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11 Greatest Hockey Photos

We’re in the middle of the NHL playoffs and I’m rooting for the Vancouver Canucks. They are the best team in the league this year and have never yet won the Stanley Cup in the team’s 40 year history. They have had a tougher time in the playoffs, but are now one game away from winning the second round against the Nashville Predators, and moving to the next round with either the Detroit Red Wings or the San Jose Sharks.

Ice hockey is the most popular sport in Canada, and it's great to be living in Vancouver with all the play-off excitement. In celebration of the Stanley Cup playoffs, here are my favourite hockey photos. I was going to pick 10 but couldn't decide which one to eliminate, so this list goes to 11!

11. Eddie Shack ("The Entertainer") of the Buffalo Sabres jumping on the back of Gerry Ehman in 1971. Eddie Shack was famous for his antics on the ice and I think this photo captures it perfectly!

Eddie Shack

Eddie Shack Jumps Gerry Ehman 1971


10. Ken Dryden was an outstanding goaltender with the Montreal Canadiens in the 1970's, when Montreal won 6 Stanley Cups. During breaks in the play, Dryden would often lean on his stick and rest as shown in this iconic photo.

Ken Dryden's Relaxed Stance

Ken Dryden's Famous Stance


9. A toothless Bobby Clark after the Philadelphia Flyers won the Stanley Cup against the New York Islanders in 1975. The Flyers were nicknamed "The Broad Street Bullies" for their aggressive style and Bobby Clark looked like a true fighting hockey player in this shot!

Bobby Clark and Goalie Bernie Parent with the Stanley Cup 1975

Philadelphia Flyers Bobby Clark & Goalie Bernie Parent win the Stanley Cup 1975


8. The Miracle on Ice: The underdog USA team beat the heavily favoured Soviet Union and went on to win the gold medal in the 1980 Lake Placid Olympic Winter Games. I love the celebrations after the win!

USA Olympic Gold Medal in 1980

USA Olympic Gold Medal in 1980


7. Maurice "Rocket" Richard was one of the greatest hockey players in the NHL, and he dominated the game with the Montreal Canadiens in 1942-1960. In 1955, he was suspended for fighting a linesman, which resulted in riots in Montreal.

Maurice Richard in a Fight 1955


6. This is a pretty amazing photo. It shows Gordie Howe (Mr. Hockey) with Wayne Gretzky, who at age 9 was already being noticed as a future hockey star. Both Howe and Gretzky broke numerous records during their careers and were considered the greatest players of their times.

Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky

Gordie Howe with 9-year old Wayne Gretzky


5. Sidney Crosby Scores after scoring the goal in overtime to win the gold medal in the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. It was a very exciting game and after he scored, Crosby threw his gloves and stick in the air. This is a great shot of that moment!

Sidney Crosby

Sidney Crosby - after scoring to win Gold in 2010 Olympics


4. Wayne Gretzky, "The Great One" set many hockey records and dominated the game during the 1980's when he played for the The Edmonton Oilers. They won 5 Stanley Cups  in 6 years (1983-4 to 1989-90). Here's a photo of Wayne Gretzky from 1987 after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers.

Wayne Gretzky 1987

Wayne Gretzky with the Stanley Cup for the Edmonton Oilers 1987


3. Russia is a another great hockey country with strong teams and players. However, during the cold war, Russian players could not play in the NHL. In 1972 Canada and the Soviet Union competed in the Summit Series. This photo was taken just after the series-winning goal by Canada's Paul Henderson - one of the great moments in Canadian hockey.

Paul Henderson's Winning Goal

Paul Henderson scores to win the Canada - Russia series - 1972


2 .Bobby Orr after scoring the goal that won the Stanley Cup for the Boston Bruins in 1970. Bobby Orr was one of the best hockey players in history and I love this shot taken immediately after he scored the winning goal against the St. Louis Blues in 1970.


Bobby Orr

"The Goal" Bobby Orr - 1970 via The New York Times


1. Bill Barilko scored the winning goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1951 in overtime against the Montreal Canadiens. The photo show the Barilko diving through the air as the puck just entered the net.  Sadly, he disappeared in a boating trip that summer. His body was eventually found in 1962 when the Leafs won the Stanley Cup again.

Bill Barilko scoring Stanley Cup winning goal

Bill Barilko scores the 1951 Stanley Cup winning goal


The story of Bill Barilko is told in the song 50 Mission Cap by The Tragically Hip:


I'm looking forward to some more great moments in the upcoming 2011 Stanley Cup play-offs!

What are your favourite hockey photos? Post your links in the comments section below.

Related links

Greatest photos in hockey history

  1. kathleen
    May 7th, 2011 at 16:17 | #1

    Great selection Lloyd!I am old enough to have seen many of these players live on TV.

    Go Canucks go!

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