There’s nothing quite like the celebration of an NHL goal.
First, you have the horn blaring from the rafters loud enough to shake the whole arena — a unique tradition that dates back nearly 50 years. Next, the entire crowd jumps to its feet and joins in a chorus of exuberant shouts and screams. Then, finally, you have the goal song.
However, not all goal songs are created equal. For some teams, the song is little more than an afterthought; simply a generic, fun clip of music to celebrate putting another point on the board. For others, it is an iconic piece of the team’s culture that unites the fans in a single voice every time someone on the ice puts the biscuit in the basket.
Unfortunately, the pause in the NHL season has left us with a dire shortage of goal songs in our lives. Will finishing the season at neutral sites — which appears likely — deprive us of our beloved goal songs for the rest of the year? Only time will tell.
We’re celebrating the wide array of goal songs from around the league with this definitive, objective, unbiased and 100 percent accurate power ranking of all 31 teams’ celebratory anthems for the 2019-20 season:
No. 31: Florida Panthers
The Panthers suffer the ignominy of bringing up the rear in our rankings. Their song, “Sweetness” by Jimmy Eat World, doesn’t really instill much energy or enthusiasm, instead just sounding like any other song you’d hear throughout the course of a live game. It also doesn’t have easily-chanted lyrics, which is a very common theme in this list. Sorry, Panthers fans, but this one has to be one of the most forgettable in the league.
No. 30: San Jose Sharks
You’ve definitely heard this song, but you may not know that it’s called “Get Ready for This” by Dutch electronic group 2 Unlimited. Well, now you do. This one falls towards the bottom purely because it’s been played at just about every live sporting event since at least the turn of the century. A definite lack of creativity from the Sharks.
No. 29: Boston Bruins
Yes, I know. “Kernkraft 400” is an iconic Bruins tradition. But this song is probably played in just about every arena every single night in the NHL. Plus, it feels like more of a “pump-up” song to get the crowd going either pregame or during a stoppage in play than a goal celebration song. It might be controversial, but this one just doesn’t do it for me.
No. 28: Dallas Stars
By far the most metal-forward goal song in the league, “Puck Off” by Pantera (very clever, guys) is accompanied by the crowd chanting “Dallas… Stars!” It’s certainly unique, but it lacks the feel-good vibe of a truly great goal song. Also, simply chanting the name of the team after a goal doesn’t seem too creative.
No. 27: Los Angeles Kings
This one is just very forgettable. There’s really nothing unique or different about it that makes it stand out above the rest. For an iconic franchise like the Kings, you would expect something with a little more flair.
No. 26: Columbus Blue Jackets
When the first couple seconds of AC/DC’s “For Those About to Rock” blare out, you expect a payoff. But instead, you’re greeted with the cheery chorus of Locksley’s “The Whip”, a song that has been passed around by NHL teams for years. Not terrible, but also not memorable enough to put it any higher.
No. 25: Colorado Avalanche
This remix of Planet Fun’s “Chase the Sun” is pretty unique, but its elevator-music vibes detract from its potential. It just isn’t a song that screams energy. The “Hey! Hey! Hey!” is rather subdued and it doesn’t have the same invigorating effect as some others.
No. 24: Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers went with a classic rock vibe when they picked “Feel the Shake” by Jetboy, but they could have done much better. It’s not a particularly exciting song and the chorus of “feel the shake” isn’t really one that’s going to be belted out by fans. Another uninspiring candidate.
No. 23: Vegas Golden Knights
You wouldn’t expect Panic! At The Disco to turn up in a list of NHL goal songs, but this is Vegas, after all. This is one of two entries on this list that has a regional theme, with the title of the song being “Vegas Lights”. It’s accompanied by chants of “Go Knights Go” from the crowd, which almost drown out the song itself. Nothing crazy, but it’s a decent goal song.
No. 22: Ottawa Senators
Blur’s “Song 2” is another one that has been used across the NHL over the years. It’s a nice song with a singable chorus, but it doesn’t get high marks for originality.
No. 21: Calgary Flames
AC/DC’s “TNT” is a fine classic rock song, but it isn’t the most exciting goal song in the league. It’s a shame, too, considering the Flames have one of the truly great-sounding goal horns anywhere.
No. 20: Anaheim Ducks
“Bro Hymn” by Pennywise has some ties to the Anaheim area, with the band hailing from nearby Hermosa Beach, Calif. It’s also a song that is well-known in hockey, having been used by the Rangers and Flyers in the past. The chorus is singable, but it’s still just another recycled goal song.
No. 19: New Jersey Devils
The Devils current goal song is “Howl” by The Gaslight Anthem. It’s a lighthearted, surfer-rock tune that features crowd chants of “Here we go!” Not the most memorable, but a solid entry nonetheless.
No. 18: New York Islanders
Another recycled one, Joe Satriani’s “Crowd Chant” is still fun for fans. There’s just nothing like hooting out vocalized whammy-guitar solos after watching a goal. However, it’s ranked lower than it might be otherwise because…
No. 17: Minnesota Wild
…Minnesota uses the exact same song. The Wild started using it first, though, so they’re ranked higher.
