The Carolina Hurricanes believe the criticism of their elaborate postgame celebrations after home wins is misguided.
"It's fun for people," coach Rod Brind'Amour told The News & Observer on Monday when asked about the practice.
He said that there is no intent to offend anyone or make light of the game.
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"To be honest with you, it's not about anyone else; that is where they miss the point," Brind'Amour said. "It's about our players engaging our fans and thanking them for sticking with us and being there."
Don Cherry was vehemently opposed to the celebrations during his "Coach's Corner" segment during "Hockey Night in Canada" coverage on Saturday.
He used a celebration from Friday, after a 3-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers at PNC Arena, to make his point. In the video, the Hurricanes re-enacted a home run.
"I understand sometimes hockey is pretty old school," defenseman Justin Faulk told the newspaper. "There are a lot of things with it that are old school and are still like that within the game today, but we are obviously not too worried about what other people are saying or think about.
Video: DAL@CAR: Hurricanes do the limbo to celebrate win
"We're doing our thing and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. He can say whatever he wants, it's not going to affect us."
Sportsnet commentator Brian Burke has also been critical of the practice.
"We're just trying to bring a little levity to a pretty serious game," said Brind'Amour, who had not commented this season on the post-game ceremonies by his players. "We push the guys pretty hard."
The Hurricanes (31-22-6) have 68 points and are one point behind the Montreal Canadiens, who hold the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Pittsburgh Penguins, who also have 69 points, hold the first wild card.
Brind'Amour, a hard-nosed forward in the NHL from 1989 to 2010, including the last 10 seasons of his career with Carolina, is in his first year as the coach of the Hurricanes.
He says he sees no issue with the practice, which was started by captain Justin Williams earlier this season. He also stressed that the celebrations take place after the game and after the other team has left the ice. They are designed, in part, as an incentive to keep the fans in the building past the end of the game.
On Saturday, after a 3-0 win against the Dallas Stars at PNC Arena, the players did a limbo dance under a hockey stick.
"We just have to keep doing our thing," Brind'Amour said. "I don't think the players are going to change what they are doing. They are enjoying it; the fans are enjoying it. You have to remember, that's what we are here to do, they are the ones that pay the salaries."
Plus, the players are enjoying it.
"I think they love it," he said. "it's their thing. If [Williams] thought they didn't want to do it, he wouldn't do it. We're making way too big a deal of it."
The Hurricanes host the New York Rangers on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, MSG, NHL.TV).