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The Oilers have made no secret that they want promising NHL rookie defenceman Martin Marincin to absorb as much helpful knowledge as possible while he attends the Olympics as a representative of the Slovakian team. To make sure that happens to the fullest success, Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins has enlisted the help of one of the best in the business to take Marincin under his wing; Boston defenceman Zdeno Chara.
Chara and Marincin were seen chatting with each other by the locker rooms after the game yesterday.
Slovak Olympic defencemen Marincin and Chara chatting with Coach Eakins in the hallway post-game. pic.twitter.com/WIRcTemySo— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) February 1, 2014
“I was calling in a favour,” Eakins said. “I’ve gotten to know Chara over the years. I saw him, at a very early age, with the New York Islanders. I was there at training camp the one year and I saw him starting to put in the work. He was obsessed with it. He’s turned into, for me, one of the top players in the game, a guy with extremely high character, great work ethic, extremely humble and I had talked to Marty about his Olympic experience and the importance of him asking Chara a lot of questions.
“I asked Z after the game… I said I’d like to call in a favour to help this young man; Mr. Marincin. Z was great and he said he’d spend lots of time with him. Zdeno even texted me later, after we were on the plane, just reiterating what he promised. That’s a guy for Marty that… Chara wasn’t quite as light as Marincin is now, but if Marty commits to (taking) that level of commitment that Chara has with his body, then that will speed the process in him being a very good player in this league.”
Marincin and Chara will be teammates in Sochi, Russia this month at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Stay tuned for more coverage of the Chara-Marincin relationship and how the Oilers defenceman can benefit from that tutelage.
Oilers defenceman Jeff Petry did not participate in today’s skate in Buffalo. However, it may not be serious as the blueliner could be ready as soon as tomorrow. Head Coach Dallas Eakins provided a brief but optimistic update.
“Day-to-day,” Eakins said. “I think we’re hopeful that he’ll play tomorrow, but you never know. He took that heater in the foot. We had a couple of guys take those, but his got him in a very tender part of his foot.”
When the Oilers and Sabres look at the standings and see each other listed as their next opponent, both may see it as an easy win or even a must win. However, the Oilers will not get caught underestimating Buffalo when it comes to their matchup tomorrow night.
“We’re in no position to take anybody lightly, where we’re at in the standings,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “I don’t expect that. I expect Buffalo to be coming hard after losing their game the way they did to Colorado. I’d like us to have a little more fight in our game to get to the net. That’s what we were working on today to generate some more scoring because right now, it’s basically one line generating all of our scoring chances and we’ve got to have the other three lines pick up the slack in that department.”
“They’re 30th, we’re 29th,” Taylor Hall said. “It’s a game that both teams don’t want to lose. Anytime you see a team in the standings that’s near you or below you, you want to beat them just to kind of validate yourself a little bit for sure.”
The Edmonton Oilers may have left Boston carrying the weight of a 4-0 loss, but they did not leave without a blueprint for how they’d like to proceed forward. The Bruins, the ‘jewel of the east’ as goalie Ben Scrivens called them, are one of the NHL’s elite and play exactly how Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins envisions for the future of the team.
It’s a matter of getting the players to buy-in to a defence first mentality and translate that into their play.
“They’re the best defensive team in the league and they give up very little,” Eakins said. “I thought we were okay through two periods and the third fell away from us, especially after the second goal. Through two periods, the chances were actually quite close and then it fell away from there. It’s something that we’re hammering away to the players and the simple reality is if the other team doesn’t score, you’re not going to lose the game. We have to have that mentality here and it’s been a process. It’s an on-going process to get the players to totally understand that, to totally buy in to that and play that way.”
The Oilers are on the ice for practice in Buffalo at the First Niagara Center.
The lines are as follows:
Jeff Petry is not on the ice
Petry not on the ice this morning.— Jack Michaels (@EdmontonJack) February 2, 2014
The Edmonton Oilers assigned forward Mark Arcobello to the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League.
Arcobello has scored 18 points (4-14-18) in 41 games with the Oilers this season.
He is the Barons all time leader in goals (50), assists (83) and points (133) while being second in games played (173).
Mark Fraser on Oilers Now
Take a look below at a random assortment of Mark Fraser hits and fights from the past year.
Mark Fraser will wear number five for the Oilers, he confirmed in an interview with edmontonoilers.com's Chris Wescott.
Fraser also talked about changing Canadian markets.
Fraser will wear #5 for the #Oilers. He credits Dallas Eakins for rejuvenating his career when he came to the Marlies in 2011-12.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) January 31, 2014
"I'm happy to get to play for another organization with extremely passionate fans. I'm very excited."
The big defenceman also talked about his style of play and how he might fit in with the Oilers.
"I'm confident I can provide something the Oilers may be missing... Most of my success comes from my size and aggression."
Mark Fraser on Oilers Now
The Oilers are on the ice for practice in Cambridge, MA. The lines are the same as the team has used for the past several games as Matt Hendricks appears to be okay after leaving the last game with a head injury.
Same lines for Oilers:Hall-RNH-Eberle, Yakupov-Gagner-Perron, Hendricks-Gordon-Jones (Hemsky), Gazdic-Smyth-Joensuu (Arcobello)— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) January 31, 2014