It's been a long, hard year spanning two different hockey seasons, multiple shutdowns and a lot of weirdness, but we finally made it through — and for that we deserve a little treat.
A strange year for many brought an incredible 12 months for dumb, cool and wild viral videos alike, and there were plenty from the hockey world to sink our eyes in 2021. Here are the best from the year that was.
Connor McDavid wrecking dudes, franchises
As it might be basically every calendar year going forward for at least the next decade, 2021 truly was the Year Of McJesus.
Connor McDavid made his way to the top of he highlight reels over and over again both last season and this one, with the Canucks, Flames, Rangers and Jets taking the brunt of the star forward's wrath for some of the greatest solo efforts we'll ever see.
this man makes me ill several times per weekpic.twitter.com/zwZIqfbTxc
— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) November 19, 2021
Jakub Voracek slays Flyers reporter
It's an honour to resurface this mostly forgotten gem from almost a year ago.
After a second-straight win to open the campaign, Jakub Voracek took his spot on the podium following a two-point night and, after being asked a seemingly innocuous question, completely blasted Flyers beat reporter Mike Sielski on live TV with a NSFW rant for the ages.
Voracek went pure kill mode in his post-game presserpic.twitter.com/COuDGICGwk
— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) January 16, 2021
Jake Muzzin flips puck at Matthew Tkachuk, who loses it
For 60 complete minutes there was little-to-no response from the Maple Leafs in their return clash with the Flames following Matthew Tkachuk’s injury-causing run-in with netminder Jack Campbell in an early season All-Canadian Division clash.
Leafs blueliner Jake Muzzin clearly hit a nerve when he flipped a perfectly weighted puck at a kneeled Tkachuk, however, which landed softly in his lap just as the buzzer finished sounding to end the game. It was just a ratty enough move to elicit an explosive response from the Flames winger.
Aww look. Matthew is upset. 4/4 points. pic.twitter.com/p657ieg67W
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) January 27, 2021
Tim Peel's hot-mic catastrophe
Former NHL referee Tim Peel became an internet sensation for mostly the wrong reasons when he was blatantly caught "managing the game" by a broadcast hot mic back in March.
"It wasn't much but I wanted to get a f—in' penalty against Nashville early in the...” and then the poor producer cut it off just as it was getting good.
The NHL predictably used Peel as a "scapegoat" for its now public officiating culture, firing the veteran zebra — who was up for retirement anyways — shortly after to try and save face.
Robin Lehner snaps at NHL over COVID protocols
Outspoken Golden Knights goaltender and mental-health advocate Robin Lehner was livid over the NHL's handling of COVID-19 protocols for vaccinated teams and players back in April, saying they were blatantly misled by the league.
A furious Lehner took the podium for an impassioned, nearly 11-minute-long speech saying, among other things, that players were lied to by the NHL and the NHLPA about loosening the tight restrictions currently in place once players are vaccinated.
Kucherov's press conference
In not only the presser of the year but maybe the best of all time (sorry Habs fans), Kucherov went shirtless following the Lightning's Stanley Cup Game 5 victory over the Canadiens, ripping Marc-Andre Fleury for winning the Vezina over teammate Andrei Vasilevskiy, then calling out Montreal's fan base for celebrating as if they had won the Cup following Game 4.
The epic rant netted the star forward a Bud Light sponsorship, of course.
The whole Kucherov presser…. Legendary. pic.twitter.com/WSRR2KnjrH
— World Hockey Report (@worldhockeyrpt) July 8, 2021
Garland's "shrinkage" video
We still have no idea what's going on here, but Canucks forward Conor Garland became a beloved internet sensation instantly when he produced this absolute banger of a five-second clip in which he looks about two feet tall.
12 hours later and this video keeps getting funnier somehow pic.twitter.com/XX4XQC8zDv
— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) November 22, 2021
Blues EBUG warming up helmetless
2021 really had it all, including an emergency backup goalie taking a real NHL warm-up with no salad protector on his head. Never stop chasing your dreams, kids.
a no-bucket EBUG warmup for the agespic.twitter.com/MxJb1jTwCu
— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) December 3, 2021
Lemieux biting Brady Tkachuk
Kings forward and alleged "brick head" Brendan Lemieux took a big ol' chomp (twice) out of Brady Tkachuk's hand this past November, resulting in a five-game suspension for the former and bringing out some epic junk-talk quotes from the latter.
“The guy’s just a joke. He shouldn’t be in the league," Tkachuk said after the incident. "This guy’s gutless. No other team wants him, he’s going to keep begging to be in the NHL but no other team is going to want him, he’s an absolute joke. I can’t even wrap my head around it. People don’t even do this. He’s just a bad guy.”
There's videos galore of this whole incident and exchange floating around the interwebs, but this beautiful Jomboy breakdown is the only one you need:
Binnington's helmet toss
Feel like this one flew a bit under the radar for whatever reason, but Blues goalie Jordan Binnington casually removing his helmet and just chucking it on the ice to stop play (and then complaining about some stuff in peak tantrum fashion) is a greasy and hilarious move all wrapped into one.
Arguably the most viral hockey video ever, Ducks youngsters Trevor Zegras and Sonny Milano had hockey fans, random celebrities and curmudgeon-like former coaches losing their minds in all sorts of directions after connecting for one of the nicest and most unique in-game skill-plays in NHL history.
The play was incredible, the subsequent reactions may have been even better.
this Zegras dude's from another planet, complete extraterrestrial pic.twitter.com/9bCxIdQBSb
— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) December 8, 2021
when you can't even believe the level of sauce you just served up pic.twitter.com/9s4JZK4vmD
— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) December 8, 2021
Here's hoping 2022 delivers the viral goods, too.
More from Yahoo Sports