Filip Forsberg is the latest NHLer to unsuccessfully attempt the “Michigan” in a game, and it’s easily the most beautiful non-goal of the season.
Cutting around the net at nearly-full speed during Nashville’s tilt against San Jose on Thursday, Forsberg scooped the puck up lacrosse-style and almost pulled a Mike Legg on Martin Jones, but missed the top corner by mere inches.
Forsberg out there playing a game of his own. pic.twitter.com/0sKZysCaPp
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) March 30, 2018
What made this attempt extra nasty was the fact that Forsberg almost finished it off while cutting around the net from his off wing and his backhand side facing the goal. The 23-year-old had to flip his blade and scoop the puck from his backhand to his forehand while fending off a defender before throwing the puck on target.
The move is absurd enough when attempting it from a stationary position behind the net, but to almost (and he was damn close) pull it off while in motion is a completely different animal and utterly goddamn ridiculous. It’s the second time this week an NHLer tried a Michigan in a game, as Washington’s Evgeni Kuznetsov attempted a similar type of sorcery on Monday against the Rangers.
Evgeny Kuznetsov tries to score a lacrosse goal pic.twitter.com/ipnPIdmOjp
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) March 27, 2018
Kuznetsov tried the standard, stationary scoop-and-shoot and barely missed his spot over the blocker of Ondřej Pavelec a few days ago. A day before that, Keeghan Howdeshell pulled it off for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the OHL playoffs, while Halifax Mooseheads forward Otto Somppi converted a steamy-hot Michigan in a game against Shawinigan earlier this season. Former NHLer Mason Raymond also potted one this year during an Olympic tuneup game for Canada. Mikael Granlund was the last NHL player to pull off the move — though it was in international play — as he deposited an unreal tally during the 2011 World Championships.
The scoop-style lacrosse goal was made famous by Michigan Wolverine forward Mike Legg in 1996, who buried one during an NCAA tournament game against Minnesota. The nearly-impossible snipe was named “Goal of the Year” by Inside Hockey and Legg’s stick was donated to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Since that notorious goal, it’s been attempted numerous times but no one has been able to finish it off in the NHL. We’ll keep waiting for that beautiful day to arrive.