpassing Gordie Howe's record in 1994, and marking a monumental moment in NHL history. Gretzky's career was filled with incredible achievements, including a total of 894 goals before retiring.

  • The Forsberg Move by Peter Forsberg during the 1994 Winter Olympics showcased against Canada's Corey Hirsch. It's a deceptive move that has been emulated by many players since.

  • Marek Malik's Between the Legs Goal during a shootout is memorable for its audacity, especially considering Malik was not known for his goal-scoring prowess.

  • Jaromir Jagr's Solo Shot, where he maneuvered past five players to score, exemplifying his skill and determination as one of the game's greats.

  • Jake Evans' Falling Goal for the Montreal Canadiens, where he managed to score while falling down, a testament to skill and perhaps a touch of luck.

  • Alex Ovechkin's Goal on His Back in 2006, known simply as "The Goal," showed Ovechkin's incredible control and skill, marking the arrival of one of the NHL's greatest talents.

  • Gretzky's 50th Goal in 39 Games during the 1981-82 season, a record that speaks to Gretzky's unparalleled scoring ability.

  • Mitch Marner's Slick Backhand Shot against the Vegas Golden Knights, showcasing his speed and skill.

  • Mario Lemieux's Sliding Deke in the 1991 Stanley Cup Final, a move that underscored Lemieux's nickname, "Le Magnifique.

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