Every year, us hockey fans are treated to some goals that will live on in highlight reels, Sportscentre Top 10 segments, and team fanbase lore as the best goals showcasing skill, strength, resiliency, and sometimes sheer luck. The 2018-2019 season was no exception. So, here are some of the best goals from the 2018-2019 NHL season.
Evgeni Malkin Backhand Snipe
Watching a player get off a backhand rocket is a treat. Add in the distance from the net, the spin move Malkin pulls, and the top corner shot placement and you have a beautiful hockey goal.
Roman Josi One-Man Effort
Let’s break this play down. Josi gets the puck off a pass, tries to chip it forward to keep it in the zone. That doesn’t work and he gets the puck right back. Here’s where it gets good. Josi cuts wide to beat the Bruin, drives to the slot while pulling off a slick move on Torey Krug, ends up in a perfect location to take a shot and he sneaks it in low for the goal. Defenders who can pull this type of goal off are great examples of modern day, strong skating, puck moving defenseman.
Mikko Rantanen Does it All
This goal has almost every single quality desired in a player. Strong skating for him to jump up and challenge Thompson, excellent defensive stick to knock it free and cause the turnover, slick stickhandling as he gets around the poke check of Forbort, then the absolute rocket of a shot as he is falling down to get it past Jack Campbell in the Kings net.
The Huberdeau Possession
Huberdeau is everywhere on this one. The possession for Huberdeau scoring starts with a great drop pass play by Barkov which gives Huberdeau all the time and space in the world to gain possession and get his bearings. He can then cut straight to the net to catch Skinner just coming back into position, but a great deke puts the puck just out of Skinner’s reach to get by him. A second, identical move throws the Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark off and Huberdeau slides it in through his outstretched arm.
Jankowski the Magician
This one starts off innocent enough. Jankowski takes it in to the Coyotes’ zone, cuts through a couple defenders, tries and fails to get a weak shot off and ends up behind the net. Time for the Coyotes to grab the puck and counter attack, right? I mean, they have 3 guys on Jankowski and a fourth floating nearby. Uhh.. keep watching. Jankowski quickly spins out of coverage and gets all alone in front of the net where he stuffs it in. Weak defensive coverage? Yeah, sure. But also outstanding puck control showed by Jankowski. Oh, I forgot to mention this was also a shorthanded goal.
Radulov End to End
Oh, how I love end-to-end rushes. Alexander Radulov pulls off a beautiful one here vesus the Flames. As he gathers speed through the neutral zone, he skates directly into what appears to be the Triangle of Doom of 3 Flames defenders. But, never fear as Radulov blasts right through them and comes in alone on David Rittich. After a sneaky move opens up the five-hole, Radulov slides it in for the incredible solo effort goal.
Early in this play, you can see the exact moment that Ryan Hartman realizes he should attack. As he gets the pass while entering the offensive zone, he pulls off an incredible move to get around the challenging Colin Miller to gain direct, unobstructed access to Malcolm Subban in net. After he drags it to his backhand and stretches the goalie out, opening some space for a shot, he fires off a backhand shot over Subban for the breathtaking goal.
First part of the video title sums this up nicely. GOTTA SEE IT. Except you GOTTA SEE IT in slow-motion cause there’s no way to really follow McDavid’s stickhandling wizardry in real time. As he is rushing to get deep in the zone, he receives a perfect pass. Then, cutting between 2 defenders as he looks to be taking it behind the net, McDavid, in the blink of an eye, pulls it back and goes between the legs to somehow put it top shelf, far side over Anton Khudobin. Wow.
Skinner’s Offensive Zone Domination
The newly signed Jeff Skinner is showing why was able to snag the contract he did with this goal. The relentless pressure on the puck, tenacious forecheck, pouncing on loose pucks, and puck-on-a-string stickhandling led to this beauty. After fighting for the puck in a few battles with different Panthers players, Skinner finally grabs it for good as the puck comes off the boards. From there, he cuts inside on one defender, but not too far as there’s another defender close on that side, where he fires off an absolute rocket while falling down. Unreal.
Crosby’s Overtime Heroics
You know, I’m a huge Oilers fan but even I couldn’t be mad at this goal when I watched it. Honestly, I just feel bad for Ryan Strome who got caught out there for a long time against Crosby. And did Crosby ever make them pay. Showing why he is still arguably the best player in the league, Crosby used his strength and elite puck control ability to hold on while he found a lane to attack. With a quick turn, he chose directly through Ryan Strome. And Crosby did go directly through him with a deke sending the puck between Strome’s legs as he fell over, leaving Crosby alone in front of the net. From there, Crosby waited out Cam Talbot as he used his league best backhand to flick it by Talbot’s glove. A clutch overtime winner for the great.
Duchene’s MLB Audition Tape
Here’s a different one, a baseball goal. Even more impressive because of how far out from the net it was! Seems like an innocent enough play in the lead-up. Fairly slow zone entry, firing off a wrist shot from a distance. But here is where it gets interesting. The puck bounces off of Gudas as he blocks it and into the air in the faceoff circle. Duchene, now in perfect position for this second chance, bats it out of the air on his backhand from the faceoff dot and past Anthony Stolarz in the Flyers’ net. This was absolutely a goal for the ages.
How many more goals like this does Barkov need to pull off before he is finally graduated from most underrated player in the league? Wow! With quick anticipation from his teammate batting the puck away from the Canadiens, Barkov sends it around an opponent and up the boards. He beats out Mete in the footrace, leaving only Carey Price in his way. Barkov sends the puck forwards but quickly pulls it back and goes through his legs, getting Price to go down. Then, he puts it top shelf for the jaw dropping finish on an unbelievable play.
Aberg Owns the Sharks Defense
Pontus Aberg was in absolute control of everything on this play. His aggressive attack on the Shark forces the turnover just past the blueline where he charges up and cuts to the net. Joakim Ryan gets completely owned twice on this play as Aberg cuts inside to the slot then quickly back out. This also throws Martin Jones off, as he was playing quite aggressively on the play, where Aberg chips it in past for the top tier tally.
Duclair’s Elite Puck Control
Anthony Duclair made the highlight reels when he scored this hard-working goal oozing with skill early in the season. As he brings the puck into the zone cutting wide, he stops for a quick turn to drive the net and get around the Flyers defenseman. But, he falls and loses the puck briefly. Don’t worry, though, since he corrals it back before the other defender can pick it up, and from his knees controls it, stands up, turns back around to his forehand and rips a wrist shot as he is getting knocked down again. This was an incredible individual effort for Duclair.