Inside the Hurricanes’ wild new postgame celebration

Postgame celebrations in the NHL have become perfunctory. Players win a game. Players skate out to the logo at center ice. Players raise their sticks to salute the crowd, perhaps adding a glove clap or two, and then head to the dressing room to pump their victory song of choice from the speakers.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

“Listen, they’re all good shows of respect to the people that come and watch. But sometimes they get a little bit stagnant, like you have to do it. It starts feeling less and less, when it should feel more and more,” said Carolina Hurricanes captain Justin Williams.
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What the Hurricanes did was a far cry from the usual stick raise after their 8-5 win over the New York Rangers on Sunday, having rallied with four goals in the third period. All the players lined up on the blue line. The raised their arms in the air and did a slow clap, at times looking like they were transitioning from the “Y” to the “M” in the “YMCA” dance. Williams then broke from formation and skated down the ice, waving his glove for his teammates to join him. One by one, they followed, smiling broadly.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

After the game, Williams was keenly aware that the Hurricanes might have breached hockey culture protocol. It’s a culture that de-emphasizes that level of enthusiasm in an “act like you’ve been there” way, and one that can demonize emphatic celebrations. Witness last week’s incident when Brad Marchand reacted to Lars Eller’s postgoal merriment by repeatedly punching him in the face.

What Williams discovered, however, was an outpouring of love for the Hurricanes’ jubilation. “The response we got from everyone after the game — on Twitter, phone calls and text — about 98 percent of the people enjoyed it. But you can’t please everybody,” he said. “I just think that if we can have fun doing what we love, we’re going to be better for it. Hockey’s a tough game. There are good days and bad days. But if you can enjoy yourself by working hard, we’re going to be a lot more cohesive on the ice. Become not just guys on the ice, but brothers on the ice.”

And, in the process, help change the perceptions of the Carolina Hurricanes, a frequently maligned franchise that hasn’t made the Stanley Cup playoffs since 2009.

“We’re trying to rebrand the Carolina Hurricanes into being relevant, I guess,” said Williams. “This is one small thing. This is just a celebration after the game. But it means something to us because there hasn’t been a lot of success here, and we’re trying to show people that we won’t stand for it.”