We all know the number Eakins has done on Yakupov this year. Nail coming off a big end to last season and then starting this season on line 3 with 4 minutes of ice time. Then being called out by the coach for his lack of point production with his limited ice time and sub par line contribution after only playing 48 games in the NHL. Then he sits Yak 4 times this season. Most recently a healthy scratch against Phoenix to bring him back and tell him to prove himself against a far superior SJ. Yak picks up the gauntlet thrown down by Dallas Eakins and smacks him with it by scoring the only goal that game for the Oilers. He continues by answering with another the next game.
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Not to hear positive praise by Dallas to the press, only to hear that Yak came out and "did better." Meanwhile, yak was out there proving his stuff with no help as Eakins decided in the Dallas game that the top 2 goal scorers and the number one and only real center we have were not playing good enough for him. So he sat them on the bench for almost 15 minutes of the second period. Opting to go with the offensive might on Lander, Gaznik, Jones, Smyth, Gagner, Yak, Gordon, Hemsky and Eberle on a shortened bench.
It might come as a surprise to some but this attempt to sit the Oiler top line had the reverse effect. The Oilers played worse as a team and the guys who were sitting came out and seemed to play worse in the third period. This was one of many attempts to use punishment as his only motivational tactic with the Oilers young squad. Something that might work with players trying to make the NHL but oddly not working with players who have never had that worry. Players who know they are the foundation of the team and have yet to find any sense of the play they ended last season with.
One would think that Eakins would get the hint but in the last game during a 3 -3 tie he opted to bench the Oilers highest goal scorer for the Power play. He also made extra use of the second unit and gave Hunt the quarterback on a crucial PP. Smyth and Gordon finding Power Play time at the expense of players like Hemsky and Perron who are having great seasons allowed the Oilers to give up two goals and be dominated in the second period. The Oilers fourth goal and a post were the only reason they came out of the night with a win.
I want the Oilers to pick a goalie and stick with him. I want to see some continuity with their management but Krueger was the one that deserved a second season. Eakins doesn't deserve another week.
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