We marvel at and become inspired by the beauty and grace of a stunning hockey goal.
So with that being said, here are the NHL’s 10 best goals of 2013 – shootouts not applicable.
10. Backes beats the Blue Jackets, Dec. 15.
David Backes had never scored an overtime goal in an NHL game until this beaut boosted the Blues by the BJs.
9. The goalie scored? Oct. 20.
In the new trapezoidal NHL, it’s damn near impossible for a goalie to score, but somehow Mike Smith did it. Bonus points to him too for beating the buzzer.
8. Kadri’s first hat trick, Feb. 28.
Remember when Nazem Kadri was overweight and had a questionable work ethic? After watching this highlight-reel mark, those days seem like eons ago, as the sweetest of his three tallies on Long Island ranks as our eighth best goal all year.
7. Yakupov crowns the Kings, Jan. 24.
Nail Yakupov probably didn’t grow up playing baseball in Russia, but before he dug his way into the Edmonton Oilers doghouse, he scored this goal and offered a celebration for the ages.
6. Backes beats the Blue Jackets, Part II, April 5.
Sergei Bobrovsky had a great 2012-13, but Backes made him look bad here. A beautiful goal.
5. Zdeno problem, Feb. 24.
What’s the most impressive part about this goal? That it was scored by a stay-at-home defenceman? That said defenceman is six-foot-nine? That it’s six-foot-nine Zdeno Chara looking like Brian Leetch? Yes, all of the above.
4. Vanek tricks the Bruins, Jan. 31.
What a difference 11 months can make. Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville working a two-on-one, with Vanek capping a 7-4 Buffalo Sabres win over the Bruins. A sight for sore eyes for Buffalonians.
3. Dan Boyle coast-to-coast, April 3.
Dan Boyle has a little more snow in his beard than he used to, but the amazingly skilled defenceman turned back the clock with this highlight-reel goal against the Minnesota Wild.
2. Datsyukian Wizardry, Feb. 19.
It was like Boyle’s, only he went through four Nashville Predators instead of three Minnesota players.
1. Tomas Hertl vs. the Rangers, Oct. 8.
Did anyone really think this wouldn’t be No. 1? Cap a four-goal game with a move like this — particularly as a rookie — and you earn some serious style points and our No. 1 ranking.