Love the humble Coyotes fan on the left being like "Ah, good one, you got us."

Last night Nail Yakupov scored a huge goal for the Edmonton Oilers, knocking the puck out of the air – catching it flush, mind you – in overtime to grab the two points for his boys on the road. It was his fourth of the year, and even bigger than the one that tied the game up against the Kings that brought about his Theo Fleury-esque sprint celebration that sparked so much conversation. And for reasons unbeknownst to me, apparently his latest reaction, the celebration below, managed to piss people off too (Derek Morris and colour guy Tyson Nash, specifically).

Wait, what? What am I missing here?

The large, large majority of people loved Yakupov’s first display of exuberance (the Fleury slide), and were less than pleased at folks like myself who didn’t feel the same way. I’m an unabashed Yak fan, I just think skating away from your teammates to celebrate is pretty weaksauce, and when they finally did catch him, he still laid face-down and didn’t engage them, so yeah, I said so. I knew that wouldn’t go over well in the dressing room, and we did see some highlights of guys mocking his celebration in practice, and heard his teammate Eric Belanger say he could’ve done without it (and I’m guessing others held their tongues). Still, folks like myself were in the minority, as evidenced by tweets like Adam Proteau’s of The Hockey News.

Eeeeaaaasy, Turbo.

Anywho, last night when Nail scored he did the most amazing thing your teammate can do: he’s pumped, his arms are in the air, he’s waving his teammates in, and he’s going to celebrate with the boys. It was an OT winner, after all. By a rookie! The only OT winner I’ve seen less-celebrated was Matt Frattin’s against Buffalo the other night. You’d need valium to have smaller reactions than Yakupov and Frattin had. I’m sure his teammates love that he seems to have gotten the message – we won – and he made a change to represent that.

So then…what the hell is Derek Morris doing after this? You can actually hear him say the word “celebration” towards the end of the clip. And Tyson Nash – love the guy, he’s gregarious, he treats people extremely well, but…what? “Derek Morris, not happy, he wants to give it someone for that celebration…”

What celebration?

“Yakupov might wanna get out of there.”

Why? Then they show the replay of the Yakupov celly, and Nash says “Ah, I’m not a big fan of that.” Honest question: of what? Moderately displayed happiness? I legitimately don’t get it in this case.

I understand that’s a Phoenix broadcast, and they like to spin things the home team’s way as most broadcasters do, so maybe it was just something to be upset about after the loss, but good gravy. If that’s no good, Yakupov should print out my list of suggestions for his upcoming goal celebrations:

* Play a single, sad note on a violin
* Get a formal apology notarized and submitted to opponent’s dressing room STAT
* Display empathy by openly weeping for opponent’s frustrations
* Group hug with opponent’s team instead of selfishly only hugging teammates
* One word: seppuku

I dunno. I don’t expect fans, who watch the game purely for entertainment, to understand why I thought his first celebration was a bit much. But I do expect hockey players, who play (or discuss) the game for a living, to understand that a guy is allowed to reasonably celebrate an OT winner.

Yakupov’s rookie season is off to a great start, and he’s going to be a lot of fun to follow. And assuming he agrees take one of my suggestions, we shouldn’t have any problems going forward.


Comments (40)

  1. Morris was actually calling for a hand pass and got chirped by Whitney on the way by which caused the scrum.

    • You can audibly hear him say “celebration” on the ice as well though. Either way, Nash takes some issue with…something? about the reaction.

      • Nash, for some reason take issue with it, but by the video I think Morris was reacting to being chirped by Whitney (he went after Whitney, not Yak). I think Nash was maybe just trying to justify what Morris did, like a good homer announcer, and the only thing he could think of in the moment was the celebration.

        • Was watching the Edmonton feed on Gamecenter and from what they understood the Coyotes thought there was either a hand pass or a high stick on Edmonton prior to the goal. The Phoenix bench including the coaching staff stayed on the bench to get an explantion apparently but the Officials left the ice. It looked like Morris’ target was Whitney the whole time and not Yakupov.

  2. Hockey is a large part and emotional game and this celebration goes to show that his celebration against the Kings was on the spot emotional and not premeditated. Just like his career I guess Tyson Nash is not a fan of scoring goals.

  3. Tyson Nash was an awful player and he’s turned into an even worse analyst. I know the Yotes can’t spend much on broadcasters (or FSPhoenix doesn’t want to spend on them), but… still, hire someone, ANYONE else. I remember him giving a hilariously bad interview on MvsW after the Kings beat the Yotes last year.

  4. 50 seconds into the video at center ice, that didn’t look like a team that was completely comfortable. He scored an OT winner and even the high fives were done at full arms length distance.

    This was tamed down from the slip and slide but there’s still a hint of an endzone dance.

