Barclay Goodrow has twenty-six career NHL goals. As of The Pause, exactly zero of them have come while wearing a Tampa Bay Lightning uniform. Granted, the 26-year-old (hey, that matches the number of goals he has!) forward has only suited up for eight games as a member of the team, and if his history with San Jose is any indication, it could be a few more games before he finds the back of the net.
While those twenty-six goals have been spread over six seasons with Sharks, it’s a bit deceptive as he didn’t spend a full season in the NHL until 2018-19. The eight goals he had out on the West Coast before the Lightning dealt a first-round pick and franchise icon Anthony Greco for Goodrow represent a career high. Besides, the Lightning didn’t pick him up to lead the the team in goals. They just need him to play some solid defense, kill some penalties, get into the occasional scrap, and every once in a while tap in a goal or two.
The Ontario native began his NHL career as an undrafted free agent with the Sharks in 2014. Due to an evolving roster and a solid training camp, Goodrow made the roster as a 21-year-old rookie, but a hand injury kept him out of the first 11 games. He finally debuted at the end of October and it took him a few games to build up his ice time.
As injuries piled up on the Sharks roster (Goodrow was one of five rookies on the San Jose roster in December), he found steady playing time on the third line with veteran James Sheppard and fellow first-year forward Melkar Karlsson. On November 16th, Goodrow recorded his first NHL point (an assist against Carolina) and then seven games later he finally found the back of the net.
After he scored, he said what pretty much every player says when it takes him awhile to record his first goal:
“I felt I was still doing some good things out there despite not getting the offense I wanted. But it was definitely a relieving feeling and it was good to get that first one out of the way.”
The magic moment came against the struggling Edmonton Oilers (without superstar Connor McDavid) and less than a minute after much older teammate Joe Pavelski opened the scoring.
The video clip begins with the puck in the Edmonton corner. Goodrow (#89) is hanging out at the top of the circle as his linemates James Sheppard and Melkar Karlsson battle an outnumbered Justin Schultz.
As one might expect, the Sharks duo emerges with the puck. Karlson (#68) glides behind the red line on his way to the net and apparently becomes invisible as the Oilers completely ignore him and collapse on the puck carrier Sheppard. Goodrow presents himself as an option, obviously ready to pull the trigger for a quick one-timer should the veteran dish the puck off to him.
Edmonton has overloaded the left side of the ice and have Sheppard pretty well surrounded. Goodrow is an option, but he’s covered by David Perron on his right, old friend Teddy Purcell on his left, and another old friend, Keith Aulie, in front of him reaching his stick out. The only thing that could cause them trouble would be if Karlsson snuck in front of the net and Sheppard was able to slip a pass to him. No way that happens, right? Look at all of those bodies and sticks around Sheppard.
Whelp. That didn’t work. Sheppard is able to slide the puck under Mark Arcobello’s stick to Karlsson who has reappeared all alone in front of the net. This is most definitely the worst case scenario for the Oilers who now have to watch Ben Scrivens go one-on-one with the Swedish rookie.
Edmonton is in full recovery mode as they crash the net trying to help their goalie who they just left out on an island. Goodrow, showing some excellent instincts, drifts toward the net as well, but doesn’t get too close and is able to stay out of the scrum that develops after Scrivens makes a fantastic save on Karlsson.
Scrivens was able to get his blocker on Karlsson’s shot and defect it wide. The Oilers get a bit of a bad break as the puck hits Schultz in the left ankle preventing it from bounding off harmlessly into the corner. Instead it falls back into a danger area.
Arcobello clears out the first San Jose threat as he pushes Sheppard past the net. He isn’t able to find the puck in time to clear it and Aulie is leaning the wrong way after trying to deflect the initial shot from Karlsson. Purcell is just kind of hanging out and watching the play as Goodrow finds himself in the right spot as the puck bounces down to his stick.
There is no time for Scrivens to recover as Goodrow sweeps the puck into an almost empty net. The rookie acknowledged that Karlsson (who recorded his first NHL point on the goal) made the play work. As he told the press after the game, “The puck just came out in front, and I think Melky made a good play to get it in front,” Goodrow said. “I had a pretty full net to put it home.”
Karlsson drove the play by helping win the puck in the corner and finding the open space in front of the net to set up the initial shot. The Oilers were caught out of position and an unfortunate bounce exposed them, but Goodrow put himself in the right spot to capitalize on the lucky hop.
Lightning fans can look forward to him showing similar instincts once the season boots back up and Goodrow’s first Tampa Bay goal will most likely look somewhat similar. He does have a bit of a history of scoring in the playoffs. In fact, it was just a little over a year ago when he scored a pretty big goal for the Sharks - that is if you consider a Game Seven overtime goal as pretty big.
Other First Goals in the Series: