Everybody’s talking about Nail Yakupov‘s goal-scoring celebration last night, when he tied the game vs. Los Angeles.
.gif by www.sbnation.com
Most people love it. There are some complaints that it’s too much, too showy, that goal scorers should “act like you’ve been here before.”
Guess which side I’m on?
LOOK HOW EXCITED HE IS!! He’s 19 years old, has played 3 NHL games and this was his second-ever goal. He tied a super-tight, messy game with under 5 seconds left to send his team to overtime. Which they won. GO CRAZY!
Afterward, he Tweeted this:
The Oilers website got in on the fun, with a nod to Yakupov’s exuberant overuse of social media parenthetical smiley-face emoticons:
You can see them at @Nail10_1993, or just take Taylor Hall’s word for it:
Based on Twitter, we should have anticipated this kind of overjoyed meltdown.
Yakopov was the first overall selection at the 2012 draft. Yes, that means the last three #1 draft picks all play for the Oilers. My future children will be watching these guys someday, and I can tell stories like this while they ignore me and fly around on hovercraft sneakers.
To detractors, I say: Last night I was at the Caps 4-1 loss to Montreal. It was like after-school detention on the nicest day of the year. The team was atrocious, the crowd anemic. Booing started halfway through and no announcer or music crew could stem the tide. I would have given my nachos for a single rush with Yakupov’s energy or a single player with his spirit.
I am Nail-excited about the return of hockey. I am Nail-excited about amazing plays, my team having heart and never giving up. This isn’t unsportsmanlike conduct or excessive celebration. It’s just the kind of buzzer-beating, heart-stopping, throw your popcorn in the air thing we were missing all along.