In a Red Wings development camp scrimmage on July 8, winger Dylan Sadowy — a recent acquisition from the San Jose Sharks — was the main attraction. Sadowy recorded a hat trick, led his team to a 6–3 victory, and backed up the hype that had originally interested Detroit. But Sadowy’s stellar game was overshadowed by a mistake and a play that lasted five seconds. Tyler Bertuzzi, a forward in the Detroit Red Wings system who has never played in an NHL game and is best-known for being the nephew of controversial former NHL player Todd Bertuzzi, gained the puck in his defensive zone with his side down 5–2. He skated past the opposing blue line, charged toward the net, and absolutely embarrassed Sadowy.
Hockey players have a proud and storied tradition of showboating (whether they’ll admit it or not) and while it’s common to see players taunt and mock in celebration of a goal, it takes much more skill and preparation to do so in the process of scoring. Baseball has bat flips, basketball has rim hanging, and football has the occasional front flip into the end zone, but truly “rude goals” are rare. They are each special and memorable in their own way, but one thing defines them all: They have the power to make us cringe, audibly swear, and immediately share clips in our group messages. Here are a few of our favorite rude goals (scored on a scale of Emilio Estevez’s rudest scenes in The Mighty Ducks):
Professional hockey players don’t often get the chance to run up the score, so when the opportunity presents itself, they’re obligated to take advantage. In this 2013 game against the Stars, with his Blackhawks up 7–1 midway through the third, Kane takes it upon himself to keep the crowd interested. He leans to the right, skates to the left, then spins around Brenden Dillon in a move reminiscent of Vince Carter in 2000 (or at least whatever the “on ice” version of that is).
This goal scores relatively low on the “Quacks at His Boss” scale, but the Hawks went on to win the Stanley Cup that year, the Stars finished last in their division, and this game felt like Averman trying to contribute from the bench: The Hawks just rolled their eyes.
Best known for crashing nets and injuring goalies, Chris Kreider manages to just get the puck in the net before sliding in himself. Kreider stays true to his brand here, while also tallying a game-winning goal. After the score, he sits in the net for a few extra seconds oozing an air of superiority and letting the Jets know that he owns their goal. Much in the same way Gordon Bombay parked his limo on the ice and fielded phone calls while the Ducks waited to practice, Kreider understands the importance of demonstrating dominance early and often.
Hear me out: Andrew Shaw should’ve been a soccer player.
Really, really give it some thought. He’s known to throw in-game temper tantrums, he looooves shin pads, and he has the best header form in the league. This goal is inventive both physically and mentally — Shaw shows off his athleticism while also managing to play hockey better as a soccer player than most players can when solely worrying about the hockey part. It’s an intimidation strategy wrapped up in a 2OT package (that was eventually disallowed). Much like when Coach Bombay brought Adam Banks to the Ducks to counteract the team’s sense of complacency, Shaw is raising the bar on goal standards in the league.
It’s a rude goal to be sure, but it’s not the most blatantly rude. That honor is reserved for …
Let’s lay out the facts: Tomas Hertl was 19 when he scored four times against the New York Rangers, becoming the youngest player in 25 years to record four goals in a game. Not only was this goal his fourth of the night, it also put the Sharks up 8–2 with nearly eight minutes to go in the third period. At 19, of course you’re going to showboat. You’re feeling yourself, you’ve already got a hat trick, why not go for the heat check and throw in a show of flair in the process?
After the game, Hertl was taking heat from the Old Guard of the NHL media. Joe Thornton, Hertl’s teammate and a league veteran, caught wind of it and defended Hertl in one of the most iconic (and graphically descriptive) quotes in NHL history: “I’d have my cock out if I scored four goals,” Thornton said. “I’d have my cock out, stroking it.”
Yep. That happened. I refuse to compare that sequence of events to anything remotely related to a children’s movie, but it’s safe to say Thornton wins the Rudest Quote Award, Hertl wins for Rudest Goal, and Tyler Bertuzzi has a ways to go if he ever hopes to takes Hertl’s belt.
This piece originally misstated that Patrick Kane’s goal in the 2013 game against the Stars happened at home; he scored the goal during a road contest in Dallas. Also, the piece incorrectly called Andrew Shaw’s goal a game winner, but officials ended up disallowing it.