St. Louis Blues tone down goal celebrations, nix high-fives at bench

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

The St. Louis Blues are toning down their goal celebrations this year. (USATSI)
The St. Louis Blues are toning down their goal celebrations this year. (USATSI)

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Typically after a goal, the players on the ice will celebrate in some fashion, then go over to their team for a line of fist bumps or gloved high fives with the players on the bench. Almost every team does it at almost every level of hockey these days.

That wasn't always the case and at the suggestion of some former Blues players it won't be the case anymore in St. Louis.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Perhaps you noticed during the last two games, wins over Nashville and Winnipeg. When the line of David Backes, Alexander Steen and T.J. Oshie have been on the ice for Blues' goals — and that has been the case on six occasions — there has been no skate to the bench for a Conga line of high-fives.

“That came from a few gentlemen who used to play here,” Backes said. “They felt like the going through the line thing was a high school, college type of play.

“It's one of those things where you didn't really think about it. It's just the way it was when we got here, the way it was in college, what we did in high school. I think this is a unique thing that maybe we can change the trend a little bit — score the goal, congratulate each other and let's go do it again.”

The idea apparently came from Blues veterans Kelly Chase, Brett Hull and TV color analyst Darren Pang, as well as Hall of Famer Paul Coffey, who all were attending a fantasy camp over the summer.

In talking it over with the Blues' management, the team's staff approached the players about nixing the bench portion of goal celebrations.

“As Hullie says, act like you've been there before,” Chase explained to the Post-Dispatch. “I couldn't stand the fact that my kids were emulating that. I just think you might have done it in high school, or done it in college but this is the NHL.

“Players come over to the bench and do that high-five stuff in a 2-1 game, as if the game is over, as if they just won the Cup. That's not the way the sport is. Get back out there, line up and play the game.”

So the Blues don't do the high-five thing anymore.

Now every team has a right to choose how they celebrate their successes. The Blues are taking the act like you've been there approach, which is fine. However, there's nothing wrong with a little trip to the bench to get well-deserved accolades from your teammates. This is sports after all. It's OK to have fun. If teams want to make it more business-like, cool. It's also a business, I guess.

The old guard fun police strikes again.

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