Game 5 and Nail Yakupov | Oilersnetwork.com - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours

Game 5 and Nail Yakupov

Tonight marks game five for the Edmonton Oilers and the return of Nail Yakupov.

In a trade that everyone saw coming, Yakupov was moved to St. Louis for next to nothing in an effort to remove his contract off the books of the Oilers payroll. It was a sad drop from the prospect of what Edmonton thought they were getting in a first-overall NHL draft pick.




The For's


There were a lot of people in favor of removing Yakupov from the team. He has skill; but is the personification of an underachiever. Often he came across as entitled, difficult and not a team guy. For the record, I don't think any of those things are true, but there were a lot of fans who did.

When he was sent to St. Louis as a dump-off, there were people that were happy to see him go. They were settled in on the fact that Yakupov was never going to be what he was projected to be and that he didn't deserve better opportunities than he was being provided by the Oilers. Their argument was, if he couldn't make the most of what was being handed to him, it was his problem and good riddance.

The Against's


There were others who wanted to keep Yakupov. They fell into two sub-categories. The first group felt it was better to showcase him by moving him up the roster to get a better return in an eventual trade. The second group felt Yakupov was better than he'd showed the last couple years and could turn it around. They were Yak fans through and through.

Most of these people blamed the Oilers for Yakupov's failures. It wasn't his fault he had bad linemates or that he was on the third line.

Now

Yakupov was sent to St. Louis and in his first game, scored a goal and an assist. It was at this time the against group spoke up and said "see?". Then the next three games came and Yakupov got zero points, his ice-time dropped and now he averages just over 11 minutes of the Blues. After tonight's game, it's more likely we hear from the for's group who will look for a pat on the back for knowing Yakupov didn't make a huge difference here and isn't in St. Louis.


Tonight's Action


This is going to be one of the tougher tests for Edmonton. St. Louis is a good team and Edmonton hasn't really faced any "good" teams. The Oilers are 3-1-0 and the Blues 3-0-1. If Edmonton can win tonight, it will put them in a great spot after five games and may allows fans to feel a bit more like they have a team that can defeat some of the upper-tier competition.


The problem is, St. Louis has typically dominated Edmonton when playing head-to-head. St. Louis will be running with the following lineup:

Fabbri-Stastny-Yakupov
Schwartz-Steen-Tarasenko
Perron-Berglund-Jaskin
Upshall-Brodziak-Reaves
Extra: Paajarvi, Rattie

It's a combination of speed, skill and grit, but it's a lot different of a team than the one Edmonton has had trouble with. It will be interesting to see how Edmonton fights back.

But, who cares what I think right? For now, I'll just keep my mouth shut until I feel like spilling my guts again.





Jim Parsons is a business owner, husband, father and sports fan. For more information about Oilersnetwork.com founder and Oil Spill articles author Jim Parsons, click here.




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1 Response to "Game 5 and Nail Yakupov"

  1. I hope Yak gets 4 goals and the Oilers win 5-4.

    ReplyDelete