In the early going, thats precisely what Hitchcock has done. Rather than focus on hammering a square peg into a round hole, he has treated Yakupov as an offensive specialist. http://harperfostercode.denaliinstitute.org/2016/11/08/the-challenges-for-rapid-tactics-for-selection-interview/The results have been somewhat uneven, but the plan seems to be working. The first thing Hitchcock did was shelter Yakupov like hes never been sheltered before. Jamie Squire/Getty Images Ken Hitchcock is working diligently to put Yakupov in a position to succeed. In terms of quality of competition, Yakupov ranks ninth among St. Louis forwards, right in the middle of the teams bottom six. Entering action against the New York Rangers on Tuesday, he had been on the ice for 35 offensive zone faceoffs, as opposed to just 12 on the defensive end of the rink, per Corsica . Other coaches, most notably Dallas Eakins, have tried similar tactics, but none of them came close to giving Yakupov a 3-1 ratio of offensive to defensive zone starts. Saturdays game against the Los Angeles Kings was fairly typical.
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