    See:Goal Celebrations
    -by Justin Bourne

  5. Doesn’t it seem a little weird how long it took his mates to come celebrate with him? Obviously with the Kings goal they had to catch him and probably were befuddled and/or annoyed by the whole thing, but here it is like he scored, stopped, put his arms up and waited, but nobody came (at least not for awhile).

    I don’t follow Edmonton closely, but for those that do, what seems to be the reception he’s gotten in the room and a teammate?

    • I think it’s just a function of the relative positions of everyone on the ice + how the camera cuts back and forth. If you check the replay around 1:20, the closest Oiler, Whitney, sort of circles around and looks confused (maybe expecting Yakupov to skate out into the center again?) and then Hall comes skating in from pretty far out.

      • Yeah, the late hugging circle came due to positioning. Hall was way out near the point and Whitney actually did a loop around the front of the crease. People are making a lot out of nothing with Yak’s celebrations.

        The last celly, while I agree with Justin, was pure emotion by a rookie scoring a HUGE goal. He obviously took the reaction from teammates to heart and celebrated this goal with the team. You see guys who have been in the league much longer do the knee down hand scoop among other things that take them away from teammates. Yak wanted to celebrate with the team this time and that’s great.

        Morris was a sore loser this time around.

    • His teammates probably figured “why bother….he’s just going to skate away and do his own thing anyway”. That was my problem with the slide last week. It’s wasn’t the slide itself, it was the fact that his teammates went to go swarm him, and he ditched them so he could go do his whole “hey everybody look at me” thing by himself.

      I have no problem with this particular celebration.

  6. I didn’t watch the game, only the provided clip… But what it looks like to me is that Morris misinterprets Yakupov’s “come celebrate with me, guys” wave as more of a “come at me bro” type statement.

  7. Without reading your comment about “waving his teammates in”, I interpreted Yakupov’s hand moves as a “bring it” or “come at me bro” thing toward the Coyotes. At 0:44 in the video, after the scrum, Morris makes a similar gesture, which I thought indicated that was what he was pissed at.

    On the reply, it does seem like it was Whitney that said something to Morris though.

    I dunno.

    • That is they way I interpreted it as well. Yakupov was ensuring his teamates came to him to celebrate after all the crap he took about the slide celebration. Morris didn’t like it and most likely said something.. Whitney on the way by heard it and said something back and Morris jumped him.

      I don’t see anything wrong with what Yakupov did

  8. Has Justin or anyone reached out to Tyson Nash for a comment on what in the world he was talking about? Maybe he saw something the cameras didn’t capture, like Yakupov flipping everyone in Phoenix the bird in the millisecond between changing cameras.

  9. Can’t you see it? Yakupov wanted to start a YMCA dance, which he worked out ahead of time with those four guys for just that moment! Whitney told Morris (who telepathically sent the message to Nash in the booth) that the M stood for Markham…. or that it was for You’re Moving (to) Canada Again and Morris had flashbacks of winter time in Calgary….

    In all reality, Nash was probably in the minority of people who didn’t like the first celebration and the narrative of “Yakupov doesn’t celebrate properly” was stuck in his head no matter what Yakupov did after the goal.

  10. I bet the thing was his teammates were already curling to the neutral zone, trying to chase him down first, but Nail thought better of it / learned his lesson and decided to stay put.

    Talk about being in a no win situation. Queue up the Clash “Should I stay or should I go”

  11. The only thing odd for that is that he stopped behind the net, where goal celebrations usually don’t happen unless you meet your first teammate behind the net. Otherwise you usually skate through to the corner and meet the first guy. It looks like the rest of the Oilers are waiting for him to emerge from behind the net to join the celebration but Yak just stops there.

    Either way, great goal and keep up the celebrations.

  12. TBH to me he mostly just looks kind of stunned. This is so low-key compared to many of the celebrations I’ve seen; I don’t get what everyone’s up in arms about.

  13. Hey, look! It’s a Coyote freaking out after a tough loss!

  14. Dude, it’s quite clear that the altercation has nothing to do with the celebration. Morris probably isn’t too pleased about it in general, but it sure as hell wouldn’t have escalated if Whitney didn’t run his mouth and initiate contact with Morris, who then proceed to fill him in.

    The best part of the entire clip, and the thing you should be talking about, is how the other 3 Oilers stand a couple feet away and watch Morris feed it to Whitney. Not even a brief moment of ‘hey, maybe we should help him’ crosses their minds. And that right there is why that team isn’t going to go anywhere.

    • Actually the reason no one is talking about that is because the amount of talent that the oilers can throw on the ice is much more interesting to discuss and relevant to their success than any tired old tough guy cliche.

      • Yeah what a cliche, you always see teams that don’t stand up for each other go on long runs right? And yeah, can’t recall ever seeing a team with a lot of talent but no guts get bounced early. None of those sound familiar.

