Today, however, we're tacking a bigger issue. Maybe the biggest issue on the team. Keith Yandle is the worst at celebrating playoff overtime goals. At first I didn't believe it, but the evidence is overwhelming. Let's look at the tape.
We start our journey with Kevin Haye's Game 3 overtime winner against the Penguins in the First Round. After Hayes scores, the entire team mobs him to celebrate. Well, the entire team except for Yandle.
The green circle shows the beginning of the celebration. Carl Hagelin is actually pushing Hayes towards the pile. The red circle? That's Yandle. He misses the entire pile and is just hanging out behind the celebration.
You'd think Yandle would adjust and slide to the pile. But, uh, no. Yandle elects to ... I'm actually not sure. Run away? The arrow shows the direction Yandle is moving in while his entire team is celebrating behind him. I'd love to sit here and tell you this is a fixable problem, but this big lack of awareness is a major problem. Especially at the professional level.
In this example we're going to work backwards. After Ryan McDonagh's Game 5 overtime goal winner the team mobs him and they celebrate. Yandle comes into the picture very late:
The red arrow shows Yandle just entering the celebration. The green circle shows Hayes, who -- like Cam Talbot -- is done celebrating because that's how late Yandle is getting to the pile. Why? Well, we have video evidence of that, too.
Here you can see the bench celebrating right after the McDonagh goal. The green circle shows the bench emptying towards McDonagh. The red arrow is showing, you guessed it, Yandle. It's tough to figure what exactly Yandle is doing here because:
A) He is facing the completely wrong direction.
B) He's at the end of the bench, so he's not even facing a teammate.
C) He's not even facing the coaching staff, since they're behind him.
Yandle does seem happy, so that's good, but the celebration is happening behind you, buddy. Head on a swivel.
Now let's take a look at the final piece of footage. This comes after Derek Stepan's Game 7 overtime and series winning goal.
In this slide Stepan has just scored and is right off the screen (the green arrow is showing his location). Both Jesper Fast and Chris Kreider are immediately moving to celebrate with Stepan. Yandle? He's in the red circle, moving in a direction that can only be described as "not near Stepan."
Now Yandle (circled in green) actually gets into the celebration late, but still timely enough that his teammates haven't started getting ready to shake hands yet. Why was Yandle a little late getting to the pile? Well, take a look for yourself:
The red circle is, you guessed it, Yandle. Again, I have no idea why he is facing in the complete opposite direction of Stepan (the green circle) where the celebration should be happening. What is he looking at? I wish I knew. Henrik Lundqvist is coming from the goal, so it's not him, and there wasn't anyone in the penalty box. It's like unsolved mysteries.
Hopefully Yandle fixes this the rest of the way. It hasn't cost the Rangers yet, but it might.
I want to note that while I have poked fun at Yandle, he's been a critical part in the three biggest goals of the playoffs so far. Without his play on the ice, we wouldn't be able to make fun of his celebrations after it.