A WITNESS TO HISTORY

Wanye
January 25 2013 12:09PM

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.

09049f03ecb006ab29372206f2a88f75
Blog so hard motherf**ckers try and find me. Email me at wanyegretz@gmail.com or tweet me @wanyegretz provided it is about Jordan Eberle or babes.
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#1 Old Soldier
January 25 2013, 02:51PM
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I am a 50 year old retired soldier, having spent 32 years in a different culture(the military), than most folks, I have learned that my perspective sometimes puts me at odds with those of a more Politically Correct personality.

I have ingrained in me to my very soul, all that matters is the mission.....to be successful no matter what. No sacrifice is too much. To do everything in your power to achieve that goal/ mission/ success, even if it means bending a rule, pushing yourself and others beyond limits, all that matters is victory.

Now I am an old hockey fan, so my life is very blah, I have little stress, I have little excitement, and all I have is my Oilers when it comes to fulfilling those few adrenaline fuelled thrills left to me.

So I resent anyone who criticizes or ridicules any enthusiasm shown by "pro" athletes. Yes they are professionals and they get paid well to play the game by a certain set of rules, but that is not why I watch. I want emotion, I want passion, and I want it from both sides.

Why do we love hockey, for its beauty, for its flow.......and for its passion, the only sport to allow fighting as an outlet for that emotion.

I want to live through my team. To feel their frustration after losing a tight game, to feel their elation when coming back like last night to snatch victory from defeat.

I also want to hate the enemy, to feel nauseous when the Canucks or Flames beat us, to be personally embarrassed when the Oilers gave up 6 goals in a period.

I know there are medical professionals who will say something about bonding so emotionally to a team, but screw them, I have the scars and broken body to prove I have earned the damn right to feel and do as I please.

I remember Teemu throwing a glove in the air and shooting it, I remember Tiger riding his stick down center ice, and I remember hating with every ounce of my being watching Fleury sliding down the ice.....

but that hatred fueled anticipation of "next time". I waited a whole year, just to say, "so there".

I remember watching Risebrough shred McSorleys jersey in the penalty box, and wanting to meet him face to face one day.

I remember reading sports pages where athletes are challenging each other in parking lots and hallways instead of having beers together.

I want my league to create players like Stevens, Lindros, Messier, Marchment and so many others who you loved on your team and hated on others, and who didnt blink an ounce of sympathy of they happened to knock someone out cold.

That is what being a fan is, it is to feel and live every moment, with "my" team. Not your team, not our team, but my team.

That is what hockey brings, that no other sport does, the emotional connection to a team and its players and I resent a socially conscious media that has taken an incredibly skilled athlete like Crosby and turned him into a media robot, spouting cliches and never turning a hair the wrong way. I want to see Crosby pissed off and lose it.

I know many will criticize me as a dinosaur but in my day, that feeling that the fans felt last night, happened a hell of a lot more often than it does now.

Sorry for the rant.

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#2 baggedmilk
January 25 2013, 12:25PM
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For his next big goal, Yakupov will celebrate by driving the Zamboni into the Chapter's on Whyte Ave! Let the destruction begin!

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#3 DSF
January 25 2013, 01:19PM
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justDOit wrote:

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.

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.

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#4 Clyde Frog
January 25 2013, 10:48PM
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DSF wrote:

We'll see.

Stop whining.

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.

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#5 Mark-LW
January 25 2013, 12:10PM
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YAKCITYYAKCITYYAKCITY

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#6 freeze
January 25 2013, 10:52PM
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DSF wrote:

You stop whining too.

Stop posting.

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#7 Dan the Man
January 25 2013, 12:16PM
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"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?

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#8 DaveChamp
January 25 2013, 12:25PM
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Wanye wrote:

Watching a tool ex Oiler like Stoll make snide comments about Yakupov's celebration made the disaster of the last 5 years completely worthwhile.

Haters gon' hate.

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#9 West
January 25 2013, 09:59PM
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@DSF

Not whining dumbass. One has nothing to do with the other. Are you saying that just because the refs missed a penalty call it is also alright to screw up a goal call for the other team? If that is the case then maybe no goals should ever count because there are lots of missed penalties in every game, by every team. I asked whether the NHL had commented on whether they thought the right call had been made. Maybe try reading the post and understand what is written before adding your obnoxious, know it all answers.

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#10 Rob...
January 25 2013, 10:32PM
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@DSF

Running dry on material, are you?

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#11 GSP
January 25 2013, 12:20PM
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Is it just me...or is the entire city just dying to fall in love with this team and have something special for many years to come :)

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#12 DaveChamp
January 25 2013, 12:21PM
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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

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#14 Captain Clutch
January 25 2013, 12:24PM
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If that doesnt get you pumped up about this team, I dont know what will. Yak city b**** Yak Yak City...

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#16 Reality Check to the head
January 25 2013, 12:33PM
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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.

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#17 Senator Theo
January 25 2013, 12:52PM
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Reading this article may have moved me to tears. As fans, this is what we've put in our time for. Go Oilers!

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#18 David S
January 25 2013, 08:00PM
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Seems to me Mark Fistric has a pretty good handle on the Yak City photoshop article. Maybe more people would post up those gems if there were...sayyyy...an OILERS NATION ART GALLERY with Facebook and Twitter links.

Nah. That's just stupid.

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#19 Will
January 25 2013, 01:05PM
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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.

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#20 justDOit
January 25 2013, 01:14PM
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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.

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#21 MarcusBillius
January 25 2013, 02:06PM
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Gong Show wrote:

Steven Stamkos thinks that celebration was completely classless.

Until he does it 3 months later.

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#22 Time Travelling Sean
January 25 2013, 10:13PM
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DSF wrote:

Gagner cross checked Doughty just before the goal was scored.

Refs didn't call it.

Stop whining.

Gags is 5'11 195lbs, Doughty is 6'2 220 lbs. He fell pretty easy, Brown fell pretty easy a couple of times too.

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#23 mlcselli
January 26 2013, 12:16AM
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Clyde Frog--I'm glad you're writing again. I bet Big Mouth leaves the computer alone now. Excellent work once again.

Old Soldier--I love your passion, comments and convictions. Thanks for letting us meet you tonight. Thank you for all you have done for Canadians. God Bless you sir.

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#24 Mark-LW
January 25 2013, 12:12PM
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Didn't nuge score the called back goal?

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#25 David S
January 25 2013, 12:37PM
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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

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#26 andrewmk20
January 25 2013, 12:37PM
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@Wanye

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?

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#27 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
January 25 2013, 12:47PM
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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?

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#28 Spydyr
January 25 2013, 12:51PM
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A game for the ages.

Hope it is the TSN turning point on the dark ages and we are entering a new enlightened time.

New arena, new winning team.

WINNING!!!

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#29 geoilersgist
January 25 2013, 01:11PM
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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.

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#30 Old Soldier
January 25 2013, 04:03PM
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Thanks folks, I tend to ramble at times, but some of the criticism leveled at a kid who is doing his best to please his fans.....really rankled me.

When I saw Yak sliding down the ice, I saw a kid who thought he "did good". I didnt see anything selfish, I saw someone trying to share his joy with us....his fans.

I will admit, my version of sportsmanship is not giving that extra shot when the linesman is holding you, and ends about there.

I am not a fan of handshakes after playoff series, I want the players to hate losing as much as I do, and I dont think sportsmanship has anything to do with it. I can guarantee you I never shook hands with anyone I ever stared over a sandbag at, no matter how much I respected him, he was still the enemy.

I think as a former soldier, my views of being a part of a team liken back to the days of "the boys on the bus". When we know (or think) we are better than you, and we dont give a crap what you think, and dont piss us off because it will only make it worse for you. What made the Oilers so special back then....the fact everyone, and I mean everyone hated and feared us.

And I am beginning to see that again.

I see this young group of players being assembled reminding me so much of a group of piss and vinegar recruits who after struggling through the rigors and pain of training and excersizes, finally starting to gel into an elite unit that feels it can take on any comers and come out ahead.

So thanks for humouring the old boy folks, appreciate the comments, but I still have enough steel in my spine to stand up for the boys.

Ps...as for Crosby, I didnt mean to infer that he doesnt compete....absolutely he does. But is there a better example of a "corporate" player, someone who is programmed to say and do the right things all the time....maybe I am wrong.

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#31 Oasis
January 25 2013, 10:10PM
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@Old Soldier

Wow. I couldn't have said it better. I want that on my tombstone. Monday night, Section 210, Row 29, Seat 15. Let me buy you a beer and shake your hand fine sir.

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#33 Oiler Al
January 25 2013, 12:19PM
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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.

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#34 Gerald R. Ford
January 25 2013, 12:37PM
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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!*

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#35 ubermiguel
January 25 2013, 12:54PM
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"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.

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#36 Aitch
January 25 2013, 12:58PM
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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.

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#37 blueorangekoolaid
January 25 2013, 01:11PM
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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!

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#38 Phixieus666
January 25 2013, 01:13PM
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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.

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#39 pelhem grenville
January 25 2013, 01:27PM
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...Wanye

...please

...what's 'celly' ?

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#40 jeanshorts
January 25 2013, 01:28PM
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I love Eberle with every fiber of my being, but man he's got some serious competition for my favorite Oiler coming up FAST! WELCOME TO NEW YAK CITY!

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#41 jeanshorts
January 25 2013, 01:31PM
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@blueorangekoolaid

"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.

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#42 Zamboni Driver
January 25 2013, 01:41PM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

...Wanye

...please

...what's 'celly' ?

...it's the end of civilization.

Or, apparently.

"Civvy"

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#43 freeze
January 25 2013, 01:50PM
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GHOST RIDE THE WHIP, BITCHES!!!

http://youtu.be/7688P3Tt6RM

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#44 Gong Show
January 25 2013, 02:05PM
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Steven Stamkos thinks that celebration was completely classless.

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#45 Phixieus666
January 25 2013, 02:09PM
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@Gong Show

Ya well he looks like a Nazi now that's classless but you don't see us bitching about it.

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#46 Ducey
January 25 2013, 02:46PM
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Poor Dave Lumley

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#47 CJ
January 25 2013, 03:22PM
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@Old Soldier

Best post I've read in years.

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#48 Gerald R. Ford
January 25 2013, 05:41PM
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Here's the deal about "excessive celebrations", using two pretty well known examples.

Fleury sliding all over the beloved oil drop in Game 6: Didn't go so well for that little sack of crap in Game 7, did it?

Terrell Owens dancing on the star at old Texas Stadium one too many times: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdDQpqY5OTI

The point is, if you're a player, and it bothers you that some guy is celebrating too much at your expense... DO something about it. Either layeth the smacketh down, as George Teague did to T.O., or bide your time and end the a-hole in question's season by ripping game 7 in his barn. Don't whine like a little girl who just had her first bicycle stolen and say how "wrong" it is to have too much fun, because, we, the fans, in general, love to see that stuff. If it's BY our team, it's incredibly sweet. If it's AGAINST our team... so much the better, so sweeter the revenge.

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#49 Buzzkiller
January 25 2013, 06:21PM
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Old Soldier. Thanks for sharing the memories. You missed the satisfaction of Mac T yanking Harvey the Hound's guts out by his tongue right in the Saddledome. The Flames mascot defiled right in their own home. Makes me well up just thinking about it. Sweet satisfaction!

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#50 DSF
January 25 2013, 07:12PM
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@Old Soldier

Great post young whippersnapper.

And here I thought you young people couldn't write :)

Oh, and...get off my lawn :)

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