Emotion Detector…

Berglund, JacobOne 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.

End rant…

 

 

 

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16 Comments

  1. Andy,

    I could not agree with you more, Jacob’s reaction after his goal expressed how we all felt about the goal, it was exciting and I personally would like to see a bit more of the personalities of our players on the ice. Jacob’s reaction was totally appropriate and so much fun to see….keep em coming Jacob!!

    Rosemary

  2. Andy, I agree with you 100% I know how excited I was to see him score that goal. I can’t even imagine how good it felt for him especially in front of such a big crowd and feeding of the energy of the crowd. And it was a pretty sweet move, he totaly juked Pickard! That was a classic Portland vs Seattle game like we used to see and should help to bring the people back to more games.

  3. In my opiion, it wasn’t taunting at all. It was celebration. Taunting would have been if he had stood in Cal Pickard’s face and rubbed it in. That would have been an embarrassment.
    Jacob pumped me up and set the stage for the dramatic conclusion. I bet Francis was feeling it too!. One question about the game though. I have read accounts in a few newspaopers that report the Francis shot as the final moment in the shootout, following Mucha’s save. I wonder if the papers even had reporters in attendance?

  4. Amen.

  5. I’m actually suprised that this is even an issue. He was reacting the exact same that everyone else in the building was reacting. Emotion, when it is real and pure, is impossible to hide. Was he fired up? You’re damn right he was fired up and had every reason to be. That was one of the most exciting games to come our way in a long time and he got to be part of it. Adrenaline is a powerful and contagious thing. That was the tip of the iceburg for the excitment that followed. I agree with you Andy. For a team that not so long ago barely had a pulse, well, we’re ALIVE and KICKIN’! Look out.

  6. Absolutely correct!!!!!! I’d take too much celebration over not enough ANY DAY! I didn’t go to the game to watch two teams that didn’t care. I always disliked Brett Hull for that reason. Show some freakin’ emotion!!!

  7. I thought all the emotion from the players was great! I’ve never expienced a Memorial Cup win as a Hawk fan, but you’d be hard pressed to tell me I didn’t feel it that night! To me that was the most exciting and exhilerating game I’ve been to as a Hawk fan! It may even beat game 7 in Seattle when Kyle broke his ankle! Keep the emotion flowing Hawks!

  8. All I will say is IF Berglund is challenged to “drop the mitts and have a go” the next time the two teams meet, he better accept the “offer” – Nothing worse than a guy who runs his mouth and shows up the other team and then “doesn’t answer the bell”

    Just my two cents

  9. DONT GET ME WRONG, THE GAME ENDED THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE. BUT THE ENTIRE GAME AS A WHOLE, WAS NOT VERY GOOD ON THE HAWKS PART. NOT EVEN CLOSE – TO AN OVERTIME MEMORIAL CUP WINNING GOAL FROM MR. RUSSELL’S KNEES!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1998_Memorial_Cup

  10. Maybe Mister Two Cents needs to move to Seattle and support their team, one could never tell he/or she is a Winterhawk fan……get a life, these are young kids and they should celebrate a exciting moment in their life. Hockey is game of highs and lows, let them enjoy their high moments. If Seattle wants to mix it up next game, let them. I would rather our boys skate away from them and let Seattle get the penalty, but you don’t see our boys hiding behind anyone. Let them have fun, let’s get this hockey town excited again!

  11. I agree with Andy’s take. The only thing is, as has been mentioned, Berglund’s actions come with responsibility which I’m sure he understands. Retaliation is inevitable (and appropriate), and he will be a marked man, expected to oblige. Which he should.

    It was a charged atmosphere for the last 30 minutes at the Garden that night. It’d been a long time since a Hawks game gave me goosebumps and had me leaving a little hoarse. It would have been more concerning to see a team which was coming off a week of frustration to have not reacted as they did.

  12. so my two cents to my two cents – if you have ever played any type of organized sports you would know there is a lot of adrenaline and emotion,that said keep it up Jacob! secondly I have seen Jacob mix it up and give a few face rubs and do some pushing and shoving- granted being from Sweden it may not be his game or used to it but be sure that win lose or draw Mr. Berglund will answer that call!

  13. Andy,

    Couldn’t agree with you more. It’s time the Hawks had something to celebrate. If Seattle wants to do something about it,they will have plenty of opportunities.

    Next Rose Garden date is 11/28.

  14. Well said Mr. Kemper. I agree wholeheartedly.

    I remember VIVIDLY the Holland/Mick celebrations, the Hossa salute, the spark plug personalities (Mydan, Standish, Badduke, Harrison just to name a few) and other players who have worn the Portland jersey and exhibited emotion. Their emotion and willingness to show it in celebration or even to pump up a lacklaster team has added to my experience as a fan.

    You wrote: The response from most of the players is that “I wouldn’t do that now”…well, why not?

    I would love to understand the current players’ response after viewing the Holland/Mick celebrations. Why wouldn’t they celebrate in an excited but appropriate way? What has caused them to squash that or never even have it to begin with?

    Political correctness seeping into sports…there is a time and a place for a little of that, but there should be a balance in showing emotion and celebrating successes on the ice and it should be okay IMO.

    The game on Saturday was fun. Was it perfect? Heck no. Was it exciting? Heck yes.

    It ranks as my #4 all time favorite Portland Winterhawk game. That’s saying alot.

    Love your blog Mr. Kemper. Keep up the great work.

  15. Well said, Andy.

    :-)

  16. A little late into this but had something to say: I think emotion is what has been lacking on the Hawks teams for the last few seasons. You get an occasional spark now and then, but overall, it seemed like everyone was just going through the motions with minimal effort and spirit. I see some of it coming back, but it’s nowhere near the level it could be. I loved the Hossa salutes and the Dubinsky glass jumps. We need more of that in Hawkeytown. Emotion is infectious and that carries over the glass and into the crowd. That more than anything can bring the people back: a connection with the players. I miss it.


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