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Eakins on Yakupov: ‘The kid is so much fun to watch play’

Sep 22, 2013, 9:10 AM EDT

Nail Yakupov AP

During Edmonton’s 5-2 win over Vancouver last night in preseason action, forward Nail Yakupov scored late in the third to put the game on ice at 4-2. With a rip of a wrist shot he beat Eddie Lack and then holstered his stick as if he were an Old West gunman.

It’s all part of the package with Yakupov and Oilers coach Dallas Eakins enjoys every bit of what he brings to the game as Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal shared.

“The kid is so much fun to watch play,” he said. “When he gets the puck everybody leans forward… to see what he’s going to do.”

Yakupov’s flashy play and exuberance found ways to rub some folks the wrong way last season. His celebration after scoring to miraculously tie up a game against the Kings last season saw him recreate Theo Fleury’s knee-slide celebration. It was so much that even Don Cherry said he “acted like an idiot” by doing that.

All in all, however, it’s almost refreshing to see a player enjoy doing what he does as much as he does. As for Yakupov’s goal last night, have a look at it here.

  1. hockeydon10 - Sep 22, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    It’s really quite strange.

    Years and years ago — back around the time when Don Cherry was still a coach in the league in fact — the Canadian players would complain that the Soviet players were stoic and dour, showing much less exuberance when scoring or winning.

    The Russians heard that message and nowadays their players celebrate with exuberance while it’s the Canadians that are stoic and dour, showing less exuberance when scoring or winning.

    • babykaby - Sep 25, 2013 at 2:32 AM

      I dont understand why people dont enjoy someone showing their love of the game. One of the things that attracted so many people to Ovechkin was his obvious love of the game and the fact that he couldn’t help showing it. Hockey is supposed to be fun All sports are supposed to be fun and we should enjoy watching those players that love the game show it. I hope this kid continues to display his genuine joy and doesnt let anyone turn him into just another selfish guy only interested in getting a contract.

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