        Get a grip.

        • ugh.

          You’re right, talent is much less important than guts, eye glow, poise, and several other words made famous by a certain ex-leafs gm.

          • Are you referring to the ex-leafs GM that won a cup in Anaheim with a team that actually had guts?

            Btw, you can keep attempting to put words in my mouth if you want but it just makes you look stupid. I at no time said that you don’t need talent, but talent alone isn’t going to get you there if you have a team built around players that literally watch their teammate get pummeled.

            And wtf is eye glow?

    • As someone that was actually at the game. This is most accurately what happened. Ryan, a player i actually like, says somethign to Derek. Derek took exception.

      Nail can do whatever, the “celly” (justin’s favorite word) was subdued and not what set Derek off. Although the celly was lame, so im sure Nail deserves some sort of butt-end for that.

      Not sure what Tyson was talking about. maybe it was the “bring it in” motioning. whatever. games over.

  15. I would guess the team decided to celebrate without Yakapov on his next goal, likely as a joke. They probably didn’t plan for it being an OT winner.

  16. Over Analyzed!! – holy – absolutely nothing to do with Yakopov, everything to do with Whitney and Morris battle and then chirp after goal. And the Coyotes were chocked asking for a hand pass – so not only do the fans no nothing about hockey neither do the players about rules in Arizona.

    Also – Gagner tweeted something about they where waiting for him at the front of the net.

  17. Nash is awful….remember he was the guy that saw no problem with Raffi Torres hit on Hossa last year….but somehow he’s offended at a little celebration after a game winner? Give me a break.

  18. Absolutely loved your “celly” suggs JB – well done. Also love all of the theorizing about what was going on ’cause none of us really know, or will ever know.

  19. Im of the opinion that no matter what you do, you act lke you’ve done it before.

    but, yes there are times that are just absolutely amazing moments where you are just so excited. However, in those moments you are just pumped and dont think about what you are doing.

    The problem that i have with Yaks first celebration is they seem too planned to be spur of the moment. skating down the ice like that just wouldnt be my reaction to scoring the tying goal. yes i would be excited but i dont think most people wold plan it like that.

    This same situation just screams the Linus Omarks spin move in the shootout. Everyone couldnt stop raving about it when, at the end of the day it was a showboat move that had no bearing on the outcome of the goal.

    just sick of talking about this team

  20. I don’t see an issue here. Maybe you could say he’s still showing a bit of ego waving people to come to him like he’s a messiah (and really that’s just because we are picking this apart). If it weren’t for the other celebration we wouldn’t even be talking about this one.

  21. this isnt the first time the Coyotes have stayed on the ice to pout after the game was over.

    the scrum had nothing to do with Yak, it was between Whiney and Morris, after Morris though the goal should be waved off.

    the impression i get from Oiler teammates (from interveiws and such ) is they love his enthusasim and energy to me he seems like a really likeable kid. in his post game interveiw he thanks his teammates for helping him transition and thanks the Oilers for drafting him,so i dont think he’s a selfish show off like hes being made out to be

    • Figure it out people, the rest of the team didn’t come to yakupov because there was a fight going on and they weren’t allowed, I doubt they are so mad that they won’t even celly with him. This is getting out of control he put his hands in the air, that’s what everyone does I hope next time he does something crazy, if he is going to get criticized for not cellying he minus well make it worth the criticism

  22. Bourne u are spot on with this bullcrap of a celebration. Its bad enough that these union players have to tow the party line by skating over to the bench & slapping shakes with the guys on the bench after every goal but to make an ASS out of yourself for scoring a goal is really sickening, especially a regular season goal.

    Kid has talent but can do without the hysterics. Next thing u know we are going to see CFL style co-ordinated celebrations.

    Knock it out of the game now. Emotion? please be a man, act like a man.

  23. I don’t know if Morris liked the celebration or not, but Morris is throwing punches over something Whitney said, not something Yakupov did.

    This type of thing used to happen all the time when Whitney was in Pittsburgh. He’s got an acid tongue, but doesn’t handle himself very well, so he’ll say the wrong thing to the wrong guy, then get ridden around the ice like a donkey.

  24. this is a good old fashioned case of, u mad bro?

  25. The issue for me isn’t the slide or the hot-dogging. My issue is that he ducked and dodged teammates who were trying to hug and congratulate him. To a fan, sure, fine, nothing to see here. But as a player down there on the ice, having to chase a teammate who’s so caught up in his own glory that he’s avoiding hugging and acknowledging) you leaves a very bad taste in your mouth.

    There was a guy on my MTHL team who did that sort of thing when he scored. It really bugged me. Brought down team spirit.

    Honest question: is this an old vs new thing? Is it considered progressive to fly around devouring the glory of your deed?

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