Skip to main content
Short Shifts

Top 10 viral moments of Stanley Cup Playoffs

Dart Guy, Craig, Nicholle Anderson became stars online during memorable postseason @NHLdotcom

The Stanley Cup Playoffs provide fans with unparalleled thrills, hockey players with star-making moments and the internet with, well, memes.

The 2017 playoffs were no different.

From unique-fan looks to players having fun off the ice and everything in between, here are 10 viral moments from the 2017 postseason:


1. Dart Guy

Easily the most unforgettable fan of the 2017 playoffs, Jason Maslakow painted his face, shaved "Go Leafs Go!" into his head, donned his Auston Matthews jersey, hung an unlit cigarette from his lips and morphed into Dart Guy.

While on the road for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals, television cameras picked up Maslakow's unique look and he quickly became an internet legend.

And, in what can be described as a happy ending, Hockey Hall of Famer and Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan pledged his support to help Dart Guy quit smoking.

Video: TOR@WSH: 'Dart Guy' checks out Capitals-Maple Leafs

2. P.K. Subban plays reporter

The Nashville Predators defenseman likes to have fun. And breaking from his own media scrum to grill teammates made for some fun results at Stanley Cup Final Media Day.

Subban, a master prankster and expert at putting teammates on the spot for laughs, went around asking offbeat questions, like who was the best looking player on the team.

Video: P.K. Subban becomes the media on Media Day

Subban's performance at Media Day was just the beginning of a Cup Final full of antics.

3. Connor McDavid's awkward photo

Good thing Connor McDavid wasn't late for Game 7.

Two excited fans held on to the Edmonton Oilers captain for dear life in easily the most awkward photo of the playoffs and perhaps the most awkward photo of all time. It was taken at an airport before the Oilers flew home ahead of Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Anaheim Ducks.

McDavid looked more like a 20-year-old who had seen a ghost instead of one that led the NHL in points (100) this season.


4. Nicholle Anderson shows up in Boston

Fans of every team can get behind this story.

Nicholle Anderson, the wife of Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, planned a surprise tripto Boston to see her husband play during Game 6 of the first round against the Boston Bruins.

Anderson said she was feeling well enough to travel and "spontaneous" on the day of the game, then tweeted she was wearing the "only red jersey in the arena... I hope I don't get eaten by a bear!"
Tweet from @xonichollexo: Only red jersey in the arena...I hope I don't get eaten by a bear! ��

In the best news of the playoffs, Nicholle announced she was cancer free a few days after the Senators' season ended.


5. Ryan Johansen, Kevin Fiala root Predators on from hospital

Two big parts of the Predators' run to the Cup Final were missing because of injuries. But Kevin Fiala and Ryan Johansen were there in spirit.

Johansen, whose 61 regular-season points tied Viktor Arvidsson for first on the Predators, had surgery on his left thigh during the Western Conference Final,and Fiala broke his left leg in the second round. But Johansen tweeted that the two were watching Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final with "our legs elevated."
Tweet from @RyanJohansen19: Lettssssss goo babbbyyyyy me and my brother @KevinFiala22 have our legs elevated #20on20off let's go boys!!!!! #smashvilleletsgo!!!!

6. Oilers fans react to game-winner on live TV

Oilers fans were pretty pumped about their team returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2006, and it showed.

From belting out national anthems, to flooding Rogers Place for watch parties when the Oilers were was on the road, the fans made this trip count. And in their most candid moment, they did not disappoint.

While a sportscaster was reporting from the watch party at Ford Hall, outside of Rogers Place, David Desharnais scored the winning goal in overtime of Game 4 of the first round against the San Jose Sharks, setting off a wild celebration right behind the reporter's live shot.

7. Vladimir Tarasenko has big game in front of friend with cancer

During the season, St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko struck up a friendship with Arianna Dougan, an 11-year-old girl having treatment for cancer.

Tarasenko took Dougan for a two-game road trip during the season as a birthday present. When the Blues took on the Predators in the second round, Tarasenko invited Dougan to Game 2. And wouldn't you know it, he scored two goals and the Blues won.

Video: Tarasenko gives his buddy Ari a special birthday gift

8. Penguins video coach calls for challenge, Mike Sullivan wants sandwich named for him

The name Andy Saucier probably didn't mean much to hockey fans. That is, until Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

It was Saucier's heads-up call to challenge Subban's goal and referees ruled Predators forward Filip Forsberg was offside on the play. Instead of Nashville leading 1-0, the game remained scoreless until the Penguins scored three times.

Coach Mike Sullivan was so happy about Saucier's momentum-changing challenge he called for a sandwich (or, perhaps more appropriately, a sauce) to be named after him. Famed Pittsburgh deli Primanti Bros. makes a habit of naming menu items for local sports heroes.

Video: NSH@PIT, Gm1: Sullivan praises video coordinator

9. Senators fans celebrate politely

Go crazy, folks! But not too crazy!

In perhaps the most polite victory celebration ever caught on video, Senators fans flooded the streets after Ottawa defeated the New York Rangers in six games to advance to the Eastern Conference Final. But once the pedestrians lost the right of way, they quickly returned to the sidewalks.

We love that you party responsibly, Ottawa.

10. Craig Anderson chats with young Rangers fans after getting pulled

If the Senators goalie was annoyed after being pulled from a Game 4 second-round loss to the Rangers, he certainly didn't show it, at least not to a young fan who tried to strike up a conversation through the glass at Madison Square Garden.

In a moment of grace, Anderson engaged with a young fan during one of his toughest nights on the ice. Excellent sportsmanship on display here.

Video: OTT@NYR, Gm4: Anderson talks with young Rangers fan

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.