Heading into the final day of 2013, there and been 7,013 goals scored in the NHL this calendar year. With 11 games on New Year's Eve, that number will be a tad higher.
Out of all those goals, plus a few outstanding tallies from around the world, we had to whittle down to a list of the 10 best. It was difficult. There were many spectacular goals in 2013 at all levels of hockey. Some were no-brainers. Others required some debate.
All that said, because of our deep devotion both to our readers and to the curation of quality lists, we powered through and got it done. Here are our top 10 goals of 2013.
Enjoy, and Happy New Year.
Normally, when you knock a guy down while he's facing away from the net, that's a strong indication that he's not about to score. But Claude Giroux's a special player.
A late entry into the contest, Muir pulled off this goal during a USHL in December that saw him fight off a defender and whack a backhanded shot top-shelf over the netminder's glove:
Athleticism and skill are two things you need to create a goal of the year candidate. Sometimes, it just comes down to straight hustling. While killing a penalty against the Boston Bruins, Shawn Matthias wanted this goal so back he practically went through Dougie Hamilton to score it:
Kane has cornered the market on the spin-o-rama move. Whether it's passing or creating a shot, the Blackhawks forward knows when to press the circle button and spin his way into a scoring chance, as demonstrated against the Stars:
6. Jamie Benn does it himself versus Red Wings
Rumors swirled last season that Boyle might be on his way out of San Jose as the trade deadline approached. It came and went and the defenseman remained in teal. He celebrated his staying with this coast-to-coast goal that saw him dangle through Norris Trophy finalist Ryan Suter:
Just the move around Calvin de Haan would have given this goal at least some consideration; but then tripping over the Islanders defenseman's leg, keeping his poise long enough to retain possession of the puck and beating Anders Nilsson up high? Sweet.
3. Sidney Crosby creates his own opportunity
This overtime goal by the Penguins captain finished off a 2-0 third period comeback against the Islanders an began with Crosby stripping the puck from Thomas Vanek:
The Sharks smashed the Rangers 9-2 early in the season and while the blowout raised some eyebrows, the hockey world was introduced to Hertl who said hello by scoring four times, highlighted by this:
Meanwhile, Foligno went to the 'ole trick bag to open the scoring against the Lightning:
There weren't many more Predators for Datsyuk to deke, but we're pretty sure an army of them likely wouldn't have been able to stop this type of sorcery:
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