Mikko Rantanen is a 50 goal scorer.
Well, he’s now more than a 50 goal scorer, but you get the picture.
With Rantanen hitting the milestone on Thursday night, I thought it would be a good time to go back through his 52 goals and pick out the five best. It turns out…that’s kind of hard to do. That’s not a surprise when you think of how many you have to choose from, but it was a lot more difficult than I expected.
My list will probably differ from anyone else’s list, but I’d be interested in hearing what goals everyone else would put in their top five. Do you value the skill of the goal the most? Or does the timing of the goal play a bigger role for you?
Without further ado, let’s get into my top five. This won’t be controversial at all…
This isn’t the prettiest goal in the world, but it did complete one of his three hat tricks on the season. And context is important.
This goal came in the middle of December. MacKinnon was out with injury, but he wasn’t alone. There were quite a few AHL players dressing that night. Rantanen was scoring seemingly every goal for the team in December, and on this night, he did score every goal. He scored late to tie the game up, and then this one in overtime to seal it, outmuscling the bigger Parayko and getting to the rebound.
The only reason this goal isn’t higher is because the game was pretty much over at this point. This goal also came during the dark times of December, as MacKinnon got hurt earlier this game. It’s just a display of Rantanen’s skill and ability to weave through an entire team when he wants to.
This goal being on the list will probably surprise some people, but to me, it’s vintage Mikko. On the right wing, a quick flick of the wrists, and he sends the puck into the only spot it can go against one of the best goalies in the world.
The pure skill that Rantanen shows here is so impressive. Catching the puck in tight, maneuvering around the net with little to no space, and then turning his wrists to get the puck past Bobrovsky. Doing this at full speed should be illegal.
Why does Rantanen prefer to be on his off-wing? Because it allows him to pull off plays like this.
This game was insane. The Avalanche came back from being down multiple times, the first night their Captain was back in town, and won it in overtime on this goal. Because he’s on his off-wing, he’s able to cut to the middle of the ice with the puck on his forehand, and go around everyone. The building went nuts after this goal. I had to put it at the top because of the combination of everything, from the skill to the timing.
What would be your top five list? I’m sure everyone’s list will be different, so I’d be interested in hearing what goals you would take out, and what you’d replace them with.