The Carolina Hurricanes are still fighting for their Stanley Cup Playoff hopes with six games remaining in the NHL regular season. Thursday’s game against the Washington Capitals is another huge one as the Canes seek to end a postseason drought dating back to 2009.
Win or lose, what will happen following the game will be memorable. The ‘Storm Surge,’ which has infuriated out-of-touch dinosaurs around hockey all season long, will take place one final time for the year, according to captain Justin Williams.
They’ve played baseball, done the limbo, used Andrei Svechikov as a human bowling ball, brought back “Duck Hunt,” and watched as former boxing heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield “knocked out” Jordan Martinook, among a number of other post-win celebrations. They pissed off Brian Burke, and Don Cherry’s disapproval with the ‘Storm Surge’ inspired the “Bunch of Jerks” t-shirts.
It’s been glorious.
“We felt at the end of games a little stick wave was getting a little monotonous and getting a little tiresome and quite frankly, a little bit forced,” Williams explained to Sports Illustrated earlier this season. “So we wanted to do a little bit more. We started off with something small and slowly we’ve been having a lot more fun with it.”
The ‘Storm Surge’ has been a rousing success for a market that has seen a lot of bad hockey over the last decade. After falling short of expectations the past few seasons, Carolina is in the hunt for a playoff spot and the fan base is full of excitement.
If you weren’t a fan of the ‘Storm Surge,’ well, they weren’t meant for you, as the team put it succinctly last month:
It’s a post-win tradition that’s connected the players and the fan base during a season that has re-energized a market that needed a jolt.
We can’t wait to see what ‘Storm Surge’ ideas they come up with next season.
Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.