How Brian Gionta scored his goals in 2013 - Part 1

USA TODAY Sports

After a torn bicep and some surgery to repair it, there were worries from fans and media that Gionta wouldn't be his former self from a goal scoring perspective. Let's look at his goals and see if that's the case.


January 19th, 2013: Rene Bourque takes the puck behind the net, and bounces a pass off of the boards up to Raphael Diaz. Diaz one-times the puck on net, which is stopped by Ben Scrivens. Tomas Plekanec digs the puck out though, and Brian Gionta whacks home the rebound. This goal was a team effort on a zone play.


January 24th, 2013: Bourque takes a pass from Diaz in his own zone and barrels down the left side, gaining the offensive zone and driving deep. He sees Gionta streaking through the slot and puts a pass right into his wheelhouse for an easy tally. This goal was a team effort off the rush.


February 12th, 2013: Some fairly simple PP work as the Canadiens work the puck along the outside of the zone, fron Gionta, to Bourque, to Andrei Markov, to P.K. Subban at the right point. Subban sends it down to Plekanec, who threads the needle to find Gionta on the opposite side of the net for a goal mouth tap in. This goal was a team effort on a zone play.


February 27th, 2013: This goal is notable in that it was Gionta's second goal in a 17 game cold streak, but it ended his slump. Gionta picks off a bad bank pass attempt just outside the Leafs' zone, skates in a bit and wrists the puck into the empty net. This goal was an individual effort off the rush.


March 2nd, 2013: As a powerplay is expiring, Lars Eller gets the puck up to Francis Bouillon in the middle of the blueline, and he gets a wrist shot off. Drifting through the slot, Gionta gets a stick on it and the deflection beats Tomas Vokoun. This goal was a team effort on a zone play.


March 2nd, 2013: Eller brings the puck up ice and gains the zone. He and Prust take three Penguins defenders with them as he drops a pass to Gionta, who releases a cannon slap shot that Vokoun can't stop. This one was tough because the shot itself is all Gionta. Eller doesn't put him in a great shooting area, however both Eller and Prust take the defenders out of the picture and create screens. In the introduction I said that if another player made a significant difference to the goal going in, it wouldn't be an individual effort. Did Eller or Prust do that? It's a razor thin margin, but I'm leaning towards yes. If others disagree though, I think I could be swayed. So I'll classify this as a team effort off the rush.


March 5th, 2013: P.K. Subban let's a slap shot go that Evgeni Nabokov stops, but Gionta is there on the doorstep to grab the rebound and push it home. This goal was a team effort on a zone play.

Tomorrow we'll look at the second half of Gionta's goals in 2013.


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