This great celebration by the Oilers rookie was one of the better ones in recent memory. It’s better than Eric Cole’s high fiving of the ref last year and almost makes you ignore just how sweet Yakupov’s goal was. He bats the puck in out of mid-air to tie the game with 4.7 seconds left in the 3rd period. An amazing feat on its own, but really it’s the whipped cream topping to the slice of chocolate chess pie that is his celebration. Fantastic.
In the NFL, touchdown celebrations have pretty specific rules around them. In the NBA, players can be penalized on the court and even fined if they hang on the rim too long after a dunk. Major League Baseball players pump fists here and there and that’s about it.
But then there’s our beloved puck. The NHL doesn’t have archaic roles against celebrating. The guys at Puck Daddy hail Nail Yakupov‘s goal as “death to the NHL’s tedious decorum.” We agree…and disagree. To their argument, Yakupov’s whole demeanor is more Alex Ovechkin than Nicklas Lidstrom. After being drafted he has embraced social media like no player has ever (including the media savvy Ovechkin, who’s twitter account is dormant by comparison). Like Ovehckin and Sidney Crosby in 2004, Yakupov is the face of the new NHL emerging from the lockout.
On the other hand, goal celebrations have a long history of being just plain awesome. Glorious, unabated, unadultered celebrating. ESPN produced a top 10 video a while back that doesn’t even include the aforementioned Cole celebration. As the video points out, amazing goal celebrations date back to Tiger Williams and if you wrack your brain you can probably come up with a couple. I mean, in beer league last week I had myself a nice Patrick Marleau fist pump. Hockey is a game of passion, and that passion is reflected in the celebration of the most exciting moment in sports: the hockey goal.
Welcome back, goal-scorers. Looking forward to see what you’ve got in store for us for the 2013 campaign.
Greatest Fictional Cars of All-Time
2) The General Lee
3) The A-Team Van
4) The Batmobile (original, TV version)
5) Lightning McQueen