Feb 22, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT
Edmonton Oilers Nail Yakupov, who has dealt with concussion issues and found himself a healthy scratch on a few occasions this season, is hoping he and his teammates can build on their recent but modest success prior to the Olympic break.
The Oilers, still at the bottom of the Pacific Division standings with 47 points, won five of their last seven games prior to the NHL shutting down for Sochi. Yakupov, just 20 years old and the first overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, had six points in those games, playing on a line with Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, according to Sportsnet.ca.
His goal on Feb. 6 against the New York Rangers, a roaring slap shot late in the third period, counted as the winner for Edmonton.
“It’s great and I’m really proud of it, but it’s in the past,” Yakupov told Sportsnet.ca.
“I’ve got to forget about it, move on and make sure I’m even better for the next game. I’ve worked really hard to get to this point and I want to make sure I’m doing my part to succeed, for my coaches, my teammates and the fans.
“Things are going well right now. Everyone had a good break – we’re refreshed, we have a new mentality and we’re excited to play again.”
- Gomez goes full circle by rejoining Devils on tryout basis 8
- Under Pressure: Jimmy Howard 6
- Looking to make the leap: Anthony Mantha 17
- It’s Detroit Red Wings day on PHT 24
- Under Pressure: Nathan Horton 8
- Will Johansen be the latest Overhardt holdout? 25
- It’s Columbus Blue Jackets day on PHT 16
- Shanahan tasked with ending years of collapses 9
- Looking to make the leap: Peter Holland 1
- Under Pressure: Randy Carlyle 5
- NHL-to-Vegas talks gaining steam (68)
- Report: Bruins need to make a trade (61)
- Sounds like San Jose handled stripping Thornton’s captaincy really well (43)
- Fanspeak: Mats Sundin voted greatest Maple Leaf in franchise history (43)
- Fanspeak: Lemieux (stunner!) voted greatest Penguin in franchise history (41)