In a practice today overlooking the Hudson, Dallas Eakins finally busted a move available all season: three #1 overalls on the same line! Hall to push the river, Nuge for the vision and sublime passing, Yakupov with the itchy trigger. In theory, this trio should rip this joint round and round we’ll go.
The Yak wowy’s show the Nuge-Hall-Yak trio hasn’t played much or well together, but the sample is so small (about an hour with Hall) I’m not certain there’s much to be gleaned from the information.
NAIL YAKUPOV PLAYER CARD
The young Russian has taken a beating this season but still keeps on ticking, and the Gerasimenko Pistol from the point on the power play cuts through steel. Unlocking his insane hockey skills is probably the key to Dallas Eakins coaching future (along with getting Hall back on the beam).
Is there ANY hope this will work? Well, Yakupov is an underrated passer and has been improving his positioning. For instance, he’s a terror on the forecheck—a real man—and can rattle with his hummer-wide body. This is no shrinking violet.
The key, in my opinion, is time. Give this trio some time, like 20 games. Maybe they puck hog all their way to town. Maybe they find kindred spirits, crazy skills, trust, and the way home.