Just Can’t Hide It

Everybody’s talking about Nail Yakupov‘s goal-scoring celebration last night, when he tied the game vs. Los Angeles.

nial.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.

nail3More pumped than everyone else combined.

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.


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  1. Kaitlin Reply

    This is why we watch hockey. Because we hope, against hope, that our team can come back and tie it up with less than a minute to go. Because we want to see two teams battle it out. We want to see players inspire us with their tenacity and skill. We want to stand up and cheer and yell and jump around. We want to see grown men celebrate with the joy of little boys (ok the grown men bit might not quite apply here- he’s only 19!). Would it be excessive if it were a Crosby, Giroux, or Kane? Unless it was the Stanley Cup playoffs, probably. But not last night. Last night it was everything hockey is supposed to be!

  2. I am all about his celebration. I LOVE it when players are excited about good plays – especially goals. Seeing his celebration this morning when I woke up definitely made my morning so much better.

  3. This celebration is right up there with Landeskog’s. Boo to the people that say that it was too much. The kid never been there before and he tied with with 4 seconds left. We’re lucky he didn’t strip down to his pads and wave his shirt around his head like Dean the Bash Brother in Mighty Ducks 2.

    • Kaitlin Reply

      Or unlucky… depending on how you feel about Nail Yakupov…

    • He has to be. That celebration knee slide is like something out of the English Premier League or the World Cup.

  4. I do not like the Oilers. But I admire their spirit. Their fans are in denial (this is not the year) but again…their spirit. I admire it. And God DAMN I love hockey. This might be my favourite season ever. You truly never know what you have until it’s gone.

  5. Aaron Vaccaro Reply

    I’m a Kings fan and I have absolutely no problem with this celebration. It was an unbelievable goal and a back-breaker for the Kings. Compound that on top of the previous goal being disallowed, they pulled it together and deserved an epic celebration. God forbid hockey should make the “Top 10” on Sportscenter…

  6. drea Reply

    I’m normally a “act like you’ve been there before” but I like him channeling Theo Fleury. But taller.

  7. Anyone who hates this is anti-fun and therefore sucks. Plus you know this must be a good thing when Don Cherry denounces it.