Bonino, Penguins embrace HNIC Punjabi’s ‘spectacular’ goal call

Watch as Nick Bonino beats Martin Jones high for the eventual winning goal in Game 1.

PITTSBURGH – Nick Bonino has heard it. All of the Pittsburgh Penguins have heard it.

In fact, if you were to walk inside the team’s dressing room prior to Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final on Wednesday night the odds are fairly high you’d hear someone yelling “Bonino Bonino Bonino” in quick succession.

Yes, the Punjabi-language broadcast has made quite an impression on this team during the playoffs.

“Any chance we can get – the other 20 guys in this locker-room – we love to pick on Bonino,” said defenceman Ben Lovejoy. “Any time the opportunity is there. The Punjabi call is just spectacular, those guys are outstanding.

“You’d be amazed at how often it gets called in this locker-room.”

Bonino has only scored four goals during these playoffs but he’s managed to deliver some big ones. In addition to the late winner against the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 of the Cup final on Monday, he also had the overtime clincher against Washington in Round 2.

That’s helped fuel the enthusiastic goal calls that have spread like wildfire across the internet.

“I think it’s awesome,” said teammate Olli Maatta. “It’s even funnier because he only scores big goals. That’s when they really get fired up.”

Bonino has no idea why play-by-play man Harnarayan Singh has taken to him, but he thinks the epic playoff beard could be a factor.

The 28-year-old seems to be enjoying the distinctive calls as much as his teammates. He’s even encouraged a few people to start using one of them as their cellphone ring tone.

“I told my family they should get it – then they know I’m calling,” said Bonino.

He’s heard from a lot of buddies since “Bonino Bonino Bonino” took off.

“If you’re watching the playoffs at all, you can’t help but see them,” said Bonino. “They’re all over social media and I think guys back home are getting a kick out of them. They’re pretty funny.”

Even Penguins coach Mike Sullivan is getting in on the action.

He’s a fairly task-driven man, but didn’t miss the opportunity to slip one of the calls into a video session before Game 2 of this series.

“We think they’re great,” said Sullivan. “We threw them on the game review for our guys to listen to. They got a kick out of it. It’s entertaining, that’s for sure.

“I hope we hear a few more of those.”

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