At the rate the NHL is producing No. 1-top-play-on-Sportscenter-worthy goals this season (LOL, just kidding, ESPN doesn't cover hockey), it's going to be impossible to pick a top candidate. But if we break them off into their own categories, like "hand-eye coordination" goal of the year, or "fluke" goal of the year, or "best Bobby Orr impression" goal of the year, it'll make the selection process a bit easier. As for St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko's highlight-reel game-winner from Friday night, that's already earned "all-out effort" goal of the year.
Tied at 2-2 with the Colorado Avalanche, Parayko took the puck up ice with one man in front of him and another swatting at him from behind as he crossed over the red line. After losing the puck, it appeared like Colorado defenseman Samuel Girard would gain possession and get it out of his zone, but Parayko's incredible, one-handed second effort to get the puck worked, and it squirted out in front of the net, where Parayko hit it with one hand again and scored:
The OT winner is Parayko's fourth goal in 24 games this season, putting him on pace to go well over his career-high of nine goals, which came in his rookie year. More importantly, it snaps a two-game losing streak for the struggling Blues, who currently hold the bottom spot in the Central Division. But with five of their next seven games on home ice, perhaps this road victory could spark a run for a team looking to avoid missing the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2009-2010.