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Yakupov, Oilers are ‘refreshed’ after Olympic break

Feb 22, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT

nailyakupov2getty Getty Images

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

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

“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.”

  1. luz56 - Feb 22, 2014 at 11:53 PM

    I am sure they are refreshed… Giving a half assed effort will do that… Really a disappointing team full of excuses.. Only the NY Icelanders could match their ineptitude

    • badgerhockey77 - Feb 23, 2014 at 3:11 AM

      The Oilers are refreshed and ready to continue their streak of futility! I feel sorry for their loyal fan base. They deserve better.

      • hallforpresident - Feb 23, 2014 at 1:53 PM

        It’s nice that some people care. As Oilers fans, we get slammed for cheering for a dusty team when our management just doesn’t know how to build a team at all. But hey, maybe when we draft another small skilled forward we’ll get a cup!

  2. strictlythedanks - Feb 23, 2014 at 12:24 AM

    yak-up-a-lung and the soilers have refreshed to their regular pathetic selves

  3. djshnooks - Feb 23, 2014 at 4:49 AM

    I hope to God Buffalo doesnt trade Zadorov or Ristolainen for this bum.

    If Edmonton wants a young stud defenseman, ya better come with something better than a bust Russian…we already have our own in Grigorenko.

    • hallforpresident - Feb 23, 2014 at 1:48 PM

      How about we wait another year or two before we start throwing the b word around.

    • vm113 - Feb 24, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      Are you stupid? Yak would be the greatest thing to ever happen to Buffalo. You guy’s haven’t had a high profile player(thats not a goalie) since…………………….idk, Moginly? Guy’s like Yak build fan bases, save franchises like yours from RELOCATION.

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