8411. That’s the number of goals for teams had over the 2021 calendar year. We’ve got jaw dropping, “Can you believe it” style goals. We’ve got old school grindy goals. Some incredible tips that would have made us spam “Calculated!” during the replay. And a bunch of goals that probably shouldn’t have counted, or on the flip side ones that should have counted (cue the “Refs you suck!” chant). To kick off the new year, I thought we’d go back and remember some of the best. So, here’s a quick countdown of 2021 NHL Goals of the Year.
TJ Oshie’s Diving Goal
Back in February, TJ Oshie put forth an incredible individual effort to shovel this goal in past Tristan Jarry. A perfect read to burst into the offensive zone while receiving the pass, a nifty move around Matheson, then the key part of the highlight. A diving, one-handed effort to chip it in.
Honourable Mention: While we’re on the topic of diving goals, let’s not overlook Tampa Bay’s Barclay Goodrow passing it over to a diving Blake Coleman who batted it in past Carey Price.
Jack Roslovic’s Dangles
Jack Roslovic took matters into his own hands against the Carolina Hurricanes. As the team was struggling to break into the offensive zone, the Blue Jackets took a step back to reset which gave Roslovic the space he needed to wind up for this goal. Receiving a pass through the neutral zone, Roslovic sheltered himself from one Carolina defender then pulled off a slick deke to bring the puck into his feet and kick it forward to get around Brett Pesce. With an open lane to the net, Roslovic opened up space in Alex Nedeljkovic’s legs to slide the puck into the net.
Honourable Mention: Alexandre Texier dangling around a Vegas defender and working his way around Laurent Brossoit in net for a beautiful shorthanded goal.
Brent Burns with a Wild Goal
Someone changed the difficulty settings here for Brent Burns as he appears to have had the Wild mesmerized with this one. After gaining the puck after a faceoff win, Burns tries to shoot but it gets blocked. He wins the puck back and starts charging the net where he manages to make all 5 Wild skaters look silly on his way. A couple of quick back and forths got him through the remaining couple of defenders and left him nearly alone, only having to worry about Kaapo Kahkonen, who was subsequently beat by the shot.
Honourable Mention: Brent Burns scoring another highlight reel goal against the Wild a few weeks later. He only had to go through one defender that time, though.
Mat Barzal’s Display of Speed, Skill, and Strength
Mat Barzal put all of his talents on display for this incredible goal against the Buffalo Sabres. Racing up the wing to get to a loose puck, he just beats out then-Sabres defender Rasmus Ristolainen. Trying to duck in front of Ristolainen, Barzal shoves the defender off (causing Ristolainen to fall for added effect), leaving him alone in front of the net. Time for a shot? Nope, not yet. Barzal pulls the puck between his legs and then shoots it into the open side of the net.
Trevor Zegras and Sonny Milano Trying New Sports
We’ve seen the Michigan Goal tried and successfully used more and more in the NHL over the past couple of seasons. So naturally, there comes a time where the players try to evolve and take another step with it. That’s where Trevor Zegras and Sonny Milano come in. Zegras is behind the net, perfect position to attempt the Michigan goal for himself. But, he’s got Sonny Milano in a great spot just in front of the net. So, Zegras picks the puck up with his stick and tosses it over the net for Milano to bat in.
This one may have irritated some old hockey men, but it’s a fun and unique goal that goes viral far beyond anything the NHL tries to do with it’s marketing so I’m all for it.
So what happens when Oilers management can’t and/or won’t build a team around two of the best players in the world? This, basically. Connor McDavid became a one-man show on this goal and left nearly everyone’s jaw, including his own, on the floor. Doing normal McDavid things, winding up in the neutral zone, McDavid sees a gap in the Rangers’ defenders and charges in. Using some sort of magic spell, he guides the puck (under his control the entire time) through all four defenders actively trying to impede, stick lift, or slow him up in any way. He finally gets through everyone, gets Alexandar Georgiev to bite on the last move and scores the goal.
I didn’t really number the list, but this one is absolutely the NHL’s Goal of the Year.
Honourable Mention: Connor McDavid goes through all of the Toronto Maple Leafs. And, Connor McDavid gets through 3 Jets and roofs it on a tough, contested shot. You know, I’m sensing a trend here.
And there you have it, a run-down of some of the 2021 NHL Goals of the Year. Which one did I miss? Let us know on social media, you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!. Make sure you check out our podcast as well, find it on any major streaming platform!