GOAL OF THE YEAR: SEMI-FINAL #2
Marcus Foligno & Tyler Ennis tangle for the a spot in the finals in the 'Goal of the Year' tournament.
#2: MARCUS FOLIGNO VS. COLORADO AVALANCHE
When Marcus Foligno made his NHL debut with the Sabres in Ottawa in December, one of the first questions he was asked was: “Will you do ‘the jump’ when you score your first goal?” Of course, every Sabres fan knows ‘the jump’ refers to leap his father, Mike, made famous during his NHL career. But there was one problem: when Marcus finally scored his first NHL goal on March 10 in Ottawa, there was some confusion as to who actually touched the puck last, so a jump never took place. Marcus got his chance four nights later in front of the home crowd with Colorado in town. But this was no thing of beauty either. Drew Stafford carried the puck over the line, and fed a streaking Tyler Ennis, who hit Foligno with a pass in the slot as he was driving to the net. But the puck banked in off his skate and crossed the line just before he did while sliding past Semyon Varlamov. Foligno’s long-awaited jump followed immediately afterwards in the corner to the left of the Colorado net. “It felt really good. I think the fans enjoyed it and it was great to get that out of the way,” Foligno said after the game. “I had it on my mind for awhile so it's great to finally do it.”
#4: TYLER ENNIS VS. MONTREAL CANADIENS
Tyler Ennis makes his second appearance in our “Goals of the Year” showdown bracket, this time courtesy of his sick mitts from a game against the Montreal Canadiens at First Niagara Center on March 12. Trailing the Canadiens 1-0 midway through the game, it took a highlight reel goal from Ennis to tie the score at 11:08 of the second period. After Drew Stafford had forced a Montreal turnover in the neutral zone, he chipped the puck over the Canadiens blueline to Ennis. The speedy center stickhandled his way past a helpless Andrei Markov, and then continued his mastery with a backhand-forehand deke on Habs netminder Petr Budaj that ended with a wrist shot to the far side as he continued skating away from the net. “I just came over the line with speed. I didn't know who it was,” explained Ennis. “I figured he was a little flat-footed. I was originally just going to shoot, but then I saw he was kind of flat-footed so I thought I'd make a little move.”