Dec 30, 2012, 3:41 PM EDT
Nail Yakupov added some more fuel to the Canada-Russia hockey rivalry when he reportedly claimed on Monday that the Canadians “play dirty.” Some, like Don Cherry took exception to those remarks and Team Russia subsequently announced that Yakupov wouldn’t be addressing the media again until today.
Meanwhile, Russia and Canada have both won their first three contests of the 2013 World Junior Championship and will battle each other for the top spot in Group B on Monday.
So, as we approach that game and after nearly a week of silence, what does Yakupov have to say about the upcoming match? Nothing that’s likely to draw much criticism.
“Everyone’s going to be watching this match. It’ll be interesting and fun,” Yakupov said, according to R-Sport. “I think the whole world will be watching this match.”
Yakupov added that Russia will “play calmly” in the key contest.
And as for his original remarks?
“I said a different thing,” Yakupov said, according to the Edmonton Journal. When asked to tell the media what he actually did say, he added, “I forgot. I don’t know.”
He’ll be playing against his future Edmonton Oilers teammate and fellow first-overall draft pick, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on Monday. Nugent-Hopkins leads the tournament with eight points in three games while Yakupov has a goal and three assists in three contests with Russia.
- Advantage Kuemper? Harding on crutches after ankle injury 3
- Done deal, finally: Wings ink DeKeyser to two-year, $4.375M extension 5
- Update: NHL wants to see fine system in action before publicizing diving 3
- Get your odds to make the playoffs for all 30 NHL teams 16
- Blue Jackets GM to Johansen: It’s about the team, not ‘one guy’ 25
- Will the NHL publicize divers? 48
- Report: NHL, Epix network to partner on Winter Classic reality series 17
- Habs to play without captain for just second time in franchise history 16
- Chiarelli: At some point, I’m going to have to trade a defenseman 53
- Devils post-Martin Brodeur era about to truly start 9