No. 16: Vancouver Canucks
Gone are the days when Canucks fans used to belt out “Holiday” by Green Day after watching the Sedin twins work their magic. Now they use “Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love” by Van Halen, which is… pretty average. There’s been a movement to bring back “Holiday,” though, so fans could be hearing that again soon.
No. 15: Montreal Canadiens
We kick off the top half of our list with the Habs, who have a unique goal song that was created specifically for the team. There’s something irresistibly catchy about the chorus, and even though the “Hey!” chants aren’t the most creative, it’s still worthy of a spot in the top 15. It also pairs nicely with one of the classic goal horns in the league.
No. 14: Winnipeg Jets
The Jets use “Gonna Celebrate” by The Phantoms, a happy, uplifting tune that sends a clear message after a Winnipeg goal: the Jets fans are going to go absolutely bonkers.
No. 13: Detroit Red Wings
We may not have heard it very often this season, but the Red Wings have a decent goal song. It channels some techno and electronic vibes, but that thumping bass is enough to get the fans at the Little Caesar’s Arena on their feet… every once in a while.
No. 12: Pittsburgh Penguins
Simply put, “Jump Around” by the House of Pain is a classic. It’s another commonly-heard song at sporting events around the world, but it’s still guaranteed to hype up any fan base, especially after a goal.
No. 11: Washington Capitals
It may sound like something from straight out of a German nightclub, but the Capitals’ official goal song is almost good enough to crack the top ten. However, the team has debuted a new feature this year where each player has gotten to pick their own special goal song, so this one hasn’t been heard as much as expected. Caps fans have been hearing a lot of “Shake, Rattle and Roll” by Big Joe Turner, though, which is the song of choice for Rocket Richard candidate Alex Ovechkin.
No. 10: Edmonton Oilers
Our top ten begins with the Edmonton Oilers, who use “Hell Yeah” by Rev Theory. It’s simple but effective, and it will be recognized by fans of the series Blue Mountain State as the show’s theme song. It also has one of the great singable choruses of any song on this list.
No. 9: Arizona Coyotes
The Coyotes use “Howlin’ For You” by the Black Keys. You’ve got to love a goal song that is so tied-in to the team’s mascot, but this is also just a really good song. It also works so well with the coyote howl sound effects used in the background.
No. 8: St. Louis Blues
The Blues’ entry starts out with a rousing rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In” courtesy of the team’s organist, before a more traditional rock and roll sound comes in. It works quite well because the organ captures the initial excitement of the goal when everyone jumps to their feet before the second song provides a joyful background when everyone is still cheering. Of course, “Gloria” is the true song of choice for most Blues fans.
No. 7: New York Rangers
The Rangers had their song, “Slapshot,” specifically created for them by Ray Castoldi. It’s one of the best goal songs in the league for fans to sing along to, and it creates an electric atmosphere at Madison Square Garden every time the Rangers light the lamp.
No. 6: Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs just miss out on the top five with their entry: “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates. It’s a classic, feel-good song that puts a smile on everybody’s face — not that that should be an issue after a Leafs goal.
No. 5: Tampa Bay Lightning
Our first member of the top five might be a surprising one, but there’s just something joyful and infectious about the chorus and guitar sound of “Goons” by Mona. It helps that Tampa Bay has been scoring buckets of goals in the last few seasons.
No. 4: Carolina Hurricanes
The second of the two regionally-themed songs, Petey Pablo’s “Raise Up” is an anthem honoring the rapper’s home state of North Carolina. The song’s refrain of “take your shirt off, twist it ’round your head like a helicopter” definitely isn’t supposed to be taken literally, but the command for North Carolinians to “raise up” is. The Ric Flair “Woo!” before the song starts is also a nice touch.
No. 3: Buffalo Sabres
Against all odds, this song just works. “Let Me Clear My Throat” by DJ Kool is a ridiculous, nonsensical song, but there’s a humorous quality to it that not a lot of other goal songs have. It also helps to be paired with one of the truly great goal horns in the league.
No. 2: Nashville Predators
Is it any surprise that the Music City is this high on the list? Whether or not you’re a fan of country music, you can’t deny that the Predators’ goal song of Tim McGraw’s “I Like It, I Love It” fits the team and the fanbase perfectly. It also transitions nicely into The Black Keys’ “Gold On the Ceiling”, at which point the Nashville faithful rain down chants of “you suck!” on the opposing team. It doesn’t seem too fun to get scored on in Nashville.
No. 1: Chicago Blackhawks
Was there really any other choice? No goal song has taken on a life of its own quite like the iconic “Chelsea Dagger” by The Fratellis. If you’re a Blackhawks fan, you love it. If you’re a fan of any other team playing in Chicago, you absolutely detest it. But that’s what makes it so great. The hauntingly cheerful melody gets stuck in your head and won’t leave, which can be absolutely maddening for other teams. It has the perfect recipe of a catchy tune, a singable chorus, and total uniqueness. There’s no way this goal song is going anywhere anytime soon.