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INSIDE THE OILERS
POSTED ON Thursday, 30.10.2014 / 1:01 AM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins announced after the game that the team has assigned forward Luke Gazdic and goaltender Richard Bachman to Oklahoma City. Goaltender Viktor Fasth has been cleared to play and Gazdic will head to OKC for a conditioning assignment.

“Both guys have been cleared,” Eakins said. “We’re reassigning Richard Bachman in the morning and Luke will join him and go on a two week conditioning stint.”

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 28.10.2014 / 3:41 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
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POSTED ON Tuesday, 28.10.2014 / 3:37 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers can only hope that Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins prove to be their bright future up the middle. The two young centres will be living together for the time being, with Draisaitl getting the news that he would be staying in the NHL past his first nine games.

“For now, I’m going to move in with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins,” Draisaitl said. “He’s going to take me under his wing I guess and I’m really thankful for that. He’s a great guy and somebody I look up to. He’s a great centreman and it’s fun being around him for sure.”

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 28.10.2014 / 2:50 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Leon Draisaitl remains with the Oilers past nine games, but there is always room for improvement. Head Coach Dallas Eakins expects Draisaitl to just continue to improve and show the things that kept him here.

“What every player on our lineup is doing,” Eakins said. “We’re always looking to improve our habits, we’re looking to be students of the game, we’re looking to be very fit, we’re working to compete very hard every night. It’s nothing that we aren’t asking of all our players.”

The decision to keep Draisaitl was an easy one according to Eakins. He continued to improve and never fell off when it came to facing the pressure or competition.

“He continues to improve,” Eakins said. “If he had fallen off of a cliff somewhere along the way that would have been the easy decision. It’s been a very easy discussion. He’s earned his right, he continues to get better and those are positive signs for us.”

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 28.10.2014 / 2:39 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins spoke with the media after practice on Tuesday and provided injury updates on the team.

Viktor Fasth and Luke Gazdic are both on the mend and each player is getting “very close to returning.”

Their statuses have been upgraded to “day-to-day.”

Nikita Nikitin missed last night’s game against Montreal. He is suffering from back spasms and will likely have an MRI.

Matt Hendricks was the only other player to miss practice on Tuesday, but the prognosis is good. It was a maintenance day for the winger after a tough game last night. He was knocked out of the game for a bit after being pushed into the boards by P.K. Subban. He did return to the game.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 28.10.2014 / 2:37 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

For the time being, Leon Draisaitl will continue to don the Edmonton Oilers sweater. The club made that official on Tuesday morning after practice when Head Coach Dallas Eakins made the announcement.

“You shouldn’t be surprised that he’s on the ice,” Eakins said. “He’s part of our hockey team, he’s earned the right to be here today and be in the lineup tomorrow. It shouldn’t be a be a big distraction for our team. It’s part of the process of us getting better and it’s not a big topic at all in our room. All we’re concerned about is practice today and the Nashville Predators tomorrow.”

The third-overall pick in this year’s draft will play his 10th NHL game tomorrow night against Nashville.

Stay tuned for more from practice.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 28.10.2014 / 1:40 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Line combinations:

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Perron-Draisaitl-Purcell
Pouliot-Arcobello-Yakupov
Acton-Gordon-Joensuu

Defensive Pairings:

Hunt-Schultz
Ference-Petry
Marincin-Fayne

Davidson is the extra defenceman

Goaltenders Scrivens, Fasth & Bachman are all participating in practice

No Nikita Nikitin on the ice. He missed last night's game. No Matt Hendricks either. He was on the receiving end of a head first hit into the boards last night. He returned later in the game.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 28.10.2014 / 1:43 AM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers have racked up four straight wins and they’ve come against quality opponents. Perhaps their toughest task yet was tonight against Montreal and they shut them down, 3-0.

A large contingency of Habs fans were in attendance at Rexall Place and they energy in the building was high. The Oilers and Habs fans chanted and screamed throughout the game. It was loud and exciting.

The Oilers fed off their crowd, as they have all throughout this homestand.

“I know one thing,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “Since we’ve been home here our crowd has been able to push us along, whether we’ve been even in the game, down by a goal or up by a goal. The guys are talking about it on the bench, when they get behind you like that. It happens when these teams like Montreal or Toronto comes in there are lots of people that want to wear their colours. When you’ve got your own fans up there fighting with the other ones, our guys want to get in on the action too. It was electric down there on the ice. There was a lot of stuff going on down on the ice, a lot of players yapping back and forth and you saw the battles. It made for a fun night here in the building.”

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 28.10.2014 / 1:41 AM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers have rattled off four straight wins, all against Eastern Conference opponents. They’ve been quality opponents too, with the Oilers beating Montreal, Tampa Bay and Washington.

But why haven’t the Oilers had success against teams in their own conference?

“It may be a confidence thing, I’m trying to figure it out,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “It’s easy to sit and say that word ‘heaviness’ in our division and things like that. I’m starting to not buy that. It may be a confidence issue and we’re going to look at that. That’s a very good hockey team that we played tonight and we were able to play with them, we got some excellent goaltending, we were able to kill penalties when we needed to and we were able to score when we needed to. I can’t see why we can’t have that same type of confidence that our players exuded tonight against teams in our own division.”

The Oilers still have plenty of hockey left to prove they can get their own conference record on par with that against the East. As they’ve shown, starting 0-4-1 wasn’t the end of the world either. They’re sitting at 4-4-1 with two games left in their homestand.

“I think it’s great,” Benoit Pouliot said. “Our start wasn’t the best but it’s a long season. We’re only nine games in so there’s a lot of hockey left. Even though you start bad… we’re not going to be winning every night for sure. It’s just a matter of being consistent at doing it and not going into a slump like at the beginning of the year and we’ll be fine.”

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POSTED ON Monday, 27.10.2014 / 12:01 PM

The National Hockey League announced today, Ben Scrivens has been named the second star of the week.

Scrivens posted a 3-0-0 record with a 2.33 goals-against average and .920 save percentage to lead the Oilers (3-4-1, 7 points) to their first three-game winning streak since Jan. 26-29. He made 22 saves in a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning Oct. 20, a season-high 32 saves in a 3-2 triumph over the Washington Capitals Oct. 22 and 27 saves in a 6-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes Oct. 24.

The 28-year-old Spruce Grove, Alberta native is 3-3-0 with a 3.31 goals-against average and .882 save percentage in seven appearances this season. This marks the second time in Scrivens’ 79-game NHL career that he has posted a personal winning streak of at least three games; he won a career-high four consecutive games from Nov. 14-19, 2013, while with the Los Angeles Kings.

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INSIDE THE OILERS BLOG