Goals, hits and licks: The top 10 NHL moments of 2018

As 2018 comes to an end, here's a look back at the most memorable, most shared and most talked about moments in the NHL. While they're not all amazing snipes or game-saving stops, these will certainly be hard to top in 2019.

A historic Stanley Cup win, retirements, and lots of licking made up the past year

The Brad Marchand licking controversy during the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs was one of the most talked about moments of the year. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

As 2018 comes to an end, here's a look back at the most memorable, most shared and most talked about moments in the NHL. While they're not all amazing snipes or game-saving stops, these will certainly be hard to top in 2019.

10: Laine scores 5 goals on 5 shots

On Nov. 11, Winnipeg's Patrik Laine had a monster five-goal game, becoming the first player to complete the feat since Detroit's Johan Franzen in 2011. Laine also earned his seventh career hat trick in the process — and third in November alone.

"I felt like every time I touched the puck it kind of went in somehow," Laine said after the game. "It was one of those nights. It's probably not going to happen in a while, but we'll hope it happens. It was a great night overall for myself and my line mates."

WATCH: Laine has an historic night for the Winnipeg Jets:

The 20-year-old Jet now leads the NHL with 19 goals 0:59

9: Hyman's parents cheer him on in fight

When he's not playing hockey, Toronto's Zach Hyman is writing children's books. But that doesn't mean he can't put up his dukes when it matters.

Hyman got into a little tilt with Detroit's Darren Helm on March 25th and had his parents Stuart and Vicky Hyman cheering from the stands. While the fight isn't all that entertaining, Hyman's parents' reaction is priceless.

WATCH: Vicky Hyman is not like a regular mom, she's a cool mom:

8: The Battle of Alberta heats up

Everyone loves a good rivalry and fans are likely to get their money's worth when the Flames and Oilers face-off. This was no different on Nov. 18 when the much-anticipated Battle of Alberta featured 11 penalties in just the first period of play.

WATCH: 3 steps to a memorable Battle of Alberta

The long anticipated 'Battle of Alberta' features 11 penalties in the first period 1:03

7: Auston Matthews channels his inner ref

In a January game against the Colorado Avalanche, Toronto's Auston Matthews thought he gave the Leafs the lead on a goal-mouth scramble in the second period. But Colorado coach Jared Bednar challenged for goalie interference and it was overturned.

On his very next shift, Matthews scored off a William Nylander rebound and made sure everyone knew it.

WATCH: The many faces of Auston Matthews

The Leafs forward channelled his inner ref​ 0:48

6: Tom Wilson breaks Zach Aston-Reese's jaw

The arch-rival Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins met again in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last May. As they do, things got heated and Tom Wilson once again became public enemy No. 1.

Pittsburgh's Zach Aston-Reese was stickhandling near the Washington bench when Wilson slammed into him, sending the 6-foot-4 Aston-Reese to the ice. He broke his jaw, suffered a concussion and wasn't able to eat solid food until three months later.

As for Wilson, he didn't receive a penalty on the play but was later suspended for three games.

WATCH: Tom Wilson breaks Zach Aston-Reese's jaw

Capitals' winger Tom Wilson was back at it again in Game 3 with a massive hit on Zach Aston-Reese forcing him to leave the game. 1:06

5: Maple Leafs honour Stompin' Tom

In October, Stompin' Tom Connors's legendary tune The Hockey Song was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. To pay tribute to the achievement, country singer Tim Hicks performed an acoustic version at the Scotiabank Arena, where the tune has been played for almost every Leafs home game.

WATCH: Tim Hicks performs Stompin' Tom's Hockey Song

The legendary tune was recently inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame 1:14

4: Golden Knights pay tribute to Sedin twins

In one of their final games since announcing they would retired at the end of last season, the Sedin twins and the Vancouver Canucks were defeated by the Golden Knights 5-4 in a shootout. But that wasn't what most Canucks fans will remember most.

While Henrik and Daniel skated around the rink after the game to a standing ovation, every single Golden Knights player remained on the ice to partake in the celebration and shake their hands.

WATCH: Vegas salutes Henrik and Daniel Sedin 

3: Nazem Kadri gives Joe Thornton a beard trim

Just two seconds after being tossed in the opening face-off on Jan. 4, Toronto's Nazem Kadri and San Jose's Joe Thornton dropped the gloves. During the scrap, Kadri pulled out a clump of Thornton's prized beard and dropped the tumbleweed on the ice.

"I thought I was a hockey player not a barber," Kadri added after the game with a chuckle.

WATCH: Things get a little hairy between Kadri and Thornton:

2. Caps win the Cup

When the Washington Capitals finally ended their championship drought, there was no more poignant image than Alex Ovechkin putting his hands on his head and jumping over the boards in celebration. Ovi was finally a Stanley Cup champion and also captured the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

WATCH: Ovi and the Caps finally win the elusive Stanley Cup:

32-year-old Alex Ovechkin hoists the Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy on the same night​ 1:05

1: Brad Marchand licks up controversy

The top NHL moment of 2018 is so memorable, it actually happened more than once.

Boston Bruins instigator Brad Marchand has many different ways to taunt his opponent, but in Game 1 of the team's first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Marchand discovered a new tactic. He could be seen clearly licking opposing forward Leo Komarov on the neck. 

WATCH: Brad Marchand can't stop kissing Leo Komarov:

Bruins instigator has found a new tactic​ 0:26

Then, in Game 4 of Boston's second-round playoff series with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Marchand found a new crush and licked Tampa's Ryan Callahan on the cheek.

WATCH: Brad Marchand licks Lightning's Ryan Callahan:

Bruins' star continues to taunt opponents with his tongue 0:09

The antics drew national attention and reprimand from the NHL and Marchand later admitted he needed to clean up his act.

"I think I've gotten my game into a pretty decent spot, but I got some character things and things that I've done that clearly need some fixing," he said a few days after being eliminated from the playoffs.


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