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McGuinness: Ranking NHL playoff teams’ goal songs

| Thursday, April 20, 2023

March Madness is just as notorious for its randomness on the court as it is for the randomness of filling out brackets. Every year, experts and people who know the game are beaten by people who pick teams based on mascots, where their neighbor’s cousin-in-law’s nephews go to school or which team has the hottest point guard (a strategy someone at The Observer rode to a runner-up finish in our 2022 bracket challenge).

However, hockey is just as random. Among professional sports, no tournament is more chaotic than the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Making a bracket for them isn’t as fun as March Madness, but it’s still enjoyable in its own right. Having hockey knowledge helps, but it’s definitely not a prerequisite for doing well. You could choose any factor to base picks on and have at least a puncher’s chance of succeeding. So I’ll go to bat by ranking teams based on one of my favorite traits and one of hockey’s greatest quirks: goal songs.

16. Florida Panthers — Individual Player Goal Songs

If they kept ”Sweetness” by Jimmy Eat World from last year, they’d be in the top half. Florida is one of the few teams that allows each player pick their own song, which sounds cool until you have no idea what to play when a point shot changes directions three times on the way in.

15. Los Angeles Kings — “LA Kings Goal Song (Hey Hey)” by Twilight Trio

I’ve never really liked King’s goal song, but it went from OK to just bad when they dropped the signature “I Love L.A.” line at the beginning. They slightly changed it this season, but the new edit doesn’t change my feelings about it. It’s as generic as they come.

14. Seattle Kraken — “Lithium” by Nirvana

It’s just not my genre. I’ll move it up a few spots because of the local tie-in with Nirvana, but otherwise, it’s just not my vibe. It also feels like they copied Vegas with the “Let’s Go Kraken” chant.

13. Dallas Stars — “Puck Off” by Pantera

A lot of people really like this song, but it’s just too obvious for my taste. The beat is good, but a song where the only two words are your team’s city and name? Even I could (probably) be more creative than that.

12. Edmonton Oilers — “Fluxland” by Gaby D. Galstaun

Bonus points for picking a song my Flyers used to use. Fewer bonus points for it being the one we stole from the Lightning in 2016-17. It’s not bad, but the one the Oilers had that season was better. The same goes for their jerseys, too.

11. Colorado Avalanche — “Chase the Sun” by Planet Funk

I like the beat of this better than I think a lot of people do. That being said, when your goal song isn’t even the song most associated with your team, it means you aren’t doing super well on this list.

10. Winnipeg Jets — “Gonna Celebrate” by The Phantoms

A nice upbeat choice that the Jets have made their own for a while now. My only gripe is that they also use it as their win song. Scoring and winning are two very different feelings that deserve two very different songs.

9. New Jersey Devils — “Howl” by The Gaslight Anthem

With Nashville just missing, the Devils officially secure the title of best goal song containing the words “you suck” in it. Fun taunt aside, Howl is a pretty good song, especially when it plays long and you get to hear the little fade out at the end.

8. Tampa Bay Lightning — “Goons” by Moana

The Lightning responded pretty well to the Flyers stealing their song with this choice. It’s also Anaheim’s win song, which moderately annoys me, but the three-time defending Eastern Conference champions get the benefit of the doubt.

7. New York Islanders — “Crowd Chant” by Joe Satriani

Crowd involvement is a key if not underrated part of goal songs. And the Islanders do it better than almost any one. Crowd chant isn’t going to win any creativity points for song choice, but it’s a tried and true choice.

6. Carolina Hurricanes — “Raise Up” by Petey Pablo

I love a song with local tie-ins, and Carolina’s is boisterous but not quite Dallas levels of obnoxious. I miss the Ric Flair “woo” at the beginning and the John Forslund “That’s hockey, baby!” catchphrase that used to conclude it. But the song itself is an outstanding choice, and easy for the crowd to get hyped to.

5. Vegas Golden Knights — “Vegas Lights” by Panic! At the Disco

It’s been a perfect choice since their inaugural season, and that’s still the case here. The local tie-in, the chant — even the slot machine sound effect at the end is just *chef’s kiss.* It doesn’t quite have the iconic history of the two teams right ahead of them, but maybe another deep playoff run changes that.

4. Boston Bruins — “Kernkraft 400” by Zombie Nation

This isn’t the best goal song, although it’s close. But it’s undeniably the most intimidating. If you cheer for a team that has been victimized by the Bruins (which includes me), this song haunts your nightmares. It’s powerful enough to change the momentum of a game on its own.

3. New York Rangers — “Slapshot” by Ray Castoldi

It may not quite be as impressive as Boston’s, or even some of the other teams below them, at first listen. But there’s something timeless about the Rangers’ goal song. Hearing it in the background of one of the many iconic playoff goals the Rangers have scored over the last decade amplifies their specialness, even if you’re not a Blueshirts fan.

2. Toronto Maple Leafs — “You Make My Dreams (Come True)” by Dary Hall & John Oates

You’re either going to really like this or really hate this — just like the Maple Leafs as a whole. This song will never reach its potential until the Maple Leafs actually make their fans’ dreams come true by winning the Cup — or at least a round. If they do, even Leafs fans who are the biggest detractors of this song will be belting it out.

1. Minnesota Wild — “Shout” by The Isley Brothers

I’m a Flyers fan, and I can safely say if we ever chose this as our goal song and scored a big goal in the playoffs, I’d actually run through a wall. The energy and crowd participation are unmatched. Now all the Wild need is a deep run to solidify its legacy.

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About Andrew McGuinness

Andrew McGuinness is a senior in Siegfried Hall and Sports Editor of The Observer. He is from Haddonfield, New Jersey, and loves all of his Philly sports teams, even if they don't always love him back. Reach out below or on Twitter (@_AndrewMcG) to talk sports or TV shows, especially if they're Stranger Things, Survivor, Abbott Elementary or/and Severance.

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