A Time to… Celebrate?

By: Miranda Martin
The day after a 10-game showcase around the league Thursday night, people are still talking about Edmonton Oilers Nail Yakupov’s goal.

But it wasn’t the beautiful goal that tied the score in the final seconds of the game versus the LA Kings that fans are talking about. Instead, people are talking about Yakupov’s rink slide celebration to his second NHL goal ever. And for some reason, people are having fits about the rare revelry. Even this morning, the twitterverse was still ranting and grumbling, several tweets saying that kind of celebration needs to “stay in Russia.”

A goal celebration is a beautiful thing that has taken a backseat over the years. In other sports around the world, celebrations are sometimes just as exciting as the goal itself. ¬†It is a universal acceptance in the NHL for the guys to run into a huddle post-goal, patting helmets and tapping rears. What’s so bad with a guy celebrating by himself first?
NHL fans have always taken pride in not only being passionate themselves but having passionate players as well. But if someone overacts a goal celebration, they’re up in arms? It is part of the game, but a goal shouldn’t just be business. The NFL penalizes for excessive celebrating after a touchdown, but there is still a generous amount of leeway for the individual to dance while his teammates head to celebrate.
As for Nashville, it wouldn’t hurt for Predators players to celebrate a little more, to be honest. In all the pregame highlight videos, there are always goals but few celebrations. Go to another teams house, such as Chicago or St. Louis (where I’ve witnessed them), and there are just as many goal celebrations shown as the beautiful goals. One of the most moving video shots I’ve ever seen is watching the bench celebrate a goal. Can’t we have a little more on the ice, though? It will excite fans even more. Granted, it needs to be safe (no Radulov-style post-celebration concussions, please), but even a few more fist pumps wouldn’t hurt. If the team is down by ¬†several goals, then an unenthused head tap and a butt pat may be more appropriate. But why should the big celebrations be reserved for the playoffs?
The Yakupov goal celebration was super entertaining for anyone who witnessed, so if you’re irritated about a teenager celebrating a pivotal goal, just stop it. There is no need for senseless griping. Be happy that these guys are passionate enough to still realize how valuable a goal is.

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