We have updated our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the NHL’s online services, you agree to these updated documents and to the arbitration of disputes.
Welcome |Account|Sign Out 
Username or EmailPassword

Cherry criticizes Yakupov's celebration in Oilers 2-1 overtime win on Thursday

Saturday, 01.26.2013 / 8:55 PM / News

The Canadian Press

Share with your Friends

Cherry criticizes Yakupov's celebration in Oilers 2-1 overtime win on Thursday

TORONTO - Don Cherry was not impressed with Nail Yakupov's post-goal hijinks.

The commentator criticized the Edmonton Oilers rookie in his weekly Hockey Night in Canada segment on Saturday for his exuberant celebration earlier in the week.

Yakupov scored the tying goal with 4.7 seconds left in the third as Edmonton went on to beat the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 in overtime on Thursday.

The top pick in the 2012 NHL entry draft then skated to centre ice, dropped to his knees and slid into the Oilers' defensive end as Edmonton's fans cheered in approval.

"If anytime you want to make our highlights at the start (of the show) just act like an idiot like this, you'll get in our highlights," said Cherry, as a clip of Yakupov's celebration played.

Cherry didn't like that Yakupov showed up Kings' goaltender Jonathan Quick, who lay prone on the ice after the goal.

"Here's the MVP of the National Hockey League, here's the best goaltender in the world, he's embarrassed him, laying there like that," said Cherry. "I'm telling you they — L.A. — is going to remember this. They will remember this to the dying day.

"You don't do stuff like that."

Yakupov's celebration was reminiscent of Theo Fleury's fist-pumping reaction to scoring the game-winning goal in Game 6 of the 1991 Smythe Division semifinals when the Calgary Flames edged Edmonton in overtime.

Cherry made that connection and pointed out that, ultimately, Fleury's celebration served to motivate the Oilers to a decisive victory in Game 7 of that series.

"(Oilers captain Mark) Messier goes in the dressing room and says, 'Are we going to lose to these guys with that Fleury acting like that, embarrassing us,'" said Cherry. "'We gotta go out and win this game' and they went out and won the game.

"You cannot act like that."

Earlier in Cherry's segment he criticized former Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson for mishandling the roster put together by former general manager Brian Burke.

"Is this team not truculent, belligerent, pugnacious, and all that stuff?" said Cherry, invoking Burke's infamous catchphrase. "This is exactly the team (Burke) wanted and Wilson screwed him up."

Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres