It’s hard to believe that we’re already here, but last night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets marked the 500th NHL game of Johnny Gaudreau’s career. With an assist in the game, his career totals grew to 164 goals, 307 assists, and 471 total points over those games, plus 19 playoff points in 30 games. Despite some vitriol and trade rumors swirling (mostly from the fans and a certain media personality) we do have to recognize how lucky we have been to watch him play here for seven seasons and hopefully there will be many more to come.
Here are the ten best moments (in my opinion) from Johnny Gaudreau’s career so far although I probably missed some.
Honourable Mention: Ritter’s Pre-Celly - OT Winner in Colorado
October 13, 2018
This goal was more well known for the celebration from David Rittich with his arms already up in the air before Gaudreau even got to the hashmarks. This goal came just five games into the 2018-19 season which would see Gaudreau score 99 points and the Flames win the Western Conference.
#10: Yoink! - Overtime Winner versus Chicago
November 20, 2015
Back in the early days of three on three overtime, we were just starting to get a sense of what it could be, and this goal showed us just how good #13 would become in the extra frame. After winding up and getting a shot, Gaudreau picked the pocket of Brent Seabrook and then made a deke in tight on Scott Darling and popped a shot over him for the win.
#9: Comeback Capper! - Overtime Winner vs Philadelphia
December 12, 2018
This goal and moment was made a lot more epic by the fact that the Flames managed to score two goals in the final 1:10 of the game to tie it and set the stage for Gaudreau to win it in overtime.
#8: A Cheeky Flick - Shootout Goal at Minnesota
December 12, 2017
I sometimes wonder why Gaudreau only ever seems to go backhand five-hole in shootouts, but then I watch this play and realize there’s too much chaos otherwise. On this semi-questionable goal, Gaudreau outwaits Stalock and flips the puck over him as he starts moving towards the corner. I’m not sure there’s too many players that could pull off all of what he does in a few short seconds.
#7: Master of the Puck - Wins 2018 and 2019 All-Star Puck Control Relay
With a name like Johnny Hockey, you probably have to be good at handling the puck. To nobody’s surprise he dominated this event in back to back seasons at the All Star game, wowing the crowd by weaving through pucks and then lifting a puck through targets of various heights. Gaudreau made the All-Star Game in his first five seasons and with hands like this, you can see why.
#6: First of Many - Scores First NHL Goal
April 13, 2014
Not every NHL player scores their first career goal in their first career game, but Johnny did exactly that. Just two days after winning the Hobey Baker Award and signing his ELC, he found an open space to deflect home a point shot gave us a glimpse of what was to come, and gave Flames fans a lot of reason for excitement heading into the summer of 2014.
#5: Hatty Versus Beantown! - Hat-Trick Capped with OT Winner
December 4, 2015
Gaudreau’s 2nd career hat trick came in an extremely memorable game against Boston that featured a number of lead changes, a late penalty shot goal against, and a tying goal from Jiri Hudler less than two seconds left. In overtime though, Gaudreau was set up by Dougie Hamilton in his first game against his former team, and he buried it for the hat trick, setting off the Saddledome.
4. Career Night! - 6 Point Game vs New Jersey
March 12, 2019
In a game that in itself was crazy with the Flames scoring six(!!!) third period goals and beating New Jersey 9-4, it was the best night points-wise of Gaudreau’s career so far. With three goals and three assists (including the only penalty shot goal of his career), Gaudreau led the way in the win during perhaps the best night of the Gaudreau-Monahan-Lindholm line from 2018-19. The trio finished with a combined 14 points on the evening.
3. Natty Hatty Comeback! - 3 Straight Goals to Erase 3-0 Deficit in LA
December 22, 2014
This may have been the game where we really saw just how good Johnny Gaudreau coulld be as early in his rookie year he scored three unanswered goals to erase a 3-0 deficit against the Kings (and current head coach Darryl Sutter). Calgary went on to win the game in overtime thanks to Mark Giordano, and this game really kept the Find-a-Way Flames of 2014-15 story going, which carried all the way to the playoffs.
2. Nasty Dangles! - Scoring a Beauty vs Pittsburgh
March 13, 2017
In what has been probably the nicest individual goal of his career, Gaudreau beats all five Pittsburgh players at some point with this powerplay goal, winding up from his own end and finishing with a wraparound. It was a simply special goal for him and will be on his career highlight reel forever.
1. Deft, Delicate, Deadly! - Tying Goal in Game 3 vs Anaheim
May 5, 2015
Wow. That’s all you can really say about this play. The zone entry, the shot, the celly, the crowd reaction, it was an amazing goal that got the Flames back in the series at the time. What a moment that was. What a player he is!
Did I miss anything? Probably. I was running pretty much straight off memory when compiling this list, but I think after watching this once again we have to realize how lucky we have been to watch him play for the Flames. Hopefully there are many more games ahead.