As his celebrations go, Nail Yakupov’s reaction after scoring the OT power-play game-winner against the Phoenix Coyotes was practically understated.
Maybe Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris was ticked off about it, or about the 2-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers in general; no matter the catalyst, the veteran went a little nutso after the final horn on Wednesday night:
Morris motioned for a hand pass after the puck deflected off of Ryan Whitney’s glove over to Yakupov for the layup past Chad Johnson. The protest fell in deaf ears from the officials.
(Coach Dave Tippett said after the game it was a call the officials missed, and that the Coyotes deserved to win the game.)
Soon, Morris was skating near the celebrating Oilers and colliding with Whitney, who appeared to chirp him. Morris responded with a few punches well after the game was over.
Under NHL rules, Morris would have been subject to a fine had he been given a fighting major after the game ended. As it stands, it was a roughing minor. But one assumes the NHL Dept. of Player Safety would consider something for this act of sore loserism.