Thou Shall Not Celebrate in The House of Therrien

By Stevie

Crazy goal celebrations have been a major source of controversy in hockey. Are they unsportsmanlike? Are they too over the top?

Last week, Nail Yakupov celebrated like mad after his game tying goal. This was his first meaningful huge game changing goal of his young career.

That is really impressive distance on the slide.

But in Montreal, Yakupov would likely be benched for this stunt. The Canadiens announced today the ban of the “triple-low five”, PK Subban and Carey Price’s secret handshake.

The young players use this handshake to celebrate wins. Head Coach Michel Therrien, a known disciplinarian as the former head coach of the Penguins, has put the kabbosh on the handshake.

“It’s a team concept,” said Therrien of the team rule. “You have to respect the game, the other team and the fans.

“The way we decided to celebrate this year is to salute the fans because they deserve it.”- The Canadian Press

Evgeni Malkin, Artem Anisimov, and Alexander Ovechkin wouldn’t last a day with this rule.


What if Bylsma told Geno he wasn’t allowed to get excited about wins and goals?

03-16-01_evgeni-malkin_original copy

Goal celebrations are entertaining. The players and their teams deserve to celebrate for themselves, not so much for the fans. They score the goals. They make the big plays. It’s a nice enough gesture to salute the fans after the game, but ultimately, the players won the game. The players should be able to celebrate among themselves.

I was infinitely entertained by Marian Hossa’s OT goal celebration last week:

No one wants to watch a game where the players aren’t having fun and enjoying themselves. It’s just as bad as being at a concert where it is blatantly clear that the band members despise one another’s existence or watching a movie where the actors have no chemistry.

A team can have discipline without the coach knocking the fun out of the game. Celebrating is the fun of the sport. If Subban and Price want to share a special handshake as teammates and friends, it isn’t hurting the team or the integrity of the sport. I think Therrien is a great coach, but this move is preposterous.

If we’re gonna ban things, ban moves that harm players. Don’t take the fun out of hockey.

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