It’s game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals and you win a puck battle along the boards and have a clear shot for the net. You stride down the ice, and net the sickest wrist shot over the goaltenders left shoulder. That’s it! Your team has won it, you scored the game winning goal in the biggest game of your life. You’re 24 or 25 years-old and on the top of the world. You turn around with your arms up in the air waiting to see your teammates rushing to mob you, instead you see them just skating to you with “meh” like smiles on their faces. There is no celebrating in hockey.
If this happens; you are living in the widely-outdated world of people like Mike Milbury and Don Cherry.
Is there such a thing as having too much fun in hockey? According to the Milbury, there is. Before game two between the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues, video roll of Predators defenseman P.K. Subban during warm ups was shown and Milbury decided it was a good time to mouth his opinion seeing Subban “dancing” and basically just having fun during warm ups.
Milbury to say the least, wasn’t a fan of Subban.
“P.K. has got a tremendous personality and sometimes you got to keep it under control. This worries me. I know it’s a new day and age and everybody wants to be on Instagram or Twitter or whatever. But you got to keep focus. This is a tough game. When I see this I start to think maybe (Predators head coach) Peter Laviolette ought to give him a rap on the head and say, ‘Hey P.K., we got a game tonight, focus in, you don’t need to be a clown out there.’ And he will. He’s been a clown in the past and we’ve seen him act like a clown. When he’s serious and focused he’s one hell of a player,” Milbury said before Friday’s game.
Seems like harsh words coming from the guy who in a game in 1979, physically jumped over the boards to take part in a fight between fans and Boston Bruins players in which he took a man’s shoe off and beat him over the head with it. Milbury has seemingly had just short of outrageous opinions about the game of hockey since becoming a talking mouth piece for television.
Yet, back to Milbury’s comments on Subban, these aren’t new from big names in the hockey analyst community. Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry has been very outspoken about Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin in 2009 criticizing the way the Russian forward celebrates his goals.
Speaking on Ovechkin’s celebrations that sometimes include fist pumps, drop to the knee slides, and jumps into the glass, Cherry likens him to a soccer player.
“Now watch Ovechkin. … Does he not remind you of a soccer player?” Cherry says while comparing soccer players scoring and Ovechkin scoring on a Hockey Night in Canada broadcast in 2009.
Further saying that he predicted someone would “going to get him good” one of these days.
“I’m going to tell you about this guy: He’s got a free ride. He runs at guys, does this stuff, I am predicting somebody’s going to get him. And somebody’s going to get him good. There’s somebody out there, some big defenceman is going to be sitting in the weeds. As he cuts across center ice, somebody’s going to cut him in half,” Cherry said.
Hockey is a fun game. You grew up playing the game because you loved it. Why the hell shouldn’t you be allowed to enjoy it? Players should be criticized for being happy after scoring a goal. You shouldn’t be called a “clown” for having a good time before a game.
You shouldn’t be. Enjoy the game.
Let’s not go down the path the National Football League has, which ultimately got them the nickname of “The No Fun League” due to excessive flags and fines for celebrations by players. Instead let’s focus on getting a hold of fighting and cheap shots, those are far more disruptive and a problem to me as a fan than some guy enjoying scoring a goal and dropping to a knee or fists pumps.