From my seat in the press box I was able to capture the bench reaction for both of VGK’s shootout goals. The first from Chandler Stephenson to keep the Golden Knights alive, and the second by Mark Stone to win the game. (Video of both celebrations below.)
This is analysis of every player’s celebration style.
McNabb – Very tight celebrations. Hands close to his own chest, almost like someone scared him. Takes a moment to celebrate on his own, then joins in with others. Has a habit of punching people late in the celebration.
Miromanov – Does not like to sit for the big moment. Standing in one, then leaning way over the boards in the other. Classic two hands in the air holding up the stick. Instantly looking for high fives, including from those not willing to give them. Focus quickly turned straight to opening the door on the game-winner, courteous, great teammate.
Pietrangelo – Had a hard time seeing much of the Stephenson goal because Miromanov was standing in his way. Strong chin, taking an errant high-five/punch to the face from Miromanov. Small jump on game-winner, but definite air under both skates. Initiates massive hug with Martinez. Odd right-glove decisions. He took it off to wipe off his face prior to the shootout attempt, then nearly drops it upon the goal, recovers, but does not put it back on for the hug with Martinez. Probably wants that back as it likely caused an awkward hug grip.
Martinez – Sheer relief on the game-tying goal. Head down, both fists up. Wants high fives next, but struggles to find a good partner. Pietrangelo isn’t ready and Hague is already engaging with Miromanov, so he punches Hague’s other hand. Not ideal, but better than being left hanging. Terrified of Stone’s attempt shown by placing his chin directly on the boards. Explodes into celly though with a two-hand convulsing motion. Stellar hug reciprocation.
Hague – Has a signature celebration but with levels of intensity based on importance. Huge right-handed fist pump while opening entire body to rest of the bench. Already the tallest player on the team, he reaffirms that by also being the highest jumper. Poor dismount going over the boards including a dropped stick (possibly caused by an unintentional kick from Carrier). Definitely wins the award for most excited player on the bench.
Pachal – Strength is an issue here as he’s nearly knocked over by Hague on the winner. Possibly looking for high fives from the coaches who are only interested in non-players. Rookie inexperience definitely shines through here.