Don Cherry said something ridiculous? Shocking.
In case you haven't been tuned into the hockey world the past several days, the sport was buzzing when Nail Yakupov scored a huge goal to tie a game against Los Angeles with just over four seconds left to play. He celebrated by sliding down the ice, showing legitimate emotion and excitement. The celebration, one that was applauded and loved by most, was dissected and over analyzed by others.
Show joy out on the ice? Don Cherry says you're an idiot.
Don Cherry is well, well past the point where people take anything he says seriously. His statements are as loud and ridiculous as his clothing. He's a grumpy old man that's out on his porch, yelling at anyone that passes by.
Here Cherry calls out Yakupov for celebrating a goal that anyone would have celebrated. Instead of taking Yakupov's celebration for what it was – a youthful hockey player celebrating a huge moment – Cherry transforms it into some disrespectful act that somehow harms the city of Edmonton.
Cherry claims that Yakupov didn't do Edmonton any favors as his celebration made the Los Angeles Kings mad. You mean a hockey player did something that made an opposing hockey team mad? Isn't that the whole point of the sport? Since when are teams supposed to be overly friendly towards one another? It sounds like Cherry wanted Yakupov to skate over and personally apologize for scoring the goal.
I'd bet LA was much, much more irritated by the fact they allowed a goal with a couple of seconds remaining than they were by Yakupov's celebration. According to Cherry, we shouldn't have a sport where teams are (gasp) against one another.
The point I laughed at the most was how Cherry claimed that Yakupov's celebration embarrassed Jonathan Quick. Quick is a grown man and a Stanley Cup champion. He isn't a pee-wee that needs protecting. Quick was visibly mad at himself for allowing a goal when a victory was just a handful of seconds away.
Cherry's comments show the amount of disrespect the man has towards certain players on the ice and the infatuation he has over others. The only embarrassed party here should be Hockey Night in Canada as Cherry's insane comments continue to reflect poorly on all those associated with the program.
In my opinion, Yakupov's celebration didn't cross any lines. It didn't look premeditated nor was it in the opponent's face or unsportsmanlike. My only complaint, a minor one, was that he didn't share the joy with any of his teammates. In no way was what Yakupov did an insult to the Los Angeles Kings. If his celebration did ruffle some feathers on the LA bench, so be it. There's nothing wrong with having an opponent upset at you.
Oh and you kids – stay out of Don Cherry's yard.