Creating a winning hockey team requires the best hockey coaching and management to bring together players with an array of abilities. Even though having a diverse selection of players is necessary to win, it is also pretty important to have a clutch player with a lethal shot.

The ability to shoot top shelf with superior accuracy is a skill that can change games. This is something that is well-known in the junior league hockey industry, and “top shelf shooters” are few and far between. However, their impact on a team can be extremely significant.

The Origin of the “Top Shelf” Terminology

The phrase “Top shelf, where mama hides the cookies” was originated by Rick Jeanneret, who was a radio and television play by play announcer for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League. He developed the “slang lingo” based on the popular shot in hockey that was referred to as “going top-shelf.” This area referred to a shot that hits the top of the net. Because the goal looks similar to a shelf, Jeanneret made the comparison that this is where a person’s mother would hide the cookie jar, thus coming up with the analogy.

After using the phrase during multiple games, it “stuck” and is now considered normal ice hockey lingo.

Here are some top shelf scorers and the impact they can have on a game.

Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks

In May 2017, Patrick Marleau, who was a veteran of the San Jose Sharks, and is now a signed player with the Toronto Maple Leafs, opened the scoring against the Dallas Stars with a top shelf goal. This goal was just one of 23 he made during the season. He is well-known for his ability to remain a scoring threat, even with difficult top shelf shots. At the end of the 2017 season, Marleau is going to be an unrestricted free agent, which may mean another team will benefit from his goal-making abilities.

The Flying Goal of Bobby Orr

Perhaps the most famous and well-known goal in all of hockey history was Bobby Orr’s flying goal. This occurred during Yzerman’s seventh game during double-overtime. He made a slap shot to the top corner against the St. Louis Blues in 1996. This is a top shelf shot that hockey fans from all over still talk about.

Ryan O’Reilly

In a game against the Devils, Ryan O’Reilly of the Buffalo Sabres goes “top shelf, where mama hides the cookies,” helping to secure the win for the team. This was a common occurrence for O’Reilly, who has recently become one of the top scorers of this shooting style.

As you can see, top shelf scorers aren’t numerous, but their impact on the game is often significant. This is considered one of the most difficult shots to make because the puck has to be aimed precisely right to enter the net just under the crossbar and right above the shoulders of the goaltender.

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