YAK CITY TURMOIL?

Lowetide
October 14 2013 07:27AM

Nail Yakupov was a healthy scratch on Saturday night, and it appears some members of the family took it harder than others.

Eronko is certainly a credible source, and it's important to know this is out there. Having said that, it's also important to keep in mind that the player hasn't reacted in this way and that Dads have overreacted in the past. Yakupov DID express himself yesterday (via Joanne Ireland)

  • Yakupov: “I wasn’t happy about it last night. 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."
  • More Yakupov: “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.”

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

This is a power struggle, youth v experience, old v young, and it will end with Yakupov playing more of a team game and working within a team structure.

How do I know this? History. History tells us that if the inmates are running the show you don't have much. Dallas Eakins is no doubt fighting a lot of headstrong youth these days, but that's his job and he can't and won't back down.

Play the system. Do the job. Nail Yakupov won't win this battle, but he'll come out the other side a better man.

UPDATE

A very good statement from the agent. Someone needs to talk to Daddy Yakupov, but I understand him. :-)

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#52 james_dean
October 14 2013, 09:48AM
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The kid just wants to play.

This is exactly what dallas wanted.

Look for 2 to 3 points for him tonight in a "grey hair special"

I hope he uses just for men when that cowlick goes grey

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#53 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 14 2013, 09:49AM
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Maybe something was lost in translation, but I'm also kind of put off by Yak's comments. Skating, forechecking and hitting are kind of the main points of the game. If he's saying he doesn't like playing a more two-way, defensive-minded role, I'd say Hall should have a chat with him about doing whatever it takes for the team, whether it's moving to centre or playing a 200 foot game.

That being said - Yak City b***h, Yak Yak City b***h...

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#55 Robin Brownlee
October 14 2013, 09:52AM
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@james_dean

He'll need a long stick to score from the press box. It's Yak Sitty again tonight.

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#56 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 14 2013, 09:56AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

He'll need a long stick to score from the press box. It's Yak Sitty again tonight.

I see what you did there...

No actually, that was really funny.

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#57 kawi460
October 14 2013, 09:58AM
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I no expert but Yak seems to be getting lost in the shuffle with all the young small skilled wingers. Would it hurt to move one of them and good prospect for a stud young dman? Seth Jones could be a good fit. Plus the Preds could use a top 6 winger with good potential.

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#58 Rotten Ron
October 14 2013, 10:02AM
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MessyEH! wrote:

You mean the contract the IIHF ruled was illegal. Or the one the CHL disputed, not Sarnia. Why did Sarnia not dispute it? Because, they knew it was what the kid intended to do. Personally, after last season, or lack of season. I surprised more Russians are not splitting.

Now I ask you. What if you were his family? Son, go play in Canada in the CHL, where your too good of a player, where you earn nothing but an allowance. (Less than a welfare recipient, less than minimum wage. ) Or would you say come home. You'll earn more, your wage is better, it's insurable. And your mother misses you. I know what choice I would make. And it's not even close.

Meathead=dead from the shoulders up.

Sounds about right.

So I will ask you again, how would you react if he was to leave the oilers? Maybe he gets homesick this winter and wants to go home. Maybe a team over there offers him 6 million rubles. Cant expect him to stay over here for a measly entry level deal can we? I played junior A until I was 20, we didnt get a fraction of the perks they got in the CHL and I never went without anything, i was working part time living for free,my friends were paying bills and rent working full time, didnt seem too horrible. Then I played CIS where I got absolutley nothing, I guess sticking around for no money would make me a meathead but I didnt have the options he had.

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#59 DSF
October 14 2013, 10:04AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

Maybe something was lost in translation, but I'm also kind of put off by Yak's comments. Skating, forechecking and hitting are kind of the main points of the game. If he's saying he doesn't like playing a more two-way, defensive-minded role, I'd say Hall should have a chat with him about doing whatever it takes for the team, whether it's moving to centre or playing a 200 foot game.

That being said - Yak City b***h, Yak Yak City b***h...

I doubt you should hold up Hall as an example of someone who could tell Yakupov about playing a two way, defensive minded role.

That's exactly why Ruff benched Hall.

