INSIDE THE OILERS
POSTED ON Wednesday, 12.30.2015 / 2:03 PM MT
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POSTED ON Wednesday, 12.30.2015 / 2:00 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

It was a close call in Tuesday night’s game against Los Angeles. Oilers winger Matt Hendricks took a stick right above his eye, cutting him. He got cleaned and stitched up, but it was a frightening several minutes.

“Scary incident last night off a faceoff in the third. A stick got me pretty good. It was a scary moment for me for a while there,” said Hendricks.

The winger had previously not worn a visor, but that will change moving forward.

“I don’t know if I’ll take it off after that,” he said.

Sometimes it takes a scary moment to break traditions.

“The game is a very traditional game,” said Head Coach Todd McLellan. “We’re very apprehensive for change. You can see that with the rules and the size of the rink and all that type of stuff. Players have those apprehensions too. You don’t want to change. You come into the league a certain way. You look at (Craig MacTavish) or Doug Wilson. I think they were the last two to not wear helmets. I think both of them were crazy. But now, as time goes on and everybody who enters the league wears a shield, the ones who aren’t you wonder why they aren’t. It’s personal preference. They’re allowed to make that choice. Matty got a scare and he’s going to put it on. Good for him.”

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 12.30.2015 / 1:59 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Anyone who knows Darnell Nurse as a player or person wasn’t surprised by him stepping up for his teammate on Tuesday night. Nurse challenged veteran tough guy Milan Lucic to drop the gloves following his hit on Lauri Korpikoski in the corner.

Nurse said after the game he was just looking out for his teammate, something that is not lost on the Oilers head coach.

“It says volumes about his character,” said Todd McLellan. “He’s all in, for one. He’s got a lot of courage, for two. He’s trying to establish himself in a real tough league, is the third one. I think he earned a lot of respect from his teammates and probably around the league as well. It takes a lot of courage to do that.”

Little things like Nurse’s courage are what helps pull a team together and ignite pushback.

“There are the unsung things that happen during a game that give people the lift,” said McLellan. “The goals and all that type of stuff is pretty evident, but the blocked shots seem to do that, the sticking up for a teammate, if you get a big faceoff win, getting the puck out at the blueline in a stressful situation. Those are all things that give groups a lift. Players recognize it on the bench, the coaches recognize it. We acknowledge it verbally. It can give teams a lift and I think Darnell did that last night for us as well.”

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 12.30.2015 / 1:58 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers could get a welcomed body back on the blueline when they host the Ducks on Thursday as Brandon Davidson has skated with the team these last few days and is almost ready to return from his rib injury.

“He had a good practice today,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “I would say that he’s pretty much ready to go, unless somebody tells me otherwise after our meeting here.”

With forward Iiro Pakarinen out with an undisclosed injury suffered Tuesday against Los Angeles, one of two players could make their return to the lineup in his stead.

Either Rob Klinkhammer or Jujhar Khaira are the choices for McLellan.

“Klink is getting close as well, so it will be one of JJ or Klink to come in,” said the coach.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 12.30.2015 / 11:22 AM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers have hit the ice for practice on Wednesday at Rexall Place. Iiro Pakarinen is not participating, after leaving last night’s game with an injury. Eric Gryba is not on the ice either.

Rob Klinkhammer and Brandon Davidson are both skating again as they get closer to returning.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 12.30.2015 / 11:18 AM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The lone Oilers prospect participating in the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship is 2014 fourth-round pick William Lagesson. The defenceman plays for Sweden, and we will have updates on his performance as the tournament unfolds.

SWEDEN 5, DENMARK 0



Thirteen seconds. That’s all it took for Sweden to find the back of Denmark’s net with their first goal of the game.

Sweden’s goaltender, Felix Sandstrom, made a total of eight saves in his first game in the tournament as his team took a 5-0 victory.

The Swedes outshot the Danes 14-2 in the first period, who by the end of the second frame had taken a 3-0 lead.

Halfway through the third period, Oilers prospect William Lagesson received a pass from teammate Jens Looke, and after a few strides, fired the puck into Denmark’s net, making it a 4-0 game.

Lagesson had five shots on goal and was +2 in the game.

The two teams had played against one another just twice in the history of the World Junior Championship, with Sweden coming out on top, 10-1 in 2007 and 5-1 last year.

The win over Denmark secures a top spot for Sweden in the group, even if they lose their last game to Canada.

Sweden will look to sweep Group A of the preliminary round as they face Team Canada on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. MT.
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POSTED ON Monday, 12.28.2015 / 3:29 PM MT
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POSTED ON Monday, 12.28.2015 / 3:19 PM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

After a brief holiday break, the Oilers have returned to Rexall Place following a weekend of back-to-back division rivalry games.

Back at home base, the Oil hit the ice focused and prepared to improve on their power play, which has a 17 per cent success rate on the season.

“The thing for us is, you want to be able to generate momentum; we don’t want to create momentum for the other team by giving them opportunities or just chasing the puck back and forth and just wasting energy,” said Jordan Eberle.

With a new weapon in d-man Brad Hunt joining the line-up, Head Coach Todd McLellan says that this is an opportunity for him and the team as a whole to expand on what needs fixing.

“We have a need right now and he’s the ingredient that fits the need,” McLellan said of Hunt’s presence on the point.

“What it can’t be is just be Brad Hunt’s power play; it has to be the Oilers power play. Everybody has to have a piece of it and they have to take that responsibility. I see our group right now, because of lack of success, it turns from a team thing more into an individual thing, guys wanting to go one-on-one, trying to do too much — sometimes being too cute and we need to fix it. It’ll take a little time but we’ll get it there.”

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POSTED ON Monday, 12.28.2015 / 3:18 PM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Though he was prevented from joining the Oilers in Calgary on Sunday, Brad Hunt sounds like he’s prepared to make up for lost time.

“I just want to help the team with whatever they need help with,” said the defenceman. “I just want to play my game, what’s been making me successful down [in Bakersfield], and get pucks to the net and hopefully the boys can bang ’em in.”

In 26 games with the Condors, Hunt has scored six goals and added 17 assists for a total of 23 points — leading the AHL team.

Hunt’s performance with the Oilers AHL affiliate has remained steady as the Condors navigate player absences themselves due to injuries and Edmonton recalls. Bakersfield currently has a 13-11-2-1 record.

“A lot of change with injuries and guys getting called up but that’s just the way it is,” he said. “The team’s done a great job fighting through that and getting a couple of wins after Christmas break so they can go into the New Year with a little bit of confidence.”

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POSTED ON Monday, 12.28.2015 / 3:17 PM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

It was a delayed plane that prevented Oilers recall Brad Hunt from joining Edmonton’s line-up in Calgary Sunday night.

The five-foot-nine, 187-pound defenceman, called up from the Bakersfield Condors, said he hoped to make an impact and contribute in the Battle of Alberta game before he was suddenly prevented from doing so.

“I was pumped,” said Hunt. “I was all ready to go — ate properly throughout the day — and then got on the plane and get off the plane and still in Denver.”

Mechanical issues with the plane caused his flight to be delayed a number of times until the airline decided to cancel it altogether.

Hunt said that as the day wore on he recognized that he wouldn’t be playing that night, but managed to focus on the positives.

“I mean at least it was at Denver airport where there’s lots of good places to eat,” he joked. “I watched [the game] a little bit on my iPad on the NHL app but I just saw the first period and then I got on the plane right to Edmonton, so I couldn’t watch it on the plane.”

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