For the second straight game, Oilers forward Nail Yakupov will be a healthy scratch when the Oilers take visit the Capitals on Monday night.
Yakupov will not play tonight. "I really liked our group of forwards last game. We'll stick with the same group." @dallaseakins— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 14, 2013
Yakupov has struggled to start the season under new coach Dallas Eakins. In the four games that he did play, Yakupov failed to register a point, the only number on his traditional stat line being a minus-3. So Eakins decided to sit the No. 1 overall pick two years ago down to hit the "reset" button.
Apparently he still needs some rebooting with another game in the press box. Either that or Eakins simply doesn't see anybody to take out. Even though they lost to the Maple Leafs in the game Yakupov was scratched, they were able to score five goals in the game. Scoring, which is Yakupov's forte, wasn't an issue.
This scratch comes on the heels of a report that perhaps Yakupov is mulling a return to the KHL, one that agent Igor Larionov denied. Even with the unlikelihood of that happening, it doesn't sound like Yakupov is having the time of his life at the moment as he told Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal on Sunday.
"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," Yakupov said.
I'm going to play my game ... 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."
This has the makings of a sophomore slump.