Ranking the top goal songs in the NHL

Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane celebrates his goal against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. (Paul Sancya/AP)

As a hockey fan, there is no greater moment than when your team scores. The lamp glows red, the horn blares, the crowd erupts, the beer sloshes out of your cup a bit, and the music shakes.

But it’s that last part—the arena’s song selection—that can enhance or hinder the euphoria.

Inspired by this fun goal-horn site, we decided to research and rank all 30 teams’ goal songs, many of which are brand spankin’ new for 2014–15.

Last week, we counted down Nos. 15-30.

Today, we run down Nos. 14-1.

Did we get it right?

14. Dallas Stars
“Puck Off” by Pantera

Adopted at the start of the 2013–14 season and selected by director of game entertainment Jason Danby, the best part of “Puck Off” is not that it rhymes with something your mom taught you not to say. It’s that its lyric sheet contains two words: Dallas! Stars! Arlington, Texas’s Pantera thinks local but rocks global. Plus: hockey hair.

13. Washington Capitals
“The Wicker Man” by Iron Maiden

Michael Wurman heard this Iron Maiden “deep cut” back when he was running game ops for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2000 and knew then it would make a great goal song. “I held it in my back pocket for all these years,” says Wurman, now Monumental Network’s director of network production and game content. “I knew nobody was using it, and we were hoping to separate ourselves kinda like Chicago did with ‘Chelsea Dagger.’ It’s branded—that’s what I want.”

Iron Maiden made the leap from one of a handful of goal songs in the Caps’ rotation the last three seasons to solo status this October. “It’s an off-the-wall selection,” says Wurman, who interacts with fans about the in-game music via @CapsGameEnt. “That’s what I like about it.”

12. Minnesota Wild
“Crowd Chant” by Joe Satriani

Deciding to debut a new goal song for the 2006–07 season, the Wild presented a different tune for goals scored by the Wild at each pre-season home game. “Just before the last pre-season game, our music director, Steven Rudolph, played ‘Crowd Chant’ for me,” says Wild media relations director Aaron Sickman. “He had received a copy of it prior to its official release. We knew right then it was the song.”

The Wild was the first NHL team to use the guitar god’s anthem. “A few others followed suit, but only one other still uses it,” Sickman says. “Our version was also slightly edited to flow better with the ‘chants’ after a goal, so ours is also unique in that way.”

11. Boston Bruins
“Kernkraft 400” by Zombie Nation

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, some say. But I can’t imagine the Bruins being too chuffed that the Penguins—whose uniform colour scheme is already similar—adopted their goal song.

We say the B’s should be mad at the Panthers instead. How does a team from Florida use a beer-soaked ripper from Quincy, Mass’s Dropkick Murphys while Boston blares German techno?

10. Calgary Flames
“Righteous Smoke” by Monster Truck

After running a submission campaign through the team website, the Flames sifted through more than 2,000 entries and narrowed their goal song down to jams by Fall Out Boy (“My Song Knows What You Did in the Dark“), The Dudes (“Rocky Mountain Living“), Rage Against the Machine (“Sleep Now in the Fire“) and the eventual winner. “Righteous Smoke” debuted as the official goal song in October 2013 after all four tunes were tested in the pre-season and fans were given a chance to vote on their favourite of the four.

“The song itself has a lot of energy,” says game presentation supervisor PJ Aucoin. “Fans make the connection with [the lyrics] ‘Yeah, I’m on fire’ and ‘Gonna set your soul on fire.’ As an up-tempo song it keeps the energy flowing throughout the building following a goal and into play. “

9. Montreal Canadiens
“Le But” by Loco Locass

The sing-along hockey tune’s title (English translation: “The goal”) couldn’t be more self-explanatory. Although the piece—originally an acoustic rap number—is enjoying its third season, a special remix of the anthem was introduced for the 2014 playoffs, and the Habs are sticking with it. “Le But,” which is entirely en francais, was selected collectively by management and the marketing team and is written and performed by a local Montreal group, complete with name-drops to Lafleur and Richard. “It’s in French,” the team tells us, “and it’s a great fit for our market.” Allez, Montreal!

