The label “goal of the year” is used too often in the world of hockey, but Andreas Athanasiou’s goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night might deserve that description.
With the Detroit Red Wings and the Penguins tied up at three at the beginning of the third period, Athanasiou collected the puck deep in his own zone. He then turned up the ice, splitting through the Pittsburgh defense before burying an absolute beauty.
End-to-end goals are a rarity in the NHL, but Athanasiou made things look so easy. He looped around his own cage to gain some speed and used that speed to make it easily through the neutral zone. The Penguins finally tried to close him down on their own blue line, but Athanasiou easily split two players and had a clear look at goal.
That’s when things should have gotten complicated, but Athanasiou’s finish was textbook. He was able to lift a rolling puck up over Marc-Andre Fleury’s shoulder from an extremely tight angle, capping off what was an incredible individual effort.
From start to finish, Athanasiou went roughly 200 feet in eight seconds and scored one of the best of the season in the blink of an eye.