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#60 Kodiak
October 14 2013, 10:04AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

He'll need a long stick to score from the press box. It's Yak Sitty again tonight.

What's your take Robin? Wouldn't you think having him in on the 4th line instead of Brown would still get a message across? Yak>Brown every day. I don't mind that they sat him once but for me this is too much. No sense alienating the kid.

If you want accountability, Dubnyk would be a healthy scratch and Bachman would have been called up.

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#61 DSF
October 14 2013, 10:07AM
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Damien Cox ‏@DamoSpin 1h

Oilers now getting a sense of what Sarnia Sting had to deal with.

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#62 Time Travelling Sean
October 14 2013, 10:13AM
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Why bench him for two games in a row? Can't really prove the coaches wrong if he's in the press box.

Did he have a vapid practice or something??? Is a 70% Joensuu better than a motivated Yak?

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#63 Robin Brownlee
October 14 2013, 10:14AM
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@Kodiak

Once is OK but twice is too much?

If grasping the concept of playing the way Eakins expects takes more than one game sitting out, so be it. You and I know better from afar than Eakins does?

And the Dubnyk reference is a reach of biblical proportions. You know that.

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#64 Rama Lama
October 14 2013, 10:21AM
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Not sure I was watching what Dallas was watching when it comes to Nail. Yes he has struggled to put the biscut in the basket but so has everyone else.

Exactly whom on our team right now is all-world? Benching Yakupov is window dressing.........I would have benched the coach for introducing this system " SWARM" , that no one seems to have figured out. Yet some how a rookie is supposed to know exactly how it works and be producing?

It frankly ridiculous to expect him to be something better when clearly everyone is struggling with this system.

Bench Dubynk ...........he has cost us three games and still gets to play.....go figure.

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#65 The Too Silent Ghost
October 14 2013, 10:28AM
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DSF wrote:

Damien Cox ‏@DamoSpin 1h

Oilers now getting a sense of what Sarnia Sting had to deal with.

I'd always thought trolls were solitary creatures...

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#66 ed in edmonton
October 14 2013, 10:28AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Once is OK but twice is too much?

If grasping the concept of playing the way Eakins expects takes more than one game sitting out, so be it. You and I know better from afar than Eakins does?

And the Dubnyk reference is a reach of biblical proportions. You know that.

DD was "benched" for the Capitals game. DD hasn't been quoted as saying 'I don't like stopping unscreened shots from the blue line".

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#67 Robin Brownlee
October 14 2013, 10:29AM
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@Rama Lama

I'm not sure you're watching the same game as Eakins either.

Yakupov isn't being scratched because he hasn't scored. He's been scratched because he's been a total freelancer within the system the coach expects him to play, compounded by the fact he's getting nothing done. Big difference.

Dubnyk's results, like Yakupov's, haven't been good enough, but unless you're suggesting he isn't trying to stop the puck, we're not talking about the need for an attitude adjustment, as we are with Yakupov.

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#68 BleedingOil
October 14 2013, 10:31AM
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yakupov+++ will be traded in the coming days. we need a 1D and 1G. watch.

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#69 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 14 2013, 10:35AM
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DSF wrote:

I doubt you should hold up Hall as an example of someone who could tell Yakupov about playing a two way, defensive minded role.

That's exactly why Ruff benched Hall.

It's not so much Hall telling him to play a 2 way game, more of Hall getting Yak to buy in and accept the role the team needs him to play, whatever that role may be.

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#70 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
October 14 2013, 10:35AM
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The beginning of the end of Yakupov in Edmonton. Eakins has made his own bed, hope he sleeps well in it.

Must be close to official now, the Oil should've taken Galchenyuk. Oilers should still be okay if Hall and RNH work out.

The move he should've made was to get Bachman up here from OKC to sit Dubnyk.

Friggen rookie coaches.....

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#71 Craig1981
October 14 2013, 10:37AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

A similar thing happened to Brett hull.

But in either case did the coach bench the player after barely fifty games in the NHL?

I don't know, but it doesn't matter. The article was about a rift between a coach and a player.