8. Florida Panthers
“Out of Our Heads” by Dropkick Murphys

Another case of anti-Glitter. Florida ditched “Rock and Roll, Part 2″ this season, letting Panthers fans—both of them! (jk)—vote on a new celebration soundtrack.

“Out of Our Heads” won out over the other finalists: Fat Les’s “Vindaloo,” Joe Satriani’s “Chant Song” (see: Wild, Minnesota) and Gaslight Anthem’s “Howl.” Although they picked the best of the bunch, “Everybody Wants to Be a Cat” might have helped lure free agents.

7. Nashville Predators
“I Like It, I Love It” by Tim McGraw / “Gold on the Ceiling” by The Black Keys

One of those teams that ditched “Rock and Roll, Part 2” for moral reasons, the Preds experimented with The Keys during a development camp scrimmage this summer before giving it the proper treatment at the start of this season.

“Ceiling” is preceded by a “special rendition” of McGraw’s song. The team went for an act that “calls Nashville home” (the Keys formed in Ohio but now live in Music City), and the “gold” reference is pretty perfect.

6. Anaheim Ducks
“Bro Hymn” by Pennywise

Halfway through the 2005–06 season, the Ducks got wise. Pennywise! Suggested by a staff member and given the green light by the team’s entertainment department, “Bro Hymn” works because of “the group sing-along factor,” the team says. Doesn’t hurt that the punk group hails from Huntington Beach, Orange County.

5. Arizona Coyotes
“Howlin’ For You” by The Black Keys

This is how you choose a goal song. Universally liked group, heart-pumping jam with actual musical merit, and a sly reference to your own franchise’s nickname. Been rocking the greater Glendale area since 2011–12, when Coyotes game operations picked it.

4. Detroit Red Wings
“Hey Hey Hockeytown” by Topolewski & Van Osdel

The Cup is ours for all to drink/ It’s our time, let’s rock this rink! The Red Wings’ original slice of gloriously cheesy puck rock scores because it helps not only brand the team but the city. “Hockeytown” was written by Topolewski & Van Osdel, arranged by Fritz Doddy, and sung by Joe Lynn Turner—a Bon Jovi-esque Jersey boy whose official webpage is worth a visit. The iconic anthem even has its own Facebook page.

3. St. Louis Blues
“When the Blues Go Marching In” by Jeremy Boyer

A subtle flip on “When the Saints Go Marching In” performed by a live organist (yes!), “Blues” has been a staple of St. Louis games since the team’s early years as an NHL franchise.

When word got out this fall that the team was thinking of making a change, #SaveTheOrgan started getting hashtagged on Twitter and a White House petition was created to prevent the Blues from switching their goal song, prompting the team to make a statement: “Our signature organ music will remain a key feature of our game experience.”

Wait. There’s a catch. If the Blues score a goal in overtime, they play “Don’t Stop the Party,” by Pitbull ft. TJR—their win song:

2. New York Rangers
“Slapshot” by Bad Apple

The Blueshirts’ cursed goal song debuted Jan. 20, 1995, the night they raised their most recent Stanley Cup banner. “Slapshot” was written by Madison Square Garden’s music director and organist Ray Castoldi and performed by a local group that’s either extinct or way underground.

New York was using a jazzy instrumental number the spring they hoisted the Cup, but Castoldi figured he wanted to write in some whoa-oh-ohhhs and hey-hey-heys so the fans could sing along.

1. Chicago Blackhawks
“Chelsea Dagger” by The Fratellis

You’ve seen Vince Vaughn dancing to it, Denis Savard spinning to it, and Patrick Kane scoring to it. It’s undeniable. The game’s best goal song has been thundering through United Center since 2008–09 and has been the soundtrack to two Stanley Cups since.

Multiple competing teams referenced “Chelsea Dagger” as the standard for branding a goal song so well that it’s synonymous with the hockey club.

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