Well, it was only a matter of time. But on Friday, we saw the first "Michigan" goal scored by an NHL player who actually went to the University of Michigan. And of course, it was on March 24.
Columbus Blue Jackets forward Kent Johnson, with all of 77 career NHL games to his name, pulled off the eye-popping move in a game against the New York Islanders on Friday.
Johnson started the play with the puck near the Islanders' blue line but wasn't thinking highlight goal.
"Not really. I was looking for a shooting lane," he said. "I didn't have it there, so I went through my legs. Once I skated around the net, I kind of knew."
He threw his arms in the air after scoring.
"It's always nice to score, but especially that way," Johnson said. "I was really happy. I don't know if I was relieved. I was really pumped about the goal."
Johnson played for the Wolverines for two years racking up 64 points in 58 games before the Blue Jackets took him with the fifth pick of the 2021 NHL Draft. The move is called the "Michigan" (or sometimes lacrosse goal) after Mike Legg, who popularized the move while playing for the Woverines.
It was on March 24, 1996, 27 years to the day of Johnson's goal, that Legg scored the lacrosse-style goal in an NCAA Regional Championship game against the University of Minnesota. The goal tied the game 2-2 and Michigan would go on to win the game and the National Championship.
But that's not the only history behind Johnson's goal. It isn't the first time he's converted the move named for his former school.
Just a few short months ago, Johnson used the "Michigan" at the World Junior Championships while playing for Team Canada. He scored the goal against Czechia.
Teammates loved it. Blue Jackets forward Johnny Gaudreau was in disbelief after the score.
Only Carolina Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov and Anaheim Ducks forward Trevor Zegras have successfully pulled off the move twice in NHL games.
Could we get a double Michigan from a former Michigan player? Stay tuned.
More amazing goals from the 2022-23 NHL season:
- Zegras has not give up his all-out assault on the eyeballs of hockey fans, scoring a sick between-the-legs goal against the Seattle Kraken.
- Wild forward Ryan Reaves bats the puck out of the air against the New York Islanders
- Rangers forward Filip Chytil tied the game right off a face-off against the Toronto Maple Leafs
- Flyers forward Morgan Frost scores between-the-legs goal against the Anaheim Ducks.
- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby scores incredible goal while falling against the Blue Jackets.
- New Jersey Devils forward Jack Hughes is scoring goals from pretty much every angle, including sharp ones from the corner off of goalie helmets and ones from behind the net off the backs of skates.
- Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov went sliding down to the ice but still slid the puck into the net.
- Devils forward Tomas Tatar went batty on a puck he caught himself off his own rebound.
- Sam Reinhart also went the baseball route but he smacked the puck in backhanded to score in a game against the Washington Capitals.
- Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook bats puck into the air to himself and then into the back of the netwhile falling for sweet goal.
- Montreal Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki goes full Pavel Datsyuk on a penalty shot. You'll recognize it when you watch it, which you should many times.
- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Rickard Rakell flew right through the crease for for his no-look score.
- Johnny Gaudreau's second goal with the Columbus Blue Jackets was a beauty of a wraparound.