It appears from this article it's Yak not wanting to play Easkin's style. If it was he was trying and having a hard time adjusting that would be different. And who would you take out of the lineup for Yak? He had to sit someone.

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#72 Batfink
October 14 2013, 10:39AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

The beginning of the end of Yakupov in Edmonton. Eakins has made his own bed, hope he sleeps well in it.

Must be close to official now, the Oil should've taken Galchenyuk. Oilers should still be okay if Hall and RNH work out.

The move he should've made was to get Bachman up here from OKC to sit Dubnyk.

Friggen rookie coaches.....

Awesome 20/20 hindsight.

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#73 james_dean
October 14 2013, 10:40AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

He'll need a long stick to score from the press box. It's Yak Sitty again tonight.

I hate to speculate but against fellow countryman ovi,

Maybe he had bad body language or said something to coach.

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#74 Craig1981
October 14 2013, 10:41AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

The beginning of the end of Yakupov in Edmonton. Eakins has made his own bed, hope he sleeps well in it.

Must be close to official now, the Oil should've taken Galchenyuk. Oilers should still be okay if Hall and RNH work out.

The move he should've made was to get Bachman up here from OKC to sit Dubnyk.

Friggen rookie coaches.....

"Friggen rookie coaches" that don't know as much about hockey as you do????? Lol

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#75 Newj
October 14 2013, 10:50AM
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@Robin Brownlee

As others are inclined to say...."This".

It's not about whether RNH is -7 or Hall making poor decisions. For me its about effort & making the attempt to play within team's system. Yak has times where he seems disinterested in following the doctrine.

My prediction is that young Justin Schultz may experience the same wrath if he continues to choose his high risk, all offense decisions.

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#76 Oil fan since 1979
October 14 2013, 10:55AM
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@Shane

How about u replace Russians with Oiler fans. My god, why is it that everytime a small piece of second hand information is released, the Oil fools (new term for the Over reacting masses) want the GM fired. Fire the coach, sit Hall, sit Nuge, trade Yakupov ? Now the rumor has Yak wanting out already after 52 games ?!? Good grief, U know, Vancouver fans Used to have the rap of "being horrible fans". Guess what?!? Oiler fans ... The best, worst fans in the league reside in E town. For a place that likes to think they know all there is to know about hockey, relax, take a breath... It is supposed to be entertainment. Like reading the comments here... Entertaining.

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#77 washed up
October 14 2013, 10:55AM
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My take is Oilers are trying to drive up Hemsky's stock value around the league. Once he is gone via trade, Yakupov can slide into a first or second line role.

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#78 madjam
October 14 2013, 11:00AM
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Could be a powder keg here for rookie coach . Yak does have options if he desires to do so , more lucrative than he has now . If he were to go we could end up with nothing similar to Nashville . Mind games do not work on everybody , there are other ways to motivate as well . Where's Kreuger , is he still not on payroll ? They probably should have traded him before pulling this stunt so early into season .

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#79 Rama Lama
October 14 2013, 11:01AM
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@Robin Brownlee

I just think that Eakins is getting too much of a free ride here. I'm not the only one who has noticed is odd line combinations, lack of defensive zone structure, choice of goaltender, PK lines combinations that make no sense ( RNH & Hemsky), and in general a blender approach to matching lines.

In all this chaos Yaks gets singled out. I can think of at least 5 other players who have played worse.

I see no logic in anything that Eakins has done so far, and I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that I have missed something. I know we cannot afford yet another coach, that's not my position.........I want to see some structure in the game not 5 players supporting the play all bunched up with no one to pass to. I think this system has totally confused poor Yaks. This is not a lazy kid who just lost his way last week.

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#80 TDSM31
October 14 2013, 11:10AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I'm not sure you're watching the same game as Eakins either.

Yakupov isn't being scratched because he hasn't scored. He's been scratched because he's been a total freelancer within the system the coach expects him to play, compounded by the fact he's getting nothing done. Big difference.

Dubnyk's results, like Yakupov's, haven't been good enough, but unless you're suggesting he isn't trying to stop the puck, we're not talking about the need for an attitude adjustment, as we are with Yakupov.

