The first thought I had when seeing Edmonton Oilers rookie Nail Yakupov's celebration of a game-tying goal was that it was awesome. The second thought I had immediately after was the old guard is going to hate this, which made me love it even more.
The cheerleader for the old guard, if you will, is Don Cherry, the always divisive and opinionated commentator for CBC and star of the Coach's Corner segment every week on Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts. Just as you would have expected, Cherry had an opinion to share on Yakupov's cross-ice slide, and it's pretty much exactly what you would think he would say.
"If any time you want to get on our highlights at the start, just act like an idiot like this, and you'll get in our highlights," Cherry said.
"I'm telling you, LA is going to remember this. They will remember this until the dying day. You don't do stuff like that."
This won't do much to change anybody's impression that Cherry doesn't like European players or their attitudes/antics. But it's tough to pin this on just "not like European players" from Cherry because he was equally upset by Theo Fleury's similar celebration that he discussed (and CBC showed) in the segment.
The fact that people get upset about this is just silly. If a player does something good, why should he not be able to celebrate it? Yakupov has a tremendous zeal and has a passion that many of his Russian compatriots often get accused of not having at all (ahem, Alexander Semin). If it bothers the Kings then that's their right; they'll have chances to repay the Oilers and Yakupov down the line.
Sneaking under the radar here: Cherry's praise of Jonathan Quick. The uber-Canadian Cherry actually called Quick, an American, the best goaltender in the world. I guess sometimes Cherry does still surprise.