Jets' Pavelec calls Yakupov 'cheap' after elbow incident

Edmonton Oilers' Nail Yakupov (64) scores on Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec (31) during the...

Edmonton Oilers' Nail Yakupov (64) scores on Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec (31) during the third period of their game against the Winnipeg Jets at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. (Codie McLachlan/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:54 PM ET

The NHL’s Christmas break wasn’t long enough for Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec to forget what Nail Yakupov did to him earlier this week.

Edmonton's second-year forward caught Pavelec with an elbow during the second period of Winnipeg's eventual 6-2 loss to the Oilers Monday night.

Yakupov was driving to the net and looked as though he could have avoided making contact with the Jets goalie.

“It was cheap. Cheap shot. Elbow in the face,” Pavelec said. “You can get hurt from that. It was a danger. I had no idea it was coming. Just a cheap shot. Puck was behind the net. Just did it on purpose, pretty much.”

The Jets didn’t react to the hit until late in the game, when a scrum that included captain Andrew Ladd stick-jousting with Yakupov broke out.

“It definitely was uncalled for,” Ladd said of the 20-year-old’s hit on Pavelec. “And that’s probably the response at the end of the game when we figured out who it was.”

Yakupov, selected first overall by the Oilers in 2012, has come under siege of late for failing to put up numbers becoming of a top pick.

Through 37 games this season, the Russian has 14 points (six goals, eight assists), production that led Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish to come to his top prospect’s aid.

"My expectation is that (Nail Yakupov) is going to fail,” MacTavish said. “He's going to struggle. And I think that anybody who doesn't have that expectation has not been around long enough. I think we all have to take a step back with him.”

Problem is, Yakupov continues to attract attention for all the wrong reasons.


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