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The NHL's Goal of the Year: Owen Tippett Makes His Case

Courtesy of Eric Hartline / USA Today

As the halfway mark of the season has quickly approached, there have been lots of highlight reel worthy plays from the league’s most talented players. For most, this is to be expected from the top talent that the NHL offers on a nightly basis. When it comes from a player you least expect, it is somehow even better.

This is what happened with Philadelphia Flyers forward Owen Tippett. In a game against the Dallas Stars on Jan. 18th, Tippett dazzled the crowd with a spectacular backhand goal on Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger. 

To truly understand just how big this goal was for the NHL and the Flyers themselves, it is important to look at how hot the Flyers have been this season. Coming into this season, the Flyers were projected to finish in the bottom half of the league standings for the second season in a row. The team was expected to be carried by offensive performances from players such as Travis Konecny, Morgan Frost, and Joel Farabee. 

Courtesy of Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports

The Flyers started to prove the projections wrong, as their young talent came to play and exceeded expectations. The team started performing well, and quickly climbed the league standings. Suddenly the talent was not just coming from the expected Konecny, Frost, and Farabee, but others you may not have thought of. This is where Owen Tippett comes in.

Tippett is currently in the middle of his third season with the Flyers, and is arguably starting to come into his own as a player. After producing a career high with 27 goals, Tippett is on pace this season to match this, and possibly break it. The performance that the Flyers are putting up this year is largely part by this production from Tippett, as this highlight reel goal solidifies just how well he is performing this season.

As for goals of the year, Owen Tippett’s goal might make one of the better cases the league has seen since Tomáš Hertl’s between the legs goal back in 2013. With this goal, Tippett came skating down the left wing, and quickly spun to his backhand to shoot the puck. He shot the puck top shelf, sending the crowd at Wells Fargo Center into a frenzy.

Courtesy of 6ABC/ESPN

How much does this goal impact a season? If it is anything like Tippett’s goal, it has a bigger impact than we might think. This goal demonstrates the talent and hand eye coordination that the NHL has not seen in a while, and also singlehandedly impacts a teams performance in a positive way. For most fans, Tippett’s goal comes as one that is surprising, but also has a deeper meaning than we might think.

For a team that was projected to finish in the bottom five, this goal defines how the Flyers season is going, and how it continues to trend in an upwards direction. From doing something the NHL has not seen in years, Tippett is truly the driving force for the Flyers elite season, while also making the highlight reels for years to come with this sensational goal.

Edited by: Jessi Dworkin

Social Media Content Created by: Audrey Pearsall

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