The Top-Seven Canucks Goal “Cellys”

Rogers Arena Celebrates Kevin Bieksa’s WCF series winner with controversial confetti.
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Exciting rookie forward Nail Yakupov scored a game-tying goal on Jonathan Quick with four seconds left in an Oilers game on Thursday night, and his over the top goal celebration has been a talking point all day Friday. Arguments about its appropriateness have since given way to arguments about the word "celly." The whole thing is, frankly, exhausting.

Personally I love over the top goal celebrations. Hockey is supposed to be entertaining, and the joy of Yakupov’s celebration on Thursday was obvious and pretty damn awesome. The paying customers at the Oilers game sure seemed to like it, and that’s what really matters, no?

Anyway, I figured I’d take the opportunity to count down the top-7 best Canucks goal "celly’s" (I know it’s a stupid term, but who cares it’s pretty funny). Click past the jump for more.

#7: The Whiffed High Five

The Sedins are, without doubt, my favorite Vancouver Canucks skaters of all time. Usually I tend to pick offensive defenseman (Jeff Brown was my favorite player from the ’94 Stanley Cup Finals team, and Jyrkki Lumme is among my top-3 all time favorite Canucks) but the Sedin twins are so uniquely great, intelligent and have been a consistent joy to watch for so long that they make the top of my list in spite of myself.

One of my favorite things about the twins is how lovably awkward they are, and their whiffed high-five goal celly from the 2011-12 season perfectly encapsulates that. So it makes my top-seven:

#6: Rock’Em Sock’Em Samuelsson

This goal "celly" doesn’t come with any added context, and if we’re being honest, it’s actually kind of low-key. But Mikael Samuelsson’s air-punch homage to the Rock’Em Sock’Em robots remains a hilariously restrained and memorable goal "celly":

#5: The Tickler

Sami Salo, one of the top-ten most universally beloved Canucks players ever, scored an over-time winner with a lovely backhand deke against the Minnesota Wild some years ago. His "celly" has been nicknamed "The Tickler" and is remembered by Canucks fans to this day for its unintentionally hilarious suggestiveness.

#4: Whip It

No Canucks fan who was alive at the time – or wasn’t but has spent ten minutes looking into the recent history of the franchise – will ever forget Pavel Bure’s game seven over-time winner against the Calgary Flames that set off Vancouver’s run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1994.

What often goes unmentioned however, was Bure’s over the top and actually quite dangerous goal celly after scoring the goal. The first thing he does? He whips his stick above his head and tosses it, before jumping up and down and hugging his teammates.

I shudder to think what the media reaction would be were Yakupov to throw his stick after scoring a big goal…

#3: "Streak Breaker"

If Alex Burrows had a sword in game of thrones: Streak Breaker would most surely be its name. This particular goal celebration has been used twice in Canucks history, both by times by Alex Burrows. The first time, he used it after scoring a game-winning short-handed goal that put an end to an 8 game Canucks losing streak in 2008:

He reprised the celly again last season, after scoring the shootout winner that put an end to the Detroit Red Wings’ NHL record 23 game home-winning streak:

Stick tap to Harrison Mooney who noticed the correlation last season and wrote about it over at Puck Daddy.

#2: The Bow and Arrow.

Alex Burrows’ most common goal "celly" pays tribute to his fallen friend, the late Luc Bourdon. Here’s the "celly" in slow motion (well captioned by Jeff Marek and his hilarious goatee circa 2009):

Burrows explained the significance of his standard goal celebration to the Hockey News just before the beginning of the Stanley Cup Final in 2011:

Burrows says Bourdon has been with him throughout.

"He’s going to help me out and help the team out. It’s tough to explain," he said. "Sometimes you feel you’ve got a second gear, and maybe that’s it."

Burrows even wondered if Bourdon played a role in some fortunate bounces for the Canucks in the playoffs, such as when Alex Edler’s dump-in caromed off a stanchion in double overtime of Game 5 against San Jose. The puck found its way to the stick of Vancouver defenceman Kevin Bieksa, who sent a soft, skipping one-timer into the net while everyone else on the ice tried to figure out where the puck went.

Another odd bounce came when Burrows knocked down a clearing pass at the Chicago blue-line, put his head down and slapped the rolling puck perfectly over the shoulder of Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, who couldn’t read the shot.

"The bow and arrow is for that," Burrows said.

Hilariously, you can see him rush (and attempt to duck Daniel Sedin) in an effort to get the bow and arrow off before being mobbed by teammates after scoring the series winning goal in over-time against the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011 (fast forward to 2:40 of the video):

Explained Burrows to the Hockey News: "I wanted to get past the first guy and maybe shoot a couple into the upper deck, but I got clotheslined by the guys and couldn’t." Amazing.

#1: Tiger Williams rides the stick

Oft imitated, but never replicated. Tiger Williams’ legendary "ride the stick" goal celly will in all likelihood never be topped: