Cue the Sarah McLachlan music because, Storm Surge, we will remember you.
It appears the Carolina Hurricanes have performed the final choreographed post-game salute to their fans at PNC Arena – at least for the time being.
Hurricanes captain Justin Williams informed the masses Thursday that he and his teammates would cease the surge for the remainder of the regular season regardless of the outcome of Thursday’s game in Raleigh against the Washington Capitals.
The Capitals spoiled the party and won 3-2 in regulation thanks to two unanswered third-period goals from Jakub Vrana and Nic Dowd. It was a vital two points Carolina missed out on as they try to remain ahead of both Columbus and Montreal in the Eastern Conference wild-card race. It would’ve been odd and uninspiring to see a Storm Surge following a heartbreaking loss like that one so, unfortunately, fans didn’t see anything.
The tradition began back on Oct. 7 following the team’s first home win of the season.
It was meagre beginnings as the first attempt featured the team participating in a slightly disorganized Skol chant before jumping into the end boards and saluting the crowd on the way off the ice.
They only got more intricate and entertaining from then on out.
Team owner Tom Dundon has gone about business in some relatively unconventional ways since purchasing a majority stake in the franchise in early 2018, but the man who also serves as chairman of the Alliance of American Football has been supportive as the team forges a new, more fan-friendly identity – they even brought back the popular Hartford Whalers uniforms that hockey fans have dearly missed.
“We felt at the end of games a little stick wave was getting a little monotonous and getting a little tiresome and quite frankly, a little bit forced,” Williams told Sports Illustrated back in February. “So we wanted to do a little bit more. We started off with something small and slowly we’ve been having a lot more fun with it.”
Williams wasn’t kidding when he said they were having fun with them. How dare those bunch of jerks. Having fun after a victory. Pfft.
“I’ve enjoyed it,” Doug MacLean said on Hockey Central Tonight. “I get a kick out of it. How can you not get a kick out of it?”
We agree with you, Doug, and since we’re not quite ready to let go we’ve decided to reminisce and rate the most memorable Storm Surge cellys.
Hurricanes avoid a gutter ball
The Dude would love this celly and if you disagree with that, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man. The Hurricanes took down the Sabres in early January and Williams led the celebration by knocking down his teammates for the strike. Micheal Ferland capped things off with a subtle pin wobble for dramatic effect.
Rating: 299/300 (one-point deduction to spoil a perfect game due to Williams not yelling “Who do you think you are?! I am!” afterwards)
A 2-1 win over the Devils resulted in the Hurricanes hopping on their
broomhockey sticks and glided down the ice. Some might call it an homage to Tiger Williams, but this callback to the game of Quidditch from the Harry Potter series was delightful. Even “He Who Must Not Be Named” would’ve found this one charming.
Rating: 9¾ platforms out of 10
Hurricanes go curling
Was there a better way to celebrate a season sweep of the Sabres? Nope. The team went four sheets wide and did some sweeping to the four foot. Dougie Hamilton and Sebastian Aho hurried hard as skip Nino Niederreiter channelled his inner Randy Ferby (minus the mustache) and sent one right to the house.
Rating: 7 draws to the button out of 10 ends
Havin’ a whale of a time
In their final game before the Christmas break the Hurricanes gave fans the gift of nostalgia. A 5-3 win over the powerful Bruins on Whalers Night meant the team went full orca with a little help from Pucky the Whale.
Rating: 3 out of 5 blowholes
The dads get a turn
Williams is known as Mr. Game 7 and it’s clear he shares the clutch gene with his dad after Mr. Williams’s impressive performance as the seeker in this hide-and-seek celly during the annual dad’s trip.
Rating: A brand new pairs of New Balance sneakers
Gods of thunder
The biggest movie of 2019 will be Avengers: End Game, so the ‘Canes thought a great way to end their game on Jan. 4 was for Brock McGinn to give us his best Thor impression.
Rating: Five out of six Infinity Stones
Hurricanes go under limbo stick
Petr Mrazek earned the shutout in a mid-February win over the Dallas Stars. Micheal Ferland scored the backbreaking goal late in the third to secure the win which inspired this back-bending limbo celebration. There’s never a bad time to bust out some Chubby Checker and “Limbo Rock” playing over the P.A. system ramped this celly up a notch.
Rating: Good but not as impressive as this guy
This one from earlier in the week could go down as the final Storm Surge of the 2018-19 campaign. They didn’t quite go all out like this infamous soccer celly but it was a nice effort after reeling in two points in an overtime win over the Habs.
Rating: 3.5 bobbers outta 5
Hurricanes hit it out of the park
Warren Foegele was like a lefty Jose Bautista, epic bat flip and all. We’re not sure it was regulation bases he rounded but the stomp onto home plate was epic and deserving of the Gatorade shower he received.
Rating: 7.6 WAR
The duck-related ones
Storm Surges got consistently more creative after the all-star break and this game of duck, duck, goose was the first example. According to the broadcast, it was suggested to the team by a Caniac.
Six weeks later, the Hurricanes went “Duck Hunting” like the classic 1984 Nintendo game. Ironically, neither celebration happened after they beat the Anaheim Ducks. It’s a shame.
Rating: Both cellys get four rubber duckies
Hurricane Holyfield makes a cameo
We’ve saved the best for last here as the team brought out Evander Holyfield to spar with Jordan Martinook after a 5-2 win over the Blues. Martinook doesn’t drop the gloves often so he didn’t have much of a chance against a former heavyweight boxing champion. Holyfield drops him with a left and the horns sound as Martinook is dragged off the ice by Williams and Ferland the same way my family has to drag my bloated carcass away from the table after Thanksgiving dinner.
Rating: First-round knockout