A WITNESS TO HISTORY

They say there is always a witness to history and last night there was 16,000 and change in attendance and billions more watching on TV that saw history go down. It was one of those times that sort of jump kicks you right in the face with its magnitude and it takes awhile for what you saw to sink in.

HOW AMAZING

The goal itself last night was mind shattering and will be dissected to death by those in the know about these things. But it was the context of the goal that really made it something of absolute legend. The game had been largely brutal until that point – one nill and rather dull. The refs were out to lunch awarding powerplays as though they were getting bonuses for the most obscure calls they could make.

"No one has called a visor instigator penalty in three years!" one ref was heard remarking at a TV time out.

"Betcha I can call one in the next 10 minutes" came the reply.

Then the Nuge goal gets called back. An absolutely embarassing call for all involved and we saw Rexall Place start to come unglued like we can rarely recall. Garbage was raining down, the glass was being shaken back and forth and the loudest chant of "BULLSHIT" we have ever heard rained down too.

It looked like another glum winter night in Edmonton until the youngest* newest** bestest*** Oiler decided to take matters into his own hands and bat that little round devil disk out of the air and right into the twine.

THE LEGEND OF YAK CITY RISES

We have had the good fortune to see some incredible Oilers goals in our day. Pronger scoring off the draw with no time left on the clock. 1,246,429 heart stopping moments during the 06 Cup Run. Jordan Eberle scoring the goal that launched a million SQUEEEEEEEs to name just a few. But with all due respect to the other goals and our dear sweet Jordan, we have NEVER seen a celly like the Yakupov one last night. 

There may be some people out there who are freaking out about the celebration but they can all go pound sand. We witnessed Rexall Place connect with an Oiler player on a level we haven’t seen since a certain number 14 scored a certain toe draggian dandy on opening night against some forgettable team down Highway 2.

The emotion of the evening, the blown call, the lingering frustration with the lockout. It all melted away as 64 slid blue line to blue line with all of the OilersNation around the world sliding in spirit with him. And at the end of the game there he was on the ice celebrating the win – helicoptering his stick in salute to the fans unlike anything we have ever seen.

You could see the emotion on his face on he sat on the bench and the goal was announced. The combination of his 64 billion dollar grin and the crowd losing its collective mind was something to behold. Here is an honest to goodness superstar in the making on a team now counting a handful of similar super studs. Playing in a City that has wanted nothing more for almost 30 years.

The NHL has built the walls between the fans and the players so high that many fairweather fans have checked out. As a result many buildings in the league will find themselves half full with mildly bored players playing before mostly bored suit types until the emotion comes back – if it ever does.

Contrast that scenario with Yakupov scoring THAT goal in front of THAT crowd here in Edmonton.

A hero was born last night.

FOOTNOTES

You may think we have been smitten by the new Russian Hearthrob and have forgotten who we came to the dance with. May we then present for your consideration this picture of Jordan Eberle with a puppy.

Could 2013 BE any better?

* We think

** Not counting trades

*** Except Eberle and the Nuge naturally

Big props to our dubstep lovin homie dabears on twitter for the Yak City lyrics pic. 

If you would like to watch Yakupoving on an infinite loop please click here.

  • justDOit

    While it’s difficult to admit it, I almost cried when Yak scored. After all the bullsh!t that the Oilers (well, both teams) endured in the 59:55 of regulation, that goal immediately burst the dam of emotion that I had beaverishly built in trying to maintain my sanity.

    If I was almost overcome with emotion while sitting alone watching it on TV, I can’t imagine even being there, let alone being the guy who scored the goal. If anyone can’t see why Nail was a little excited, they should prick themselves in the finger to see what comes out.

    Even with an extra glass of celebratory wine after the OT win, I was so abuzz with excitement that I didn’t fall asleep for several hours.

    So enjoy it lads. As quickly as that goal went in, you need to forget that game and screw your heads on straight – for a grumbly opponent awaits your arrival in their barn on Saturday.

    • DSF

      A flawed but very exciting game…anyone who thinks Yakupov was out of line needs a heart transplant.

      Hockey needs more of that…not less.

      Calgary has added both Cervenka and Hudler to their lineup for tomorrow night’s game so they should be a tough opponent considering how well they played in Vancouver.

