Should Yakupov owners be worried?
Yakupov: Coach, am I playing tonight?
Eakins: You're in Nail…….but first, would you mind telling me now how many goals will be scored against us tonight while you're on the ice………it helps me prepare.
Yakupov: I'm thinking I will go…….just minus one tonight coach.
Eakins: Great, what period are you thinking of gracing us with your minus?
Yakupov: I was thinking my last shift of second period coach, hopefully while we are on power play…..there is nothing like giving up timely short-handed goal to bring us down. But thinking it over more, how about you start me and we just get it over with first shift of game.
Eakins: I like how you think Nail. Good idea, I like a challenge.
Yakupov: You like challenge coach? Is it okay if I go minus two then?
Eakins: No, I already told Dubnyk he could let two soft ones in tonight. But, I'll talk to Kevin and Craig and get back to you on that.
Yakupov: They are busy coach, you have to make decision.
Eakins: Busy doing what??????
Yakupov: Making sure all polar bears are out of city, Bryz is still scared.
Yakupov: Thanks Coach.
The Final Straw
Yakupov's performance against Toronto in late October has a lot to do with his significant drop in ice time recently.
An evaluation of Yakupov's previous six games suggests that the home game against the Maple Leafs is the straw that finally broke the camel's back. Yakupov was minus-four that evening while his TOI was a generous 21:34. Yakupov played superstar minutes and rewarded his coach with a dud performance. If one was to hazard a guess, Eakins wasn't too thrilled about being embarrassed by the team representing his former employer (MLSE) and has since put Yakupov on notice. Since that game against the Leafs, Yakupov's TOI has steadily declined from 21:34 to just 10:54 per game with minimal power play time.
Below is a snapshot of Yakupov's most recent six games with an emphasis on the Toronto game from October 29th. Notice the incredible drop in ice time sin