Perhaps the irony was lost on Don Cherry, a man known for his flashy, attention-seeking suits, when he espoused a “get off my lawn” persona Saturday as he discussed the topic of the Carolina Hurricanes’ postgame celebrations.
The Hurricanes have been doing a lot of winning lately (three straight victories and eight of their past 10 games). They also have been providing a lot of postgame entertainment for their home crowd, calling the celebrations the “Storm Surge.”
On Friday, the Hurricanes celebrated a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers with Dougie Hamilton leading the crowd with viking claps followed by tossing an imaginary home-run pitch to Warren Foegele.
But there’s no room for that kind of celebratory behavior in hockey, Cherry said.
The 85-year-old railed against the Hurricanes on Saturday on “Hockey Night in Canada,” calling the team “a bunch of jerks” for having too much fun.
“These guys to me are jerks,” Cherry said. “. . . And I’ll tell you one thing, they better not do this in the playoffs. . . . This is a joke.”
“Young men expressing themselves for joy of winning,” Cherry said sarcastically. “You don’t do this thing in professional hockey. What are these guys? Jerks or something?”
“I know what I’m talking about. You never do anything like that. They’re still not drawing. They’re a bunch of jerks as far as I’m concerned. Imagine Justin Williams doing stuff like that.”
The Hurricanes won again Saturday night, beating the Dallas Stars, 3-0. And again they celebrated, this time with a limbo stick line.
The Hurricanes social media team didn’t hesitate to bust out its Cherry retorts. The team even changed its Twitter bio to “That bunch of jerks with the fun celebrations.”
Perhaps Cherry made those comments for ratings or to go viral, or maybe he actually believes what he said. What’s indisputable is that they make good fodder for a Carolina team that has vaulted its way from second-to-last in the Eastern Conference to the second wild-card spot in less than two months.