The own goal is a rarity in hockey, but it's really not all that rare. "You're not a hockey player until you've scored on yourself," someone once told me (although they might have just been trying to stop me from crying in the net). It happens.
Of course, the fact that it happens does little to console anyone the moment it happens to them. There are few moments in hockey more disheartening than when you not only cost your team a goal, you score it.
It's even worse now, too. In the days of yore, own goals were a momentary embarrassment at best. Sure, you put the puck into your own goal, but the scoresheet said it was that other guy, and since only a small percentage of hockey fans actually saw it up close, few could even have known that the next day's scoresheet wasn't entirely accurate. But now, there's super-close, high-definition, instant replay and YouTube -- not only will your hilarious gaffe live on forever, but the best possible view of it will. Same for the face you make.
Unsurprisingly, there are hundreds of own goals on Youtube these days, most of which have been uploaded in the last five years or so. There are enough now that we can go beyond simply watching them over and over -- we can rank them.
This week, we'll be counting down 50 of our favourites. Today: fifty through forty-one.
50 | Morris Traschler, Team Switzerland
We begin at the 2010 IIHF World Championship, where Traschler, the Team Switzerland forward, attempts to clear the puck off the stick of John Tavares and inadvertently clears it into his own net. If only he had done a little research, he would have known that John Tavares was clutch.
49 | Shane O'Brien, Vancouver Canucks
O'Brien got blamed for this, which makes some sense since he was the last Canuck to touch the puck, not to mention it didn't really seem like a major character departure, but if you ask me, this own goal is sort of Henrik Sedin's fault. Granted, a surefire way to take unnecessary blame is to slide hilariously into the net after you knock the puck into it and then lay there, looking crazy guilty.
48 | Adam Oates, Anaheim Ducks
Adam Oates earned passage into the Hall of Fame by being one of the NHL's great playmakers. He was a threat to orchestrate a goal from nearly anywhere. But he was especially potent when he got the puck down low and fed it into the slot. More often than not, that meant a goal was forthcoming. This clip does nothing to dispute that.
47 | Craig Conroy, Calgary Flames
"The Leafs have only won 34 percent of the faceoffs tonight," begins this clip. It's an alarming stat, until it's rendered completely necessary by Craig Conroy suddenly levelling up on the next one. But the funniest part is what's said after: "The Leafs -- you've gotta give them credit." No. No you do not.
46 | Tyson Teichmann, Belleville Bulls
Oh look, the puck's gonna carom right to me, thinks Teichmann. This is my lucky day. I hardly have to move at all. But then the puck hopes over his stick, caroms off his left knee, and into the goal. Well damn, thinks Teichmann.
45 | Dan Boyle, San Jose Sharks
Dan Boyle is the NHL's most offensive defenceman. I say this because even when he's clearing the puck, he's dreaming up new and innovative ways to turn that red light on. I like Boyle's sort of world-weary reaction here. He's like, Crud. Well, I've done worse.
44 | Andrei Zubarev, Atlant Moscow Oblast
It's tough to blame Zubarev on this one. Granted, it's his attempt to get his face out of the way of the puck that causes it to deflect into the goal off his face. If he was really committed to winning, he'd have swallowed it.
43 | Damiano Ciaccio, La Chaux-de-Fonds
First, Swiss B League goalie Damiano Ciaccio misses the puck on its way past him. Then, he loses the post trying to turn around. Finally, when the puck comes off the boards and threatens to squeak through the gap between the post and his body, he tries to glove it and punches it into his own net instead. If you find it tough to see the puck, just watch Ciaccio, because his body language is plenty entertaining on its own, especially that disheartened hunch after he realizes how bad he botched that play.
42 | Erik Johnson, St. Louis Blues
Less than a month after Erik Johnson scored this goal, he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche, who were likely most impressed with his ability to score on the St. Louis Blues. In his first game against his new team, he did exactly that, vindicating the scouts that said, this guy just knows how to score on the Blues.
41 | Cory Sarich, Calgary Flames
Things are looking so promising when Sarich bats this puck out of mid-air. What impressive hand-eye. Of course, then, a second later, he swivels around and shoots the puck into his own goal. But he'll always have a second ago. I love the look on his face afterwards. Quality frown.
50-41 (Monday, December 3)
40-31 (Tuesday, December 4)
30 - 21 (Wednesday, December 5)
20 - 11 (Thursday, December 6)
10 - 1 (Friday, December 7) 690 days
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