Canadians and Russians don't really like each other when it comes to hockey. It's not really surprising that Canada gets booed in Ufa, nor is it surprising when Russia gets booed in Saskatoon. It's hockey. There's a history. They hate each other. Sports!
Players, too. And sometimes they say less than complimentary things about each other, like on Tuesday when Russian star Nail Yakupov told RT.com that the Canadians play dirty ahead of the World Junior Championship.
"I understand that I will have to keep a cool head and ignore provocation, especially against the Canadians. These guys play dirty. We got used to that, we played a few games in North America, so our team is ready," he says.
Noted Canadian citizen Don Cherry doesn't have a television segment on which to be jingoistic about this stuff right now, so he picked up his rotary phone and called up the CBC offices, where some poor intern tweeted the following rant for him:
I see where Nail Yakupov said Canadian hockey players are dirty. Let me see... We let him take a Canadian kids spot in the Canadian Hockey— Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerCBC) December 26, 2012
League, let him learn his hockey in our program, treat him royally, give him great coaching so he can go number one overall and he calls us— Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerCBC) December 26, 2012
Dirty. Canadian people are no naïve, no let me change that word to dumb. We love everybody and everybody hates us. Like I said, when you— Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerCBC) December 26, 2012
Hear Russians cheering for Germans you have to wonder. And the kid Yakupov is just being honest as that's how he feels about us.— Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerCBC) December 26, 2012
I could care less what Nail thinks of us, what bugs me, he took a Canadian kids spot in the Canadian Hockey League— Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerCBC) December 26, 2012
Yeah! And he took that No. 1 overall spot in the NHL Draft from a Canadian, too! It's the NATIONAL Hockey League! What nation are we talking about here!? Certainly not the Soviet Union or whatever they call it these days, dagnabit. And he'll take that spot on the Edmonton Oilers from a good 'ole Canadian boy, too. One of OUR teams! Can't believe we let him do this.
Without Canada, Yakupov would be nothing. Right, Don?