The Carolina Hurricanes' postgame celebrations are getting such notice that they now are attracting guest stars.
Legendary boxer Evander Holyfield stepped onto the ice after Friday night's game to help the Hurricanes celebrate their 5-2 victory against the St. Louis Blues.
The team's choreographed celebrations, which began this season and have featured a bowling game, a game of Duck, Duck, Goose and a limbo line, have thrilled Hurricanes fans but also have upset hockey purists such as Don Cherry.
The Hurricanes, though, had the perfect response in their last game to the Hockey Night in Canada studio analyst calling the team a "bunch of jerks."
[email protected] joins the surge and delivers a KNOCKOUT! pic.twitter.com/zry8VkTR4m
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The Hurricanes began Friday's celebration with their traditional Viking clap, then the lights went out and Holyfield came onto the ice wearing a Carolina jersey with the number 4X signifying his four heavyweight titles.
His opponent was Jordan Martinook, who had fought Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon earlier this season and was wearing boxing gloves. The sparring didn't last long as Martinook wisely took a dive on the first punch.
Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jordan Martinook (48) is knocked out by Evander Holyfield during their celebration after beating the St. Louis Blues. (Photo: James Guillory, USA TODAY Sports)
Martinook continued to play the part, though, staying down as he was dragged off the ice.
"That was pretty cool," Martinook said in the locker room after the game.
[email protected] surprised the squad before tonight's game and offered some words of wisdom pic.twitter.com/2K3B9OF3t3
Coach Rod Brind'Amour had brought Holyfield into the locker room before the game to say hi to players. He chose to deliver a pep talk, too.
"If you outwork that guy and minimize your mistakes, it's impossible for you to lose," Holyfield told the players.
Carolina did that to beat the Blues, who had been on a 13-1-1 run. The Hurricanes improved to 13-3-1 in their last 17 games.
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