It’s almost impossible to not interpret this as a player with the worst plus-minus in the NHL — whose defensive play is one of the biggest reasons the team is off to such a shameful start — showing an almost unprecedented sense of entitlement.
It turns out you can check this in like three minutes. Overall, the Oilers are 30th in 5v5 GA/60. When Yakupov isn’t on the ice, they rise all the way up to 29th in the NHL. Just like the 1995 New Jersey Devils!
Also of note: when Sam Gagner’s on the ice at 5v5, the Oilers are allowing a smooth 5.77 GA/60 at 5v5. RNH is getting hammered to the tune of 4.28 5v5 GA/60. There are a lot of culprits here. Singling a guy out unfairly doesn’t really do much to build your case that he has a perverse case of entitlement.Email Tyler Dellow at firstname.lastname@example.org