One of the things that has come about in the aftermath of the Hawks come-from-behind 4-3 shootout win over the Seattle Thunderbirds is some fans reaction to Jacob Berglund’s emotional reaction to his goal to even the shootout at 1-1 in the second round (see the shootout video below).
Some fans thought it was over-the-top and disrespectful…others found it OK and just a raw show of emotions.
For me…well…it was great to see.
It’s not often I go on a rant or a soap-box disertation…but this is going to be one of those times…so, bear with me.
Hockey is an emotional sport…probably more emotional than any other sport due to the speed, intensity and sometimes violent nature of the game. I remember watching the game growing up and getting caught up in the emotions, both good and bad, and have left the buildings feeling like I could conquer the world (after a huge win) or like the world had ended (after a devastating loss).
And I wasn’t even on the freakin’ ice!
In my opinion, the game needs more emotional displays like we saw from Berglund in the shootout.
This isn’t a tee-ball league where they don’t keep score and every kid gets a trophy just for showing up. This is a league where the winner should celebrate and loser should feel like they need to extract revenge (by winning the next game, not necessarily with physical violence) the next time the two teams meet.
The political correctness of the world has made its way into sports and the feeling that we shouldn’t “show-up” the opponent has transpired into players not celebrating the way they once did when they scored a huge goal. I showed a DVD of highlights from the late 80’s that had a lot of Troy Mick/Dennis Holland celebrations that included big pin-wheel arm spins with low fist pumps that ended in an elaborate low-five between the two players.
The response from most of the players is that “I wouldn’t do that now”…well, why not?
Who can forget Marian Hossa’s salute after scoring or Brandon Dubinsky’s plexiglass leaps?
Alexander Ovechkin is arguably the most exciting player to watch in the NHL (when healthy)…he throws big hits and scores goals in a variety of ways. What adds to his excitement is the way he celebrates every goal…with reckless abandon that sometimes draws the ire of his opponents and critics.
I’d take any Ovechkin celebration over some cookie-cutter, vanilla celebration any day.
Now…to clarify…I don’t want the sport to become what the NFL has become with there being some form of dance or celebration on every play, routine or not. Also, you don’t do an overly demonstrative celebration when you’ve scored to make the score 6-1 in either direction.
But, when it is a huge goal in a close game…let ‘er rip.
Was Berglund taunting the Thunderbirds bench? Maybe…it looked like he was responding to something said to him after his shootout goal celebration…either way, if it adds to getting this once spirited rivalry back to where it was, so what?
At the other end…it was great to see the mob scene after Kurtis Mucha preserved the victory with the stop on Charles Wells.
I’ve seen too many emotionless games in the past few years…lets bring the emotion and swagger back to Portland Winterhawks hockey…it will make it that much more enjoyable.
Share this Post