Although Dubnyk appears to be very well liked and hasn't shown the same type of rebellious attitude of Yakupov, he's still in need of an adjustment nonetheless. Dubnyk's body language after goals is not what you want to see in a goalie...it really looks like he gets down on himself. No room for that at this level. Guys get put in the press box for various reasons and Dubynk should not be immune from this.

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#81 Naky
October 14 2013, 11:11AM
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@Rama Lama

You're not getting what he's trying to say. He's trying to say that while our best offensive forwards have been absolute train wrecks defensively, they're still at least trying hard. Even if they're not playing the system 100% right, they're still flying around, fighting battles, and landing hits. Dubnyk's not been great, but he's still fighting hard to get out of his slump.

Yakupov? Clearly you're not watching the same games I am, because Yakupov's been floating around out there and cherry picking. He described his own play with his own words! He's not making hits, he's not even trying to forecheck, heck, he's barely trying to cover his man at times. All he does is try to stay open so he can use his one timer in the offensive zone or take off flying with the puck after someone else did all the hard work in the defensive. This wouldn't even be so bad if he was actually scoring goals but he's not. So he gets benched even though the other kids aren't necessarily better - but they're trying.

Down the road, does Eakins sit Hall if he keeps giving prime time, gift wrapped turnovers every time he single handedly tries to split the D (and fails 90% of the time) as he so loves to do? I honestly hope so. But it's Yak's turn this time and he's kinda deserved it.

I will say though... two games is ballsy. This second game feels more like a punishment. However, a warranted one if Yakupov said those same words to Eakins about not going to change his game.

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#82 Deke Rivers
October 14 2013, 11:17AM
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Wow, I can't believe how much support there is for Yak. We've complained as a group of fans, not so much about the results the last few years, but the lack of effort and accountability.

You can analyse Eakins style all you want but the reality is the numbers are better in the categories just about everyone wanted improvement (hits, shots, faceoffs, chances, effort, and accountability) With the exception of wins and some systems tinkering, he's delivered and it should get better.

There is NO room for any player who doesn't buy into the system. Yak isn't Gretzky, the only player allowed to float. Even Crosby shows hustle out there.

And Dubnyk's issues are COMPLETELY different. Yak's punishment is about effort and systems. Not about production.

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#83 Hayek
October 14 2013, 11:40AM
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I'd simply fire Eakins now. I thought he had a philosophy that different players needed to be treated different to get through to him. He has now alienated what is likely to be the Oilers 2nd best player on the roster.

Yakupov was 2nd on the team in scoring chances/60, 2nd in shots/60, was 2nd on the team in corsi. Apparently, this non-team play that he employed was largely a benefit to the team. All this has happened while a roster has included worse players such as Brown, Gazdic, and Smyth.

The coach is not always right. Eakins is likely dead wrong here. He is looking at the scoresheet instead of actual gameplay.

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#84 Alsker
October 14 2013, 11:42AM
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This sounds more like a maturity issue or lack there of. Going back to the Van game where he threw a few hits on one shift, was he throwing a tantrum? Egging Eakins on? If he thinks hes bigger than the team than a little timeout in the corner is in order. As for Hall speaking to him, of course he should. Ruff did the same thing to him, just because you were a 1st overall pick doesnt mean you do what you want. Grow up, swallow a little pride, and see the light...oh and yes I also picked Yak as my star this year.

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#85 godot10
October 14 2013, 11:47AM
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Craig1981 wrote:

Steve Yzerman and Scotty Bowman got so heated over Yzerman's defense the Red Wings almost traded him after he had been producing 100+ seasons. Years latter Yzerman is thankful for Bowman changing his game. If Yzerman dealt with it, so can Yak.....and he will be better for it

Yzerman was in hus late twenties and a mature hockey player. Not a 20-year old.

Scotty Bowman was a multi-Stanley Cup winning coach, not a moderately successful AHL coach with a good publicist.

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#86 Oil town on E
October 14 2013, 11:53AM
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@Hayek

Here, here !! Get our top sniper off the line with a pylon and a plug!!! Just sayin ...

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#87 Hayek
October 14 2013, 11:58AM
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Oil town on E wrote:

Here, here !! Get our top sniper off the line with a pylon and a plug!!! Just sayin ...

