The goal celebration is one of the few instances where hockey players let their emotions out a little bit, well most of them anyway. They're not always well received by the opposition and pundits, but not even a hockey player has ever attracted the attention for a celebratory act like Jose Bautista's bat flip did last year.
The Toronto Blue Jays slugger famously tossed his bat into the stratosphere (slight exaggeration) after hitting a go-head three-run home run against the Texas Rangers in Game 5 of the ALDS. A quick refresher:
That was the bat flip that launched a thousand hot takes and it remains an occasional topic of conversation. It also took Bautista from star player to folk hero in some segments of Canada.
And as you may be aware, Canadians love hockey. They also love their video games about hockey, particularly EA Sports' "NHL" franchise. As the demo version of "NHL 17" has become available for download, fans of the game have been pouring through many of the features available to them. One such feature is the ability to select custom goal celebrations to drop on your opponents.
One of the new celebrations available, as shared by MLB.com writer Alykhan K. Ravjiani, is essentially the exact replica of Bautista's famous bat flip. Check it out:
Could you imagine if a hockey player did that in an actual game? First off, if the stick left the playing surface, it would be a misconduct penalty. Secondly, it might cause Hockey Night in Canada's Don Cherry to spontaneously combust on site.
There's little doubt that the digital version of that particular celebration will be among the more popular options for players of the video game, which is due to be released on Sept. 13.