As practice was wrapping up at the Verizon Center Dallas Eakins sought out winger Nail Yakupov for a discussion that will no doubt continue on into the days to come as the Edmonton Oilers bench boss tries to develop the winger’s game. Yakupov had been pulled from the Oilers lineup before they took on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. It was the first time in his career that he was scratched for a game and naturally he was not happy. While his time in the press box was mighty uncomfortable it might not yet be over. Eakins may not re-insert Yakupov until Tuesday when the Oilers play the Pittsburgh Penguins. “I wasn’t happy about it last night” said Yakupov. “You can say a million words about getting better but coach says I’m not playing so I’m not playing. “I’m not happy about it. I just want to play every game. “I’m going to play my game” he said. “I’m not going to change but maybe play better without the puck or forecheck more but I love playing with the puck. I really don’t like skating all the time and forechecking and hitting somebody every shift. I don’t think it’s my game.” Eakins said part of his discussion with Yakupov was that they just felt that the winger had got to a point where he was so frustrated because the points weren’t coming that the rest of his game was slipping.
Yakupov fumes under ‘coach’s rules’
Ottawa Citizen | Oct 14