Don Cherry takes issue with Nail Yakupov goal celebration
Grapes said Kings will remember rookie's post-equalizer joy ride
Nail Yakupov's extended goal celebration from Thursday night has certainly caught the attention of the hockey world, but Don Cherry says that isn't necessarily a good thing.
In Saturday's edition of Coach's Corner, Cherry said he disapproved of the Oilers rookie's knee slide through centre ice after tying the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings with 4.7 seconds left.
"If any time you want to make our highlights at the start [of the show], just act like an idiot like this," Cherry said to set up the clip of the top pick in the 2012 NHL entry draft.
Then the Hockey Night in Canada star pointed out a devastated Kings goalie lying face down in the blue paint during Yakupov's post-equalizer joy ride.
Fleury calls out Grapes
It didn't take long for Theo Fleury to give Don Cherry a friendly reminder about that iconic celebration from almost 22 years ago.
Shortly after Cherry said the retired NHLer acted 'like an idiot' after scoring the OT winner against Edmonton in 1991, Fleury took to Twitter.
"I do remember Don shaking my hand after scoring that goal in Edm and him congratulating me. Did an interview with Ron [MacLean] right after the goal," he posted to his verified Twitter acount @TheoFleury14 late Saturday evening.
Cherry acknowledged Fleury's note in the first intermission of the Oilers-Flames game on Hockey Night in Canada.
"I guess I was a little hard on him," he said.
— Jesilou Tongio
"Here's the MVP of the National Hockey League. Here's a guy, the best goaltender in the world," Cherry said of Jonathan Quick. "He [Yakupov] has embarrassed him, laying there like that.
"I am telling you, they, LA, is going to remember this. They will remember this to the dying day. You don't do stuff like that."
Yakupov's exuberance unanimously drew parallels to Theo Fleury's explosive rink-long celebration after sending the Calgary Flames past the Oilers in Game 6 of the 1991 division semifinals.
Cherry agreed there were similarities as he cued up Fleury's overtime winner.
"This was in Edmonton, and he won the game, now watch him act like an idiot, running around like this," he said. "You don't act like that."
He added that all Yakupov achieved with his show-stealing move was losing the respect of his fellow players.
"When you do that, all you do is turn guys against you.
"Don't act like that, kids. Not only did he hurt himself, he hurt Edmonton, too."
Grapes likes Leafs' spunk despite loss
Cherry also commented on the physical start to the Maple Leafs and Rangers matchup that resulted in a 5-2 New York win. In the opening minutes of the first period, Leafs forward Mike Brown went toe-to-toe with Rangers winger Arron Asham, and Toronto tough guy Colton Orr dropped the gloves against New York’s Michael Rupp.
Cherry said the Leafs have been displaying the exact characteristics that former general manager Brian Burke tried to work into the club before he was fired earlier this month.
"Is this team not truculent, belligerent, pugnacious and all that stuff?" Cherry asked. "This is exactly the team he [Burke] wanted and [former head coach] Ron Wilson screwed him up."
Cherry also approved of the Leafs having the two enforcers, Brown and Orr, in the lineup.
"And then I hear some guys on the radio and TV, 'Why do they have to have Brown and why do they have to have Orr in the fourth line?' You just saw it.
"These guys now, they've got confidence, they walk cocky, because you're not going to push them around anymore."