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11-14-2012, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by SDK View Post
Yakupov plays a lot like Gaborik.
I would agree. Nail relies primarily on his shot to score, hence Button's Mogilny comparison. He can skate, but seems first and foremost to be a sniper like Marian Gaborik. If he has a bit of time and space, he will shoot the puck rather than deke. He has enough speed to make himself open, and will then fire the puck. It isn't enough speed to fly past the other team on a consistent basis, but is enough to elude the other team often and to put himself in great scoring position. On the powerplay, he also seems to park himself on the right side, which resembles a sniper rather than one who roams the offensive zone. Pavel moved around in the offensive zone; Patrick Kane has also done this.

I certainly see a similarity between Marian Gaborik's game and Nail's.

Of course, tonight I'm hoping Nail will try going coast-to-coast just once. This will be the only time he will ever play in the Pacific Coliseum, a place where his boyhood idol used to dominate each and every night.

We've all seen Pavel's famous first NHL shift. It would be fun to see Nail try to replicate it in the same building. If he has any showmanship (which he does), he may as well give it a shot. We've seen him during this series try to pick up speed in the defensive zone, and he did manage to deke past a line of opposing players in his first KHL game (albeit at a slower speed). That said, with what we've just discussed, I don't expect him to try anything unusual tonight. I'll be happy just to see him score.

0:14. It looks like, when Nail really wants to, he'll seize the opportunity to carry the puck into the zone. I wonder if Pavel's first NHL game had anything to do with Nail's first KHL game. Even if not, it would thrill fans to see him make another attempt tonight. He is nothing like Pavel, but as a fan I'm willing to suspend that belief for a night if he can do something flashy.

Last edited by JA: 11-14-2012 at 01:47 PM.
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