The goal of hockey is to score goals. When a player accomplishes his goal (forgive my puns), it is a moment of pure joy.
Arms raised, mouth open, fists pumping, he celebrates as the crowd shares in his joy.
Some players celebrate more than others. Some are classy, some are classless.
Some are famous, some are infamous.
Some are memorable, some are forgotten as quickly as they occurred.
And some inspire and can provide the defining moment of a player's career and of a fan's lifetime.
I present to you the top 10 goal scoring celebrations in hockey.
You can witness this celebration at virtually any hockey game.
A player shoots, the puck goes in, and he instinctively raises his hands to the sky while an expression of pure joy fills his face and he skates away from the net, only to be mobbed by his teammates as they share in his exhilaration.
Here's an example of Crosby performing this celebration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5YIabfEAq8&feature=related
We all remember this one.
After Alexander Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the 2008-2009 season, he dropped his stick on the ice behind the Lightning bench and proceeded to pretend that it was too hot to pick up. To add insult to injury, he did this in Tampa Bay's arena.
Don Cherry later blasted Ovechkin for his showboating.
Here is the infamous goal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wa9vIQzzg38
The player scores, drops to one knee, effortlessly glides a few feet while giving a little fist pump, maybe scooping the ice, and then gets up to celebrate with his team.
Here's Andrew Cogliano showcasing perfect form: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnJvHCfCzJE&feature=related
This is one of my favourites.
After scoring, a player skates full steam at the glass and then proceeds to hurl himself at it, as if he is trying to break through and hug the fans on the other side.
Ovechkin has become known for doing this in recent years, but nobody did it better than Georges Laraque: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDtu9665I-c
Of course, you have to be careful this doesn't happen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lypxffoaABY&feature=related
Similar to the "One Knee", but instead of gliding on one leg, the player dives headfirst onto the ice and proceeds to slide on his stomach as far as he can go until he is piled upon by his teammates.
This is generally only performed after OT winners in the playoffs.
Here's Darius Kasparaitis after scoring the winner against the Sabres: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuVy1sk3Kds
This one is infamous.
After scoring, legendary agitator Tiger Williams used to rub it in the opposing team's and their fans' faces by riding his stick across center ice and beyond. Few have had the audacity to pull it off in the years since his retirement.
Here he is during his days as a Canuck: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLc4SIrdbiM
Another one everybody remembers.
It was round 15 of a shootout between the Rangers and Capitals and both teams had long run out of goal scorers, or had they?
When Marek Malik stepped onto the ice, nobody expected he would score, nevermind score the greatest shootout goal ever. After roofing a ludicrous between the legs shot, Malik glided down center ice posing as the lady on his jersey.
Here it is in all its glory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlplXgDMDdA
As an Oilers fan, this hurts me to write, but I must include it on this list.
In their 1991 playoff series, Theo Fleury stole the puck from Oiler legend Mark Messier at center ice, came streaking into the Oilers end to score the winner in overtime, and then proceeded to slide pretty much the length of Rexall Place (then known as The Coliseum) on his knees/stomach/back celebrating.
This one is hard to describe, so just watch instead: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSRFLUBgvzc
This is easily the most memorable celebration in NHL history.
After scoring a beautiful goal to break the NHL record for goals by a rookie, the Finnish Flash threw his glove into the air and then pretended his stick was a gun and shot it down. Simply an unbelievable moment in NHL history.
Here is the moment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vtk6yVqDy3Q
There is no greater moment in sports than when a Stanley Cup-winning goal is scored during overtime (unless you're a fan of the losing team).
The puck ripples the mesh, and sticks, gloves, and helmets all fly into the air. The bench empties as the players rush to pile upon the player who just made their dream come true.
Coaches, who never show emotion on the bench, hug each other as their eyes fill with tears.
An entire city, province, or even an entire country shares in the joy. People are literally dancing in the streets.
Nothing beats the celebration that occurs when a Stanley Cup winner is scored.
Here is Jason Arnott's famous winner from 2000: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nhywYx6eDc