Not that it is necessary to get him better linemates, because Yakupov makes them immensely better. But yeah, Yakupov is playing well enough to not be buried on the 3rd line and have to play with guys such as Gordon and Smyth (not that Gordon is bad, but he is clearly not interested in generating offence.)

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#88 nunyour
October 14 2013, 11:59AM
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He's benched and he's pissed about it,the rest is the media making a mountain out of a mole hill.

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#89 Rama Lama
October 14 2013, 12:01PM
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Naky wrote:

@Rama Lama

You're not getting what he's trying to say. He's trying to say that while our best offensive forwards have been absolute train wrecks defensively, they're still at least trying hard. Even if they're not playing the system 100% right, they're still flying around, fighting battles, and landing hits. Dubnyk's not been great, but he's still fighting hard to get out of his slump.

Yakupov? Clearly you're not watching the same games I am, because Yakupov's been floating around out there and cherry picking. He described his own play with his own words! He's not making hits, he's not even trying to forecheck, heck, he's barely trying to cover his man at times. All he does is try to stay open so he can use his one timer in the offensive zone or take off flying with the puck after someone else did all the hard work in the defensive. This wouldn't even be so bad if he was actually scoring goals but he's not. So he gets benched even though the other kids aren't necessarily better - but they're trying.

Down the road, does Eakins sit Hall if he keeps giving prime time, gift wrapped turnovers every time he single handedly tries to split the D (and fails 90% of the time) as he so loves to do? I honestly hope so. But it's Yak's turn this time and he's kinda deserved it.

I will say though... two games is ballsy. This second game feels more like a punishment. However, a warranted one if Yakupov said those same words to Eakins about not going to change his game.

David Perron had a horrible game, so did Jossenu, so did J. Schultz, so did RNH........do you bench them too?

I do believe in benching but if not done properly and without bias it totally disrupts the inner working of the team. I suspect everyone is looking over their shoulder every time they make a mistake........can you say squeeeeeeze.

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#90 godot10
October 14 2013, 12:03PM
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Deke Rivers wrote:

Wow, I can't believe how much support there is for Yak. We've complained as a group of fans, not so much about the results the last few years, but the lack of effort and accountability.

You can analyse Eakins style all you want but the reality is the numbers are better in the categories just about everyone wanted improvement (hits, shots, faceoffs, chances, effort, and accountability) With the exception of wins and some systems tinkering, he's delivered and it should get better.

There is NO room for any player who doesn't buy into the system. Yak isn't Gretzky, the only player allowed to float. Even Crosby shows hustle out there.

And Dubnyk's issues are COMPLETELY different. Yak's punishment is about effort and systems. Not about production.

The "better" are all stats accumulated against the lousy Eastern Conference, which the Oilers didn't play at all last year.

The stats against the Canucks, the Oilers only "real" Western Conference game, sucked.

The Western Conference, apart from the Oilers, have been laying waste to the Eastern Conference.

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#91 MessyEH!
October 14 2013, 12:08PM
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Maybe, this second sitting is to teach Yak Sr to stfu.

Or..... another boneheaded move by a boneheaded management team.

I wonder how the rest of the roster feels about Yak being sat. If it's really warranted they would be fine with it. If it's not...

Eakins may want to hold off with the unpacking.

A coach needs to win. If the system does not produce within 20 more games. I think the Oilers would start second guessing Eakins.

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#92 Darrell
October 14 2013, 12:10PM
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I read no line-up changes tonight except the pulled Dubie ? That means Yak sits again ?

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#93 Oil town on E
October 14 2013, 12:10PM
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This just in, Yak will be sittin in the press box again tonight !

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#94 Dog Train
October 14 2013, 12:20PM
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Heaven forbid if a coach actually has the guts to sit one of our young guns down for a few games. Eakins is getting paid to try and win games. Accountability has been lacking for the Oilers for too long now. Eakins is bringing accountability back to the lineup. I know people will say that there are other forwards who aren't playing well defensively so why don't players like Eberle or Hall get benched? Because at this moment, they are better players than Yakupov and give us a better chance of winning. Smyth has 3 goals already this year so taking him out right now isn't the right move. Joensuu brings more intangibles to the lineup other than scoring and having Yak replace one of the fourth line guys will do nothing for his confidence. The kid will get his chance soon enough and when he does, he needs to prove that he deserves to be in the lineup each and every night.

