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Personalized goal songs: Trend catching on in NHL

Travis Konecny takes a shot during a recent Flyers practice. Photo/Mark Zimmaro

Picture this: Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek racing down the ice. It’s a 2-on-1. Giroux saucer passes across to Voracek, who buries the one-timer! The crowd at the Wells Fargo Center jumps to its feet, and the stadium queues up the music: In this case, it’s probably something like “Glory Days” or “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen.

Voracek is a noted music buff and he loves his classics. So why not share that lovable side of such a marketable player?

The Flyers have the opportunity to follow a recent trend in which a few NHL teams are ditching the traditional “team goal song” after a goal is scored on home ice. Instead, teams like the Washington Capitals and San Jose Sharks are going with personalized songs in honor of the goal scorer.

The song “Still D.R.E.” by Dr. Dre can be heard at the Capital One Center each time Alex Ovechkin scores a goal. On the flip side, “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver becomes a singalong every time T.J. Oshie tickles the twine.

It’s fun. And better yet, it’s a way to showcase the personalities of rising stars in a sport that struggles to steal the spotlight among crowded sports markets south of the Canadian border.

“That would be cool,” All-Star winger Travis Konecny said. “They do it in other sports so it would be cool to do something like that. I’d definitely be interested. I guess it depends which guys are scoring a lot, and if you like their music.”

Konecny said he’d probably go with a country music song if he were to choose. Voracek said he enjoys older music. He likes to “stick to the old stuff,” naming Tom Petty, U2 and AC/DC as his favorites, when he’s not listening to “The Boss.”

James Van Riemsdyk said he hadn’t thought about a specific selection but he embraced the idea if the trend makes its way to Philly.

“I think the culture in hockey can sometimes be a little stuffy as far as not embracing things like that,” he said. “Obviously, it’s a team game but sometimes you can let guys show a little bit of personality and it’s fun for the fans to be able to interact with people and relate to (players). A lot of other sports do a much better job of marketing their interests. Hockey has such great characters in the game that I think we could do little things like that to become more approachable.”

Currently, the Flyers play the song “Feel the Shake” by ‘80s rockers Jetboy after any goal, regardless of who scored it. It follows a long list of past goal songs, which included tunes by Pennywise, Fallout Boy and, of course, that sort of memorable “Doop” song.

There’s always the chance some players might shy away from it as the team-first concept often trumps individualized thinking in the sport. Some guys are just indifferent about it, like Sean Couturier.

“It could be nice, but for me it doesn’t really matter,” Couturier said. “I don’t really care too much, but it could be fun for the fans. It could be a way to know the guys a little more personally.”

Problems could also arise with those ugly redirection goals as it might not be immediately known who actually should receive credit for touching the puck last.

But there are other opportunities to dip a toe in the water.

Why not use individual songs during the shootout?

Think baseball walk-up music. How pumped did you get when “Kashmir” played at Citizens Bank Park, signaling that Chase Utley was approaching the plate? Remember Yankees closer Mariano Rivera approaching the mound with Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” on the speakers?

Fans were anything but sleepy.

Halfway Home

Though the Flyers are well past the official halfway point of the regular season, the All-Star break is a time to reflect and set sights on the playoff chase. Exiting the break, the Flyers were one point out of a wild card spot with 32 games left to go.

Their 60 points in 50 games is a 98-point pace that is usually good enough to grab one of the final spots, as Columbus finished last season with 98 and took the second wild card. Montreal finished ninth with 96. The Flyers will need to continue their pace.

Strange Stat

Prior to the Flyers’ 4-1 loss to Montreal a few games before the All-Star break, Philadelphia had not lost to an Original Six team in regulation. The Flyers are now 10-1-1 against franchises that existed before the 1967 expansion. That includes a 2-0 mark against the Boston Bruins and a 2-0-1 slate against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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