The question is what would make Yakupov do this? Doesn't he know that a goalie is holy ground, especially a goalies head? Do you think that because he was on the fourth line that he went out thinking he needed to play more of a tough guy, agitator-type role? To what degree does it appear self-defense plays a role?
Don Cherry, who is not known for his love of Yakupov, took exception to Yak's elbow as seen at th 3:57 mark: