After Russia defeated the OHL for the first time in Subway Super Series history on Thursday, Nail Yakupov should’ve been a happy guy.
But that wasn’t the case.
The Russian forward — and first overall pick of the Edmonton Oilers at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft — was downright angry at how he played in the 2-1 victory.
“I don’t like my game right now,” he told Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun. “I am trying hard. I like the fact the team was playing pretty good. But I don’t like my game at all.
“The last two games I have been playing bad.”
Here are the lowlights from Thursday’s win, courtesy Jones:
Yakupov couldn’t get much going all night and then made the mistake of icing the puck to create a faceoff back in his own end with only seconds remaining on the clock. And then he missed the empty net from about 15 feet with a half second remaining.
He stuck out a leg to take a tripping penalty in the first period to get on the score sheet, but was on the bench when Anton Shenfeld and Maxim Shalunov scored 25 seconds apart — at 12:41 and 13:05 — to win it.
Yakupov was so irate he stalled meeting with reporters after the game.
Canadian Hockey League officials eventually persuaded him to address the media and, in Yakupov’s defense, it seemed as though all he needed was some time to cool off, as he proceeded to answer questions without issue.
“Every player has bad games,” he said. “I’m going to rest and try to be better for the next one.”