Some of the best goal celebrations the NHL has ever seen

Sidney Crosby scored two goals in under a minute as the Penguins edged the Capitals 3-2 in game one of their series.

Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov has an entertaining goal celebration.

He’s scored twice this post-season, each time accentuating the tally by flapping his arms like a bird.

It makes sense, the eagle is on not only the Capitals jersey, but also the Russian coat of arms, though the showy display is unlikely to be appreciated by everyone.

But this isn’t the place for that sort of debate.

Here is a sampling of some of hockey’s greatest signature celebrations, followed by some bonus, not-quite-as-notable celebrations for fun.

Jagr’s Salute

Jaromir Jagr, shaggy mullet and all, was never one to blend in with a crowd.

His expressive personality came through in his signature salute celebration, which according this May 2012 piece from the Ottawa Citizen, was inspired by former Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis.

Arguably even better than the Jagr Salute itself has been the many imitations, from Danny Markov in 1999, to Mike Rupp at the 2012 Winter Classic, to P.K. Subban at the 2016 NHL Skills Competition.

Foligno’s Leap

Mike Foligno was a 15-season NHL veteran who crossed the 20-goal mark 10 times, even scoring 41 with Buffalo in 1985-86.

His claim to fame was the Foligno Leap, in which the winger would, as the name suggests, jump into the air to celebrate a score.

Foligno’s two sons have since entered the league and have both replicated their father’s traditional celebration.

Here’s the youngest son, Marcus, getting in on the action:

Radulov’s Sword Sheath

Montreal Canadiens forward Alexander Radulov is a big-time player with a celebration to match.

Using the stick as a mock weapon has been done by others (more on that below), but Radulov’s sheathing celebration earns extra points for the flashy twirl he tends to perform right before he slides his stick downward.

It’s something he’s done in major junior, at the worlds, the KHL, and the NHL. Heck, it shows up at least three times in the first two minutes of this feature below.

Matthews’ weird hand thing

Auston Matthews found the back of the net 40 times this past season, often following the act with… whatever this is:

At the 18-second mark of the video above, Matthews flicks his wrist downward as if presenting his hand to a prince.

Matthews explained the origin of his quirky little hand thing earlier this month, saying he stole it from teammates Jake Gardiner and Morgan Rielly.

Briere’s Swoop

This one never got a ton of attention, and Danny Briere was hardly the first or last player to drop to one knee and pump his fist, but he’s done it with enough consistency that it warrants a mention here.

The now-retired forward scored 53 goals in 124 career playoff games, many of them followed by his emphatic swooping celebration.

It stayed with him right to his very last NHL stop in Colorado.

The Burrows/Bourdon Bow and Arrow

Luc Bourdon was a 10th overall pick of the Vancouver Canucks in 2005, and was considered a rising star in the Canucks organization when he was killed in a motorcycle accident on May 29, 2008.

He had a signature celebration of his own, shooting an imaginary bow and arrow into the sky.

Canucks teammate Alex Burrows co-opted the move, using it as a tribute to his fallen friend.

Tiger Williams rides his stick

Who even does this?

Teemu Selanne shoots his glove

The Finnish Flash set the rookie goal-scoring record in 1992-93 with 76, a mark that still stands today. When he scored his 54th goal that season, which broke Mike Bossy’s record at the time, Selanne celebrated with this famous gun-happy celebration.

Honourable mentions

Patrick Kane’s heartbreaker: Best seen when sending his team to the Stanley Cup Final.

Artem Anisimov’s rifle: This one went unappreciated by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Alex Ovechkin’s burning stick: The execution was silly, and apparently this wasn’t even Ovechkin’s idea. Goaltender Jose Theodore suggested it to the sniper, as revealed years later.

Theo Fleury/Nail Yakupov sliding down the ice: One of these was in overtime of a Game 6 against a provincial rival, the other tied a regular-season game late.

Both were entertaining.

Think there was a celebration that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.


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