Nail Yakupov wasn’t happy to find out that the Edmonton Oilers wouldn’t use him in Saturday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, so imagine how he feels now.
Oilers coach Dallas Eakins has decided to scratch the promising 20-year-old forward again for Monday’s contest against the Washington Capitals. The Oilers suffered a 6-5 overtime loss without him on Saturday.
Yakupov didn’t record a point in his first four games this season, but Eakins’ primary concern is the 2012 first overall pick’s tendency to try and do too much by himself.
“You have to use your linemates, so it was more of a reset button for him,” Eakins said. “He can come in fresh with a new perspective.”
It’s still just October and Yakupov, as talented as he is, still has a lot of growing to do. It’s not unheard of for even first overall picks to spend some time on the sidelines as the team works on their development.
It’s just a matter of time before he’ll be allowed to re-enter the lineup.
"My goal is to play in the NHL. I have not had any conversations (with Neftekhimik). I love it here" – Nail Yakupov #Oilers
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.