Tyler Ennis may have only played in 48 games this season due to injury, but he’s the center of attention in our “Goals of the Year” showdown bracket that opens up today. The top eight goals of the season will go head-to-head each day this week in a playoff format, with the final four being announced next Monday.
Of the 375 votes cast over the weekend on our Facebook page, Ennis’ nifty stickwork against the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 19 earned him the number one seed with an astonishing 66 percent of the votes from Sabres fans. The speedy center also claimed the fourth seed with his backhand-forehand undressing of Montreal’s Andrei Markov on March 12.
Rookie Marcus Foligno is probably “jumping” for joy, as his goal against Colorado on March 14 makes him a surprising second seed. Thomas Vanek occupies the third spot courtesy of his solo effort against the Florida Panthers on October 29.
Just like this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, there’s definitely room for an upset from one of the lower-seeded entrants. Seeds five through eight are all worthy competitors, with each goal playing an important role in Buffalo’s late-season push for the playoffs.
Jason Pominville’s shorthanded goal against Washington on March 27 is the fifth seed, and Derek Roy’s overtime winner against Toronto at home on April 3 makes him number six.
Jordan Leopold’s game-tying goal from that same Toronto game slots him at the seventh seed. Newcomer Cody Hodgson rounds out the top eight with his two-goal performance against Montreal on March 21. Just for sneaking into the top eight with three votes, Hodgson now has the unenviable task of facing the top-seeded Ennis in the first round of voting that starts Tuesday.
None of the participants were available for comment, but we are sure that they’ll be closely monitoring the voting all week long. So vote early and often to make sure that your favorite goal is selected as our “Goal of the Year” at Sabres.com