- Scott Powers, ESPN Staff Writer
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Here are the top 10 goals the Chicago Blackhawks scored in 2014, judged by skill level:
10. Bryan Bickell, vs. San Jose Sharks, 15:18 in third period, Nov. 9: Bickell used his body the whole time to create this goal. He took the puck from behind the net on the right side and utilized his body to keep a defenseman from it. He skated to the lower left circle, still shielding an opponent, and quick spun to his left and placed the puck over the right shoulder of Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi.
9. Patrick Kane, vs. St. Louis Blues, 5:19 of third period, Dec. 3: Versteeg gets credit for a quality pass as well here. He lifted the puck into the air from the defensive zone and connected with Kane in the neutral zone. Kane quickly dragged the puck away from defenseman Barret Jackman and took off. Kane used his body to block Jackman from the puck as he got past him to his right. Kane pushed the puck back to his left as he approached the net and then slid it into the right corner as the goaltender was moving left.
8. Kris Versteeg, vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, 19:59 of first period, Dec. 21: Versteeg had the buzzer-beater of the season. A pass from Patrick Kane was just to Versteeg’s left, and Versteeg used his left skate to kick the puck to the right. He quickly got the puck onto his stick and moved it back to avoid one defenseman. He continued to his right in the slot and shot the puck into the top right corner of the net with 0.4 seconds remaining.
7. Patrick Sharp, vs. New Jersey Devils, 2:44 of third period, Jan. 3: Sharp had three goals on this day. The second one was especially special. Standing by the goal line near the left boards, Sharp barely had an angle on the net, but he found whatever he had and pinpointed the puck past Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur and into the net.
6. Kris Versteeg, vs. Ottawa Senators, 15:38 of first period, Oct. 30: Versteeg has been back to his old self this season, and this play displayed that. He retrieved the puck in the left circle and was facing two defensemen and the goaltender. Versteeg went at defenseman Erik Karlsson, crossed the puck from his right to left to get past Karlsson, swung it back to his right as he got to the net and scored into the right corner.
5. Patrick Kane, vs. Minnesota Wild, 8:22 of third period, May 12: Kane has been known to do some special things in the playoffs, and this could be included in that list. He received the puck in the neutral zone near the left boards and put it on his backhand as he skated diagonally to his right. He kept it there as he avoided two Wild players while shielding the puck. With Wild goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov fully prepared for him at the right post, Kane went to his patented backhanded shot and directed the puck into the top left corner of the net.
4. Marian Hossa, vs. Nashville Predators, 12:43 of first period, April 12: Like a lot of plays made by Hossa, this one began with a takeaway. He stole the puck in the defensive zone and picked up speed as he skated with it into the neutral zone. He began on the left side of the rink and then skated diagonally across the ice as he shielded the puck from two defensemen. He beat the defensemen to the outside, skated around the net and he wrapped the puck into the net.
3. Patrick Kane, vs. Buffalo Sabres, 3:12 of first period, March 9: Kane entertained his hometown Buffalo crowd with this goal. Kane was skating with speed as he approached the puck along the right boards in the neutral zone. He reached out his stick with his right hand, knocked the puck through Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff's legs, located it on the other side and pulled it back just as another defenseman came towards him. Kane skated to his left into the deep slot, created enough space for a shot and put the puck into the top left corner over goaltender Jhonas Enroth's shoulder.
2. Andrew Shaw, vs. Dallas Stars, 19:42 of first period, March 25: Shaw may have had the most athletic goal of the season. Standing with his back to the net, Shaw got control of a rebound spun to his right while being knocked to the ice by a defenseman. While on his knees, Shaw curled the puck around Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen and into the net.
1. Jonathan Toews, vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, 10:47 of second period, March 1: The outdoor conditions at Soldier Field weren’t ideal for playmaking, but that didn’t stop Toews from putting together the Blackhawks’ best goal of 2014. He picked up the puck at the Blackhawks’ blue line and skated straight up the ice. He approached Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik just past the opposite blue line and brought the puck to his right, went back to his left and lost Orpik. As he got to the net, he again went from his left to his right with the puck and slid it between goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury's legs for the goal.