November 02, 2010
Earlier today, we published Puck Daddy's NHL 2010-11 Goal Celebration Ranking for the Eastern Conference, which crowned Ric Flair and the Carolina Hurricanes as champs and placed the uninspired Boston Bruins in the basement.
Now it's time to rank the Western Conference, we have to say these 15 arenas do a much better job of providing uncommon, adventurous goal celebrations than their counterparts back East. From rock anthems to organ music to specialized song choices for specific players, the West is the best when the red lamp is lit.
To reset the specifics: The ranking is based on uniqueness of the experience; whether an opportunity for an even greater celebration may have been squandered; the quality of the goal horn; the quality of the goal song; and, of course, the personal preferences of the Puck Daddy editorial staff on what we like to hear.
Here are the 2010-11 NHL Goal Celebration Rankings for the Western Conference.
We didn't want to burden you with 15 different video clips, so please do check out the "Listen Here" links for a sample of each goal celebration.
We've used the most recent information available on each goal song. If you have anything to add, please do so in the comments. Also, check out Dave Caldwell's fine piece from the NY Times last April on goal song trends.
And here ... we ... go.
15. Colorado Avalanche: (Listen Here) Classic goal horn into classic "Rock and Roll Part 2"/"Hey"-gasm. As quaintly old school as an Adam Foote(notes) obstruction penalty. By no means an affront to goal celebrations; it resembles a few of the ones we heard over in the Eastern Conference. But someone had to be No. 15, and it's this combination.
14. Dallas Stars: (Listen Here) Booming goal horn-into-tiresome Gary Glitter combo. (But a better horn than the Avs.) Not for nothing, but this is a hockey team in Dallas, Texas; how about a little local flavor? No one's asking for Toby Keith; maybe something cool from the Austin scene. Bottom line: The AHL Texas Stars' goal song sounds fresher than the parent team's.
13. Minnesota Wild: (Listen Here) Classic goal horn that gets a little "yeah, we get it, it's a goal" obnoxious by the third sounding. Then comes Joe Satriani's "Crowd Chant", a song that should be drilled into your cerebellum if you played but a minute of NHL 2K9.
12. Phoenix Coyotes: (Listen Here) Solid goal horn, Joe Satriani's "Crowd Chant" ... and a Coyote howl thrown in for good measure. Needs more howling! Incidentally, this entire clip below is Gary Bettman's ringtone.
11. Edmonton Oilers: (Listen Here) Higher-pitched horn fills the arena nicely as "Get Out of the Way" by Econoline Crush begins playing; its "hey's" and "get out of the way" declarations making for an effective goal song. That said, Copper & The Blue lobbied for a change to player-specific songs; and "Gigantic" from The Pixies for Dustin Penner(notes) is all sorts of right.
10. Vancouver Canucks: (Listen Here) Goal horn that lets out about 2-5 toots before "Holiday" by Green Day kicks in, which has a pretty cool beat for a goal song. We've heard from some Canucks fans that don't entirely dig this as a goal song; we say enjoy it, because it could be worse. A lot worse.
9. Anaheim Ducks: (Listen Here) About three blasts from a goal horn that either sounds like an Aboriginal didgeridoo or a malfunctioning refrigerator. Then comes "Bro Hymn" by Pennywise, a rousing tune that's been the Ducks' goal song since 2005. Same lyric: "When you're feeling too close to the bottom/You know who it is you can count on." No, the next lyric is not "anyone by Randy Carlyle," wise-asses. A goal song that's launched its share of Jersey Fouls:
8. Calgary Flames: (Listen Here) High-pitched goal horn that blares several times before we hear the sandpaper tones of Bon Scott as AC/DC rocks "Shot Down In Flames." The song is about trying to woo women during a night on the town only to have those advances rejected. So, like, the opposite of scoring then. Still rocks, though.
7. San Jose Sharks: (Listen Here) Thunderous goal horn, like a huge ship cutting through the fog as it rolls into the bay. Then something that's either going to make you smile or cringe: a synth keyboard version of "Rock and Roll Part 2" that ends with a drum solo that, for whatever reason, evokes Will Ferrell rocking out on John C. Reilly's kit in "Step Brothers":
6. Nashville Predators: (Listen Here) Big blaring goal horn, and then the awkward transition to the (completely appropriate) country pop of Tim McGraw's "I Like It, I Love It" and "Rock and Roll Part II," complete with the "You Suck" audience participation.
5. Detroit Red Wings: (Listen Here) Perhaps the NHL's most innovative collection of goal songs, tailored to individual players. In 2009, the AP did a list of the various songs being played for Red Wings players, including "I Can't Drive 55" for Niklas Kronwall(notes) (No. 55 in your programs, No. 1 in your hearts.) Brian Rafalski(notes) gets "Jump Around" because they play the song at his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin. The arena plays "Hey Hey Hockeytown" after the Wings' first goal, and mixes in "Rock and Roll Part II" at other times.
4. Los Angeles Kings: (Listen Here) An absolutely freight train of a goal horn makes a sharp left turn into the Randy Newman-penned pop of "I Love L.A." before making another sharp turn into an in-house rock anthem with lots of crunchy guitars and "heys." We have an obvious soft spot for this one, because "I Love LA" was the theme to that baseball montage in "The Naked Gun." HEY, IT'S ENRICO PALAZZO!
3. St. Louis Blues: (Listen Here) The goal horn sounds like it's been sounded for decades, and it precedes a song that's been played for decades: "When the Saints Go Marching In," performed on an organ. For traditionalists, it's hockey arena ecstasy. For the "Bro Hymn" crowd, it's ear-bleeding time. Bottom line: Any goal that's celebrated with a song that ends with a slide-whistle is a goal properly celebrated.
2. Chicago Blackhawks: (Listen Here) Oh, now what was that song the Blackhawks play after their goals? So tough to remember, being that there's nothing da-da-da ... uh, catchy about the da-da-da ... uh, song. Seriously, what was the name of da-da-da/da-da-da/da-da/da da da da:
No siree ... nothing annoyingly repetitive about "Chelsea Dagger" by The Fratelli's as a goal song. The Blackhawks weren't the first team to use this ode to a stripper during games, but they may have been the first team to have the song become an aural weapon of mass distraction for opponents like the Vancouver Canucks. For that, we must celebrate it ... especially because there's an impressive Chicago Stadium-style goal horn that precedes it.
But it is not No. 1. Because for all the communal greatness of "Chelsea Dagger," it lacks both AC/DC and a cannon.
1. Columbus Blue Jackets: (Listen Here) The cannon isn't for everyone. And by "everyone" we mean there are those out there who don't appreciate an AC/DC classic like "For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)" being enhanced by heavy artillery.
We call these fellow citizens "lame-ohs."
The horn's irrelevant when you have an [expletive] cannon.
The goal song segues into the entrance theme "No Way But the Hard Way" by Airbourne as well.
The NHL needs more cannons. Make'em mandatory.