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INSIDE THE OILERS
POSTED ON Tuesday, 15.10.2013 / 6:32 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
Luke Gazdic is not skating the pre-game warmup, meaning that Ryan Jones and Nail Yakupov are both in for tonight's game against the Penguins.

Jason LaBarbera also led the team out onto the ice, meaning he will start his second consecutive game.

Lines in warm-up:

Hall - Arcobello - Eberle
Perron - RNH - Yakupov
Smyth - Gordon - Hemsky
Jones - Acton - Brown
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POSTED ON Tuesday, 15.10.2013 / 1:13 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins confirmed in his morning media presser that Nail Yakupov will play tonight against the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

Yakupov has not played in the Oilers last two games, a loss to Toronto and a loss to Washington, both on the road.

The former first overall pick has no points in four games played this season.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 15.10.2013 / 1:00 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins confirmed to the media today that the team has assigned Philip Larsen to Oklahoma City in the American Hockey League and has recalled forward Ryan Jones.

Jones, in four games with the OKC Barons, has two goals on the season. This is his first call up to the NHL of the 2013-14 season.

Larsen played in no games for the Oilers during his call up but he has a goal and an assist in two games in the AHL this year with OKC.

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POSTED ON Monday, 14.10.2013 / 10:46 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

After a loss to Washington dropped their record to 1-4-1 on the season, the Oilers are trying to remain positive.

"You can't carry baggage around," said team captain Andrew Ference. "It's easy to be a good teammate and do the right things and have a good attitude when you're winning. But it's a real test when things aren't going your way... It's a challenge to see what we're all made of. We want to see the fruits of our labour eventually."

The Oilers get a chance to have a short memory and quick turnaround as they play the Penguins in Pittsburgh tomorrow night.

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POSTED ON Monday, 14.10.2013 / 12:26 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Head Coach Dallas Eakins touched on why he decided to sit Nail Yakupov instead of disrupting a forward lineup which performed well in their last game. While Eakins acknowledged that against a less-physical lineup of Washington, he could of sat one of the Oilers fourth linemen but didn't want to break up the trio.

"That fourth line has been heavy on the forecheck that we like. They did get hemmed in on their own end a couple of times. But the thing with Yakupov is, it's already out there. I see it all the time. 'You've got to play him with better players.' Well, I'm not going to go stick Yak on the fourth line, it's not going to help him.

"The second part is, I think you need toughness in your lineup every night. I think it's fairly disrespectful for the guys that you rely on every night to do that job and you're suddenly going to take them out because the other team doesn't have somebody who might fight. It's not about the fight for me, it's about the perception of your team, it's about the heaviness of your team and so those are the reasons I'm not going to take Luke (Gazdic) or Will (Acton) or (Mike Brown) out."

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POSTED ON Sunday, 13.10.2013 / 3:27 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

VIDEO: Arcobello 1 on 1 | RAW - Eakins | RAW - Yakupov | RAW - Eberle | RAW - Dubnyk
AUDIO: Mark Arcobello | Nail Yakupov | Jordan Eberle | Devan Dubnyk
The Oilers practiced Sunday in the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. The lines, according to jersey colour were:

Light Blue: Hall / RNH / Hemsky / Yakupov
Dark Blue: Perron / Gordon / Joensuu
White: Smyth / Arcobello / Eberle
Black: Gazdic / Acton / Brown
Yellow: Gagner

Defence pairings:

N.Schultz (Larsen) / Ference
Smid / Petry
J.Schultz / Belov
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POSTED ON Sunday, 13.10.2013 / 3:12 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Edmonton Oilers skilled forward Nail Yakupov sat out last night's game at his head coach's discretion. Dallas Eakins chose to make the call after Yakupov has struggled to produce early in the season.

"We just thought that he had gotten to a spot of frustration where the kid's passion is the score and he was just going to take it all on himself," said Eakins. "You can't do that. I don't care how good you are. You can't produce by yourself in this league. You have to use your line mates.

"It was more of a reset button for him and he can come back in fresh with a new perspective and we just started going through how we're going to go about this and how we're going to build this player. The guy's a young kid and he's got so much to learn about the game, the proper way to play the game. Once he grasps that, he's going to be a danger every time he steps on that ice."

Yakupov now understands that, despite his frustration, it's time for him to go to work and make his way back into the lineup.

"I think nobody is happy when they're not playing," said Yakupov. "It was frustrating but it's not my choice. It was coach's choice. That's a question for coach but I'm just getting ready for the next game and working hard. That's what I have to do, just work. It's all good."

Eakins says Yakupov will be back in the lineup very soon but he was unsure of whether or not it would be in the next game vs. Washington or the one after that in Pittsburgh.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 13.10.2013 / 3:11 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk was noticeably taking last night's loss hard and his head coach commented on the net minder post game.

This morning Dubnyk talked to edmontonoilers.com about last night's game and how disappointed the dressing room was to let that one get away.

"It's disappointing," said Dubnyk. "I think it's disappointing for all of us. In a game we deserved to win, to come out with one point is disappointing. It's not what we deserved last night and we played well enough to win a game and if we keep doing that then we're going to be on the right side."

The back-stop was encouraged however, by the way the team has been coming together knowing that last night was one of, if not their best game of the season.

"I thought we out-played them. I thought we played a real good game. We worked hard, we got pucks in and we moved pucks up. Guys were in good spots. There were just a couple of small things and that's it. A bounce here or a save there and we're on the right side of that game.

Like I said, if we play like that and work as hard as we did we're going to win a lot of games in a row. It'll happen and it's going to happen soon. We're right there from starting to rattle off a bunch of wins in a row."

Coach Eakins says he is leaning towards playing Jason LaBarbera against Washington tomorrow night but had not committed to that 100%, leaning on his assistant coaches for their opinions before a decision will be made.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 12.10.2013 / 11:13 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

In a game where offence was clicking and scored five goals, the Edmonton Oilers failed to produce on defence resulting in a 6-5 overtime loss.

Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk stopped 20 of 26 shots and seemed to take the loss especially hard.

"I think all of our guys are taking it extra hard," said Head Coach Dallas Eakins. "That kid's in there and he's fighting. He's fighting and he cares and he wants to win and he understands his position is one that people are very critical of. Listen, all our players take these heavily. That's a tough way to lose a game after you've fought hard for 60 minutes."

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POSTED ON Saturday, 12.10.2013 / 11:12 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Head Coach Dallas Eakins did some tinkering with the forward lines before tonight's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. In a 6-5 overtime loss, the line of Ryan Smyth, Mark Arcobello and Jordan Eberle was a big bright spot for the Oilers.

"I thought they were excellent," said Eakins. "I thought they were moving. Smyth had great life in his legs tonight. Arcobello and Eberle were really controlling the puck well, