Lists and Lists: The Best (and Worst) NHL Goal Songs


By: Ryan Peters and Lara Wagner

With the 4-0 beat down that The Boston Bruins laid on Vancouver on Wednesday — tying the Stanley Cup series at 2-2 and stealing all the momentum from the Canucks — we’ve come to reflect on a sad fact: Hockey is going to be over soon. Basketball, too. And then nationwide we are going to be left to struggle through months of baseball. And in Chicago, it’s going to be months of shitty baseball.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

Hockey is still here, and in honor of Lord Stanley’s Cup, this week’s Lists and Lists looks at the best and worst NHL goal songs — and makes a few suggestions, too.

The Worst: We want to get the lamest NHL anthems out of the way first, in part because all our Chicago friends are going to complain at their inclusion on this half of the list.

1: Chicago Blackhawks – “Chelsea Dagger” by The Fratellis

Ryan: Sorry everyone, it’s almost unbearable. I’m a huge Blackhawks fan, and Lara is a Red Wings fanatic — we agree on almost no hockey matters except this issue: Listening to fans erupt at the United Center and sing “da-da-da-da-da-da” for anywhere from 30-seconds to a minute several times a game makes us want to ram a Chelsea Dagger through our ears. It’s a terrible song, made worse by the fact that so many people in the city have so gleefully embraced it.

2: The Boston Bruins – “Zombie Nation (Sports Remix) by Kernkraft 400

Lara: The worst (or perhaps, depending on your allegiance, only bad) part about the Bruins’ recent win over Vancouver was hearing this song EIGHT times in one night; the last time that happened, we were dropping acid at a rave in Prague, and so midway-through became blissfully unaware of its presence (as well as our wallets). Worse still, no less than three other teams in the NHL (Florida, Ottawa and Toronto) also play this celebration song, making it both redundant and boring–two adjectives no one has EVER used to describe electronica before.

3: Montreal Canadiens – “Vertigo (Remix)” by U2

Ryan: Occupying the 3rd spot on our “All Time Bad Ideas” list (behind “Going with House #3 on House Hunters International” and “The Vietnam War”) is the Canadiens goal horn and song, which have been combined into one jarring mess. U2 is already a suspect band to use, and choosing any U2 after Actchung Baby is near suicide, but remixing the song to make it a full minute of trance music only works if you plan on handing out free rave drugs at the door. Worst of all: The goal horn is weak, and yet someone made the decision to let it sound a full FOUR times. You get a maximum of three, Canada.

The Best:

1. New York Islanders – “Live is Life” by Opus

Ryan: A goal horn and song are supposed to do two things: get the crowd excited, and nod to the perception of hockey and its fans as rowdy. You have to get people riled up to the point that they are willing to fight the opposing team, if necessary. And what better way to do it than with a punk-inspired shout-along from the crowd mixed with a “Family Guy” clip at the end? The best part is that center Zenon Konpka recommended the song to the stadium crew.

2. Vancouver Canucks – “Holiday” by Green Day

Lara: Remember when this album came out and it was like a glorious, musical middle finger to the Bush administration? Well, now we’ve channeled that smug-superiority-meets-danceability for hockey, too! It’s unique to the NHL and its catchy hooks allow for plenty of interpretative dance / fist-pumping from tipsy Canadian crowds. Just remember not to wave your Labatt Blue too close to Alex Burrows’ mouth while celebrating.

3. Minnesota Wild – “Crowd Chant Song” by Joe Satriani

Ryan:Yes, the name “Crowd Chant Song” is pretty didactic. But in terms of crowd participation and engagement, this goal song is probably the best. During actual celebrations, the song cuts out and relies on the crowd to fill in the blank portions — a decision that puts a lot of trust and responsibility with the fans to make it sound respectable. I like an organization that trusts in its fans like that — even if it is the Wild, and they haven’t won much of anything, ever, outside one run to the Western Conference finals.

Suggested Goal Songs:

1. “Irish Pub Song” by Flogging Molly

2. “The Crime Window” by Grand Archives

3. “Hey Ya” by Outkast

4. “My Generation” by The Who

  • Tyler

    god rest the hartford whalers, owners of the most baller sports theme song this side of the notre dame victory march:

  • jay

    Brohymn pennywise! game fuckn over.

  • matt

     I officially new this list was crap when they had Holiday as one of the best.