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#95 michael
October 14 2013, 12:20PM
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What a load. Hall makes a dozen give aways and does not get sat. Please Dallas this town has a few brain cells that can figure out what is what. Its easy to sit a second year player on the notion that he needs to learn to play without the puck. Sure I'll eat that. But your ability to justify it in lieu of the teams performance on Saturday night is just plain BS.

What we really need is for MacT to ensure that moving forward that Hemsky is somewhere else and that Yakupov is in the top 6.

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#96 hags9k
October 14 2013, 12:28PM
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The Daddy Yak'l make ya. JUMP JUMP Cory Cross'l make ya. JUMP JUMP

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#97 Smokey
October 14 2013, 12:29PM
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I think the organization for the most part is assbackwards, and when you see the poor handling of prospects over and over again it doesn't surprise me they sat Yak. Its not that I felt there should be no accountability, but Yak could of been given 4th line duty for a game and given a chance to dig himself out rather then a benching. I watched the deteriorating confidence of MPS for two years. His fault was floaters from the side board and he soft on the puck, however he was defensively responsible. I did not see this garbage with the other young players. Hall, RNH, Eberle all have had their stinkers. Justin Schultz was brutal in many games last year, but he played. Why was Yak different? Its a double standard period with some of these kids. Why is that?

Taylor Hall's been a turnover magnet and one could argue his ass should stapled to the bench. Difference is that he's got a few points. Yak led this team in goals last year without a real push all last season. He was only forward who showed up the last ten games consistently last season. Way to go Oilers on this one!

If Yak did not hit those posts and they went in the net, he would of played last game. Let the kids play. If you gotta reduce their ice fine so be it, but don't trash their confidence by benching them, and creating a story.

I think Yak is too valuable, however I question whether he is in the long term goals of the Oilers, and that saddens me.

When Moses returned from Egypt's land he said, "LET MY YAK GO!"

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#98 Craig1981
October 14 2013, 12:32PM
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godot10 wrote:

Yzerman was in hus late twenties and a mature hockey player. Not a 20-year old.

Scotty Bowman was a multi-Stanley Cup winning coach, not a moderately successful AHL coach with a good publicist.

What difference does it make if he was early or late 20s? Everyone needs to buy into the teams system

So unless you have won 9 Stanley Cup you can't develop players?

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#99 Spydyr
October 14 2013, 12:32PM
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Is the team a better team with Ryan Smyth in the line-up or Yak?

Who will be here next year and who won't?

Who is the future of the franchise and who is the past?

Once again bad asset management by the Oilers.

How can you sit the kid and not sit players such as Dubnyk and J. Shultz .Players that are playing much worse than Yak.

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#100 Hayek
October 14 2013, 12:33PM
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Dog Train wrote:

Heaven forbid if a coach actually has the guts to sit one of our young guns down for a few games. Eakins is getting paid to try and win games. Accountability has been lacking for the Oilers for too long now. Eakins is bringing accountability back to the lineup. I know people will say that there are other forwards who aren't playing well defensively so why don't players like Eberle or Hall get benched? Because at this moment, they are better players than Yakupov and give us a better chance of winning. Smyth has 3 goals already this year so taking him out right now isn't the right move. Joensuu brings more intangibles to the lineup other than scoring and having Yak replace one of the fourth line guys will do nothing for his confidence. The kid will get his chance soon enough and when he does, he needs to prove that he deserves to be in the lineup each and every night.

If only this was true, it would make sense.

Yakupov outshoots, and outchances the opposition this year at the 2nd highest rate on the team at even strength.

While someone like Smyth has played pretty terrible for 3 games this year, and has gotten amazing linemates, and has gotten very lucky in his goals (good for him, but there is no doubt that his production is unsustainable).

I know most people see 0G 0A 0P for Yakupov and assume he is playing bad. The truth is he has been simply amazing this year in outplaying the opposition. The points will come soon enough.

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