Did Owen Nolan do the greatest thing in hockey history at 1997 All-Star Game?
I will refer to the Wikipedia entry on this one:
The Nolan Point
The "Nolan Point" in the National Hockey League refers to a specific hand gesture made by NHL player Owen Nolan during the 1997 NHL All Star Game. In the NHL and in most sports both Nationally and Internationally, such a gesture is colloquially referred to as a "called shot". Similar to that of Babe Ruth's called shot in the MLB (Authenticity Contested) and of other athletes from various sports. Called shots are not to be confused with "predictions" as both are inherently different in nature. By their nature, called shots are unforeseen, unscripted and typically take place during gameplay while predictions are claimed prior to engagement. The significance and high regard of "Nolan's Point" is based upon multiple considerations: (1) The fact that it took place during an All Star Game where the on ice talent is the greatest in the NHL. (2) The point was directed towards legendary goaltender Dominik Hasek. Hasek is widely considered to be the greatest goaltender in NHL history along with Terry Sawchuk, Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy. Scoring on Hasek in any type of game or situation was highly difficult. A "point and score" on Hasek was, prior to the occurrence, considered risky or a long shot. (3) Earlier in that same game, Nolan set an NHL All Star Game record by scoring two goals 8 seconds apart. (4) The Point Gesture goal was a goal that completed a hat trick for Nolan. (5) The spectacular set of events that occurred for Nolan took place at the San Jose Arena in which the Sharks play. Nolan was at that time, a member of the Sharks playing in front of his home crowd. (6) The nature and dynamics of Hockey Game Play makes a called shot in the NHL far more difficult than other sports as the shooter must contend with a manned post intending to stop the shooter. (7) It is generally considered to be the only called shot in NHL history with no records or claims before or after the occurrence.
I think this point is overrated, he pointed in the general direction of the net. Not like he pointed where he'll shoot and shot there. It also took no balls at all. He gets saved, Doc laughs for a second and it's forgotten in 2 minutes. So in essence it was humorous and original more than anything. It wasn't all that special since he just called a goal, not the placement of the puck and it took no guts since no one would care if he missed in an All Star game (obviously it would be different in a real game).
However, I would certainly be curious to see what the end result is of a large-scale discussion on what exactly the greatest moment in hockey history was. And as part of that, it would include both positive and negative viewpoints on each moment that would be required reading.
1997 was one of those rare all-star games I watched in the entirety. I don't know, maybe something about Gretzky and Lemieux on the same team sparked some interest. Anyway, Hasek was playing unreal in that game and while it is still just a pond hockey game I thought it was rather poetic what Nolan did. Let's not forget either, he labelled a great shot against the best goalie in the world. It was almost Lemieux-like. It was a perfect storm for that to happen and it was neat but when you don't do something in a real game situation it doesn't matter as much.
Does anyone remember when Bure scored that goal against Boston where he burst down the wing kicked the puck to his stick and scored? Nice right? Well, sort of. It was a preseason game for those that don't remember. It wasn't a game in March or even December. So to answer the original question, Nolan's called shot was a neat thing to see but if you want to go down in history do what Babe Ruth did in the 1932 World Series and call a homerun (even though there have been conflicting reports on that since)
I didn't actually read that writeup. The fact that it was Hasek made it more impressive. Still, the point, while original an humorous doesn't make it any more or less difficult considering it was an All Star game. No one would care or remember if he missed the net. To me this is WAY more impressive, even in an All Star game:
(3) Earlier in that same game, Nolan set an NHL All Star Game record by scoring two goals 8 seconds apart.