Over the next two days, I will be looking back at 50 of the most memorable NHL moments of the year 2013. This will include big trade shocks, weird goals and everything above and beyond (positive and negative). Because there is such a variety of events that have happened this past year, and everyone will have different opinions on their importance or memorability the numbers are not a ranking, merely a way of keeping track of the events.
1) The first one I will start off with is already an exception. This happened during an ECHL game back in February 2013 during the Bakersfield Condors and the Las Vegas Wranglers. The game was a home game for the Condors and they took out a live condor during the national anthem. He escaped and ran across the ice causing a bit of trouble before hopping over the home teams’ bench and running down the hallway to the locker room.
2) The Vancouver Canucks scored a shorthanded goal on themselves against the Montreal Canadiens back in October (in Vancouver). Dan Hamhuis retrieved the puck behind his own net, it hit Jason Garrison’s skate and went past Roberto Luongo into the net. The strangest part was the Montreal Canadiens were on a change at the other end of the ice and not one player made their way to the Canucks zone at the time of the goal. Credit for the goal was given to Lars Eller who was the last Canadiens player to touch the puck. However he did not get the accompanying +1 in the plus/minus stat as he was actually on the Canadiens’ bench when the puck entered the net.
3) A memory for all fans, especially those in Leafs nation, will be when they finally made the playoffs in 2013 for the first time since 2004. They had to beat the Ottawa Senators in order to clinch a spot, and they were able to do so.
4) Another playoff memory was when the Toronto Maple Leafs ALMOST beat the Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs (game seven). The Bruins comeback shocked everyone as they were down 4-1 until halfway through the third period and managed to as we call it, “pull a Boston” and sent the Maple Leafs to overtime where they then managed to complete the comeback.
5) Another wacky goal that was noted and probably embarrassing was against the LA Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. He left the net to try and stop a cleared puck but lost his stick and the puck rebounded off him and went into his net.
6) The Stanley Cup Final of the shortened 2013 season was played between two members of the original six; the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks. The Chicago Blackhawks lead the league in points this season and made it a Stanley Cup/President’s trophy double when they beat the Bruins in six games. Another feature of this series was the fact that both teams had recent Stanley Cup Championships, but it was the Hawks who added their second cup in four years.
7) A recent game in the Florida Panthers arena caused quite a stir. This time it was not due to any lack of people in the arena, but by the maintenance crew during a game between the Panthers and the Detroit Red Wings. After a pane of glass broke behind the net, the crew put up a new one but was unable to remove the brown protective sheet leaving many fans unable to see the conclusion of the game.
8) The Boston Bruins had a blockbuster trade this summer when they traded Tyler Seguin, Ryan Button and Rich Peverley to the Dallas Stars for Loui Eriksson, Matt Fraser, Joe Morrow and Reilly Smith. It seems to be working out for both clubs as Seguin is lighting things up in Dallas and while Loui Eriksson has been good with the Bruins, Reilly Smith appears to be a real steal of the deal.
9) A weird thing that may never be seen again was during a game with the Boston Bruins and the aforementioned Tyler Seguin. After a shift, Seguin was using smelling salts then threw the salts behind him and it landed into a fans beer in the front row.
10) Patrick Roy’s first NHL game as the new head coach of the Colorado Avalanche cost him $10 000. The Avalanche won the game 6-1 against the Anaheim Ducks but that did not stop Roy from flipping out on Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, pushing the glass towards him.
11) A big shock that happened during the summer of 2013 was Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson deciding to leave the team and sign with the Detroit Red Wings. He was with the team for 17 years and had been captain for 13 of those years.
12) A cute moment in hockey happened during a Minnesota Wild game. It put a smile on nearly everyone’s face. No writing will do this moment justice, you will just have to watch for yourself.
13) Some would like to see the NHL take fighting out of the league and talk intensified after after an incident on opening night of the 2013-14 season in a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens. George Parros and Colton Orr were having their second fight of the night and Orr slipped and Parros tripped over him hitting his chin on the ice and knocking himself out.
*warning video of incident can be scary* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmEGlwmG_Hw
14) The Coyotes finally sold. The NHL had owned the Phoenix Coyotes since buying the team out of bankruptcy court in 2009 and had been searching for a new owner ever since. While their appeared to be several interested parties, they always seemed to be close before a last second problem scuttled the deal. That was until August when Ice Arizona paid over $225 million for the team.
15) Back in November, Team Canada Olympic hopeful Steven Stamkos broke his tibia after crashing into his own net in a game against the Boston Bruins. He was rushed to the hospital and had surgery the next day. Two weeks later he was walking without crutches and a month later he was skating. Team Canada may have hope to see Stamkos at the 2014 Sochi Olympics yet.
*warning video of incident* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuzcKwxrw_o
16) Some goal celebrations need to be worked on, this one includes former Carolina Hurricanes forward Jussi Jokinen. In February against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jokinen scored and then fell before celebrating the goal with his teammates.
17) Goalies to leave their net from time to time. Sometimes it fails and sometimes it works. For Marty Brodeur (New Jersey Devils) it has often worked out well for him, but this incident was probably a little embarrassing. After leaving the net to retrieve his goal stick, he realized that the puck was headed towards the New Jersey end. Brodeur quickly raced back to the net, but tripped over his stick on the way, creating a blooper for all to see. Brodeur proved that sometimes the best even make mistakes.
18) In March 2013, Rick Nash almost scored on his own team (New York Rangers) in overtime of a game against the Buffalo Sabres. Nash retrieved the puck in his own zone and crossed in front of his own net, and ended up falling on a cross over. Henrik Lundqvist had to make the save on his own teammate.
19) I am sure anybody who has watched the Ottawa Senators home games has noticed that coach Paul Maclean has a twin who shows up from time to time. The guy looks exactly like Paul and often dresses similar. He even has had seats directly behind the Senators bench. Here’s the highlight for any non-Senators fans.
20) Pittsburgh Penguins netminder Tomas Vokoun became a victim of an unlucky goal back in February. Washington Capitals defenceman John Carlson sent the puck down the ice and off the boards. Vokoun thought it’d go behind the net so he went to wait for the puck there… instead it went straight in.
21) In March 2013 the Edmonton Oilers were the beneficiaries of a lucky bounce or two on this play where the puck deflected off a couple skates and into the Minnesota Wilds’ net. It was kind of like a whacky ping pong play that resulted in the goal.
22) Another weird play was when Erik Gudbranson (Florida Panthers) got checked into the boards by Jay McClement (Toronto Maple Leafs). Gudbranson got his glove stuck between the glass.
23) Hybrid Icing was introduced in 2013. I have no idea how to explain it, and neither do most announcers, coaches, fans, and even some linesmen, but this video is the best explanation I have seen.
24) A couple of weeks ago, Alex Ovechkin from the Washington Capitals scored four goals for his team, tying the game later against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Caps would win in Overtime.
25) The Phoenix Coyotes lost a game in overtime after the puck went into goalie Mike Smith’s pads and he fell into the net leading the Buffalo Sabres to an overtime win.
Stay tuned for Part II.
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