Yakupov will be a healthy scratch for third straight game. Hitch says he doesn't need to need do anything different, just not one of top 12.— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) November 8, 2016
You can’t argue with this logic, I suppose. Not because it’s necessarily right, and you could probably bust out some FancyStats if you’re Robb and disprove (or justify!) it. You can’t argue with it because it’s just hard to argue with. If this is what Hitch thinks, then this is what Hitch thinks. And it’s true. The top 12 is fine without Nail Yakupov (or Ty Rattie, or Magnus Paajarvi). The fourth line has had two decent games as they are.
Moving Yakupov up requires moving Dmitrij Jaskin down and probably scratching either Scottie Upshall or Ryan Reaves, and Jaskin hasn’t done anything to warrant being a healthy scratch.
Yakupov hasn’t done anything to warrant it either.
One good blow-out against the Colorado Avalanche doesn’t mean that the Blues’ scoring woes are fixed. Was Yakupov part of the low scoring squad? Yep. Nearly every forward has been. Could he contribute to continuing an increase in goals per game? Probably so.
Hitch is going to do what Hitch is going to do, but it is unfortunate to see Yakupov get traded to St. Louis, make a decent impression, then wind up as the sacrificial lamb in the doghouse.
It’s not a bad decision, it’s not a good decision, it’s just a decision.