      • Rob...

        “Calgary has added both Cervenka and Hudler to their lineup for tomorrow night’s game so they should be a tough opponent considering how well they played in Vancouver.”

        I also heard that Baertschi was being benched. If that’s true all I can think is those pansies want to run our kids without having theirs touched. How typical of the Shames.

          • Clyde Frog

            DSF rubs his forehead in consternation… The world which seemed so right only a few short days ago has turned upside down.

            The Wild haven’t sky rocketed to the top, the Canucks are struggling and the Kings, oh the Kings…

            All his many hours of carefully studying the statistics, painfully modeling every possible play, goal and game; the hours upon hours spent crafting the perfect NHL model.

            Yet none of it was working….

            Staring at Mr.Piddles he asks the question, is it worth it? How could I be so wrong!?!

            Mr.Piddles replies with a lazy long look while letting out a soft purr in the hopes DSF would share a precious Cheeto or two; but deigns not to answer DSF’s query.

            Grumbling angrily, DSF lets his gaze rest on his trophy case; a beautiful monument to all he has achieved in life! Ranging from 7th place in the science fair to a participation ribbon for having once ran 100m.

            Obviously I cannot be wrong! Someone who has achieved as many participation accolades as I have simply cannot be wrong!

            The realization steals over his consciousness, he couldn’t possibly be wrong; its just simply the world isn’t right!

            He almost jumps with glee, yelling upstairs to Mother he requests a late night snack! For if the world isn’t right, there is only one thing to do! Show those that are currently happy with their team how wrong they will be once the world corrects itself; for this can only be temporary, he has the statistics and advanced mathematics to prove it!

            Settling down in front of the internet he prepares himself, although his sacrifice may not be appreciated; he will carry on and save those poor fools from their own misplaced jubilation.

          • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

            i still have yet to see a reference to a kyle wellwood cuddle pillow.

            for that lack of detail, i can give this post no more than 4 squees out of 5…and a prop

          • I think the kids already had there walk up call with SJ, it’s a good thing it came early in the season.

            Calgary doesn’t have the body’s that ether SJ or L.A. has.

            I thought the kids and the rest of Oilers really brought there game up VS L.A….they actually pushed back, which is something that had been lost for some time.

      • DSF

        On paper Calgary looks like a very competitive team, however so did the kings last year, and only really gelled after Sutter came in. I wonder if Calgary has the right coach for this team and if that is going to be a challenge for them this year.

        Should be a good game as Edmonton has played some tough opponents (Vancouver, San Jose, LA, the refs) and found ways to overcome (even in the San Jose game they bounced back for the last two). Calgary has traditionally been a tough opponent.

        I have been dying to watch Edmonton play a more run and gun style team that doesn’t mind trading chances (hello Chicago).

      • justDOit

        Hudler too? Ouch. I can only hope that having another 2 players in the lineup who haven’t played Hartley’s systems yet is a plus for the Oilers, but a little part of me thinks there will be a different reason for tears Saturday night.

  • Phixieus666

    Wayne-Amazing article.

    The Pure Raw Emotion and Love Of The Game this kid plays with is something that has been missing from the game of hockey for many years. He is Unrelenting and always going for the kill. He may just be my favorite players. Keep the Yak coming PLEASE. I also want to throw mad props out to Kruger last night. He showed his emotion(in controlled fashion might I add) as well, there is no denying his passion and love of the game. I’m honored to have him leading this team.

  • geoilersgist

    I seriously think I was having anxiety attacks last night watching the game. I haven’t watched a game that entertaining in a long long time. I hope there is much more of that to come. God help us when we make the playoffs and YakCity keeps scoring goals like this.

  • blueorangekoolaid

    It’s crazy that instigator visor rule but I’m almost certain Petrell got busted for that once last season. Data heads out there can confirm this.

    While I’m on the topic, aren’t visors mandatory for new players now? Once all the visorless players retire isn’t this penalty going to have to be handed out for EVERY fight?

    I was watching last night with an LA fan in Vancouver so it was doubly sweet watching justice served Yak City style!

    • “While I’m on the topic, aren’t visors mandatory for new players now? Once all the visorless players retire isn’t this penalty going to have to be handed out for EVERY fight?”

      I was saying last night that this rule looks like a thinly veiled attempt by the league to slowly weed fighting out completely.

  • ubermiguel

    His celebration accurately displayed the emotion of all fans either in the building or watching the game. THis was better then the Hemsky come back because we won in overtime, and we won against all odds against our team. I don’t know if this continues, but playing with emotion and a ravenous hunger to win is something this team has been missing for a while.

  • Aitch

    What’s Stoll going to say? “Yeah, we thought it was pretty funny.” No. No hockey player who was ever scored on and had the celebration rubbed in their faces even a little thought it was cool. Hell, i’m a pacifist and I almost cracked a stick off over a buddy’s face after he dove in from of our bench after scoring a playoff series winning goal (in a beer league) a few years ago.

    My thought on Yak’s celebration… what’s he going to do if he ever scores an OT goal or a series winner? He’ll probably just explode.

  • ubermiguel

    “The emotion of the evening, the blown call, the lingering frustration with the lockout. It all melted away as 64 slid blue line to blue line with all of the OilersNation around the world sliding in spirit with him.”

    This times a x 1000.

    And the whole team played well. One big gaff by Schultz, but otherwise a rock solid game from the whole team.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    The burden of trying to top an awesome start to the weekend (last night) must be overwhelming.

    Oilersnation awaits this much anticipated GDB 4 Wanye. Greatness awaits your arrival.

    Flamesnaion must feel it twisting in their gut already. Is it done yet, can they move that game up to this evening?

  • Gerald R. Ford

    When I woke up this morning, still basking in the glow of last night’s near riot/sign from Heaven/entertainment extravaganza, there was no way I could conceive of for The Nation to find 14 MORE adorable.

    THIS is why Wanye is The Leader.

    *slow clap/SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE!*

  • Wanye misses home opener for “business matters” and we get our asses kicked.

    Wanye goes to the game, crushes Rexall crack beers and live tweets. And what happens? All h3ll breaks loose in the most amazing Oilers win in recent memory.

    Coincidence? I THINK NOT

  • Reality Check to the head

    I know this is YAK lovefest with sprinkles of Eb hearts being dashed around, but I have to say that Dubes looked good last night and Shultz, Hall, Ebs and Gagne have 3 points in 3 games. I know it is a small sample size, but getting your best players off to a good start is exactly what this young team needs.

  • DaveChamp

    One of my favourite articles I’ve ever seen on the Nation, Wanye. I was there, 12 rows away from Yak as he put his head in his hands and was overcome with what had just happened. We screamed his name for a solid three minutes. This is, as you said, the stuff legends are made of.
    I didn’t throw any garbage on the ice, but it’s only because I didn’t have any. People can call us classless, but when you witness referees literally stealing the game away from your team, you do what gotta do to let them know we will not be denied.
    This is it. This is the turnaround we’ve all been waiting for. We beat the Champs. We witnessed Eberle and Nuge tie the game with a minute left, then have that be taken from them. So what did Justin, Taylor, and Nail do? They went and reclaimed victory.
    “WE CLAIMED VICTORY!” – Ray Lewis, last night, while watching TSN

      • DSF

        I think Stoll made those comments because he could in no way score a goal like that to save his life.

        It’s not like Yakupov is going to celebrate like that every time. In fact his celebration of his first goal was very appropriate. I agree with the majority opinion. It was a very emotional moment and he genuinely reacted in such an intense situation. Suck it up people, it’s rather nice to see emotion in pro sports since the pro league head offices across North America have decided to make athletes act like dial tones. I mean look at Dion Phaneuf, who in their right mind would want to interview or watch an interview by him?

  • Mark-LW

    Yakaty – Yak, please come back.!
    Theme of tonights game is ” lets call penalties that have never been called before, should be some fun”. well it was, after all there are over 200 rules in the book , so its kind of boring calling the same stuff night after night.

    Great to see the Kid celebrate, better that than someone like Carter, who looks like forgot to take his Prozac.

  • Dan the Man

    “Contrast that scenario with Yakupov scoring THAT goal in front of THAT crowd.

    A hero was born last night.”

    Will you think less of me if I say that I teared up reading this part?