The puck slides past the goaltender, fans cheer and the horn blares. The goal scorer now has a chance to show off a special celebration. For a couple moments, all eyes are fixed on them and they can add their own pizazz to the action. Some of these celebrations have become forever ingrained into the minds of hockey fans — Bobby Orr’s flying goal, Tiger Williams' riding stick celebration, and Milan Hejduk’s swim come to mind. But for now I'm highlighting my favorite common ways skaters at all levels do it best.
There are a million ways to go when a celebration moves to a knee. Dropping down to sweep the ice, or reaching back to the quiver before blasting an arrow into the sky, but seeing a player pull a long-distance power slide — like Nail Yakupov — is my favorite. It’s even better with a guitar stick strum, a la Pete Townshend.
There's something special about the continuity of sniping a goal from distance, then pulling out your stick as a rifle and blasting away a few imaginary targets, or throwing your glove up in the air like a clay pigeon before peppering it down like Teemu Selene did after surpassing the rookie goalscoring record in 1993. Just be careful to have the safety on when aiming at the opponent because it could lead to a brawl as Artem Anisimov learned.
This classic is simple, but awesome because it allows fans to join in. Seeing a favorite player smash into the glass directly in front of fans can feel like being thrown into the action. And after the player completes the move, they are almost always swarmed by teammates. Fans lucky enough to be standing alongside pound on the glass, inches away from the dogpile.
The Great One made this celebration iconic after crossing the all-time goal-scoring plateau in 1989. This celebration is a bit rare in prep action, but when a player breaks out the butt-kickers it seems to express pure elation and instantly feels like being thrown into a time machine.
The Michael Jackson throwback can take a while to master — heck even the San Jose Sharks struggled with it. But, when executed flawlessly, like the rink version of one of the best dance moves on Earth seems to bring smiles to even opposing fans, like no other celly.
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