Edmonton Oilers Nail Yakupov, who has dealt with concussion issues and found himself a healthy scratch on a few occasions this season, is hoping he and his teammates can build on their recent but modest success prior to the Olympic break.
The Oilers, still at the bottom of the Pacific Division standings with 47 points, won five of their last seven games prior to the NHL shutting down for Sochi. Yakupov, just 20 years old and the first overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, had six points in those games, playing on a line with Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, according to Sportsnet.ca.
His goal on Feb. 6 against the New York Rangers, a roaring slap shot late in the third period, counted as the winner for Edmonton.
“It’s great and I’m really proud of it, but it’s in the past,” Yakupov told Sportsnet.ca.
“I’ve got to forget about it, move on and make sure I’m even better for the next game. I’ve worked really hard to get to this point and I want to make sure I’m doing my part to succeed, for my coaches, my teammates and the fans.
“Things are going well right now. Everyone had a good break – we’re refreshed, we have a new mentality and we’re excited to play again.”
Montreal Canadiens winger Zack Kassian was involved in a car accident early Sunday morning.
According to the Montreal Gazette, Kassian was a passenger in the vehicle that crashed into a tree.
The SUV was being driven by a 20-year-old female at the time of the accident.
Montreal police confirmed that speed didn’t play a factor in the collision, but alcohol may have.
The Canadiens have since confirmed the incident took place and have also mentioned that Kassian was taken to hospital.
A club official described his injuries as being “minor”.
“(Kassian) was all bloodied up and stuff. He was in a daze,” said Steve Petrenko, a resident of the street on which the accident took place. “He had a hard time walking, and he almost took a fall.”
This story will be updated when more information is made available.
The Montreal Canadiens announced that they have signed Tomas Fleischmann to a one-year contract.
According to TVA Sports, the deal is worth $750,000.
The 31-year-old was invited to camp on a professional tryout, but his preseason performance showed that he could still contribute at the NHL level.
Fleischmann found instant chemistry with new linemates David Desharnais and Dale Weise, and it looks like the trio will open the regular season as Montreal’s third line.
The veteran winger started last season with Florida, but was traded to Anaheim on Feb. 28. He had a hard time cracking the Duck’s lineup and was a healthy scratch in most of their playoff games last spring.
Fleischmann scored eight goals and 27 points in 66 games last season.