SUN Hockey Pool

Edmonton Oilers' Nail Yakupov not happy about sitting out

Edmonton Oilers Nail Yakupov (64) reacts to missing a shot against New Jersey Devils netminder...

Edmonton Oilers Nail Yakupov (64) reacts to missing a shot against New Jersey Devils netminder Martin Brodeur (30) during the third period at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Monday, Oct. 7, 2013. Ian Kucerak/Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency

Robert Tychkowski, Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 2:25 PM ET

WASHINGTON, DC — As Petr Klima once said, “You need a really long stick to score from the press box.”

Nail Yakupov might laugh at that quote one day, if only he wasn’t so upset about not being able to score with a regulation shaft at ice level.

That’s part of the reason he was a healthy scratch for the first time in his star-studded life Saturday in Toronto, making the 20-year-old Russian doubly frustrated with the start of his highly-anticipated sophomore season.

“Nobody is happy when they’re not playing but it’s the coach’s choice,” said Yakupov, who is serving his sentence with a scowl. “He can say a million words about getting better, but if the coach says you’re not playing, you’re not playing. I’m not happy about it.”

Neither was Ryan Smyth when he had to spend his time-out in the press box, but he showed that if a player approaches it the right way, sitting out can be an eye-opening experience.


Videos

Photos