Edmonton head coach Dallas Eakins met with the media on Monday following the decision to make Nail Yakupov a healthy scratch against Phoenix on Tuesday, explaining that Yakupov had to “earn” his spot in the lineup.
“You’ve got to earn it,” Eakins said, per the Oilers website. “You’ve got to do a number of things on the ice every day. Every day. It can never change.
“We cannot give things to people. You have to earn them.”
Eakins said he and Yakupov met for approximately 45 minutes on Monday — a “long, in-depth” talk that Eakins figured was the longest he’s had with a player this year — and said the two addressed some issues.
“Him and I have sorted out a few things,” Eakins explained. “It was a good conversation — at least it ended well. We have a definite plan moving forward.”
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.