Nail Yakupov played almost 16 minutes in Monday’s 5-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday, including eight shifts in the third, but left the ice with a banged up ankle that was bad enough to keep him off the practice ice the next day. The sophomore has yet to miss a game because of an injury but the Oilers do have some extra forwards in the event that he isn’t able to play on Thursday against the Nashville Predators. Even if Yakupov is able to play, head coach Dallas Eakins could make some lineup changes. Both Mark Arcobello and Ryan Jones have sat the last five games and Eakins does want to get both of them back in.. “This may turn into a rotation process until we can get our lineup totally set but we have guys on the cusp. A lot of them have played well enough to be in the lineup,” said the head coach. “The problem is that we have extra guys, and they have played well enough to be in. “That’s something we’ll have to sort through but my vote is to get those guys back in. Whoever is coming out, will have to take it in the chin.” Larsen back on ice Defenceman Philip Larsen, who has missed the last three games with a back injury, did practice with the team, and could be close enough to a return that he’ll likely travel with the team. “He was playing extremely well. We miss him back there. It would be great to have another guy who can move the puck like that,” said Eakins. Larsen said the back had been bothering him for a while but it just got to the point where the smartest course of action was to step out of the lineup. “I felt good today,” he said.
Oilers have options if Yakupov can’t play
Edmonton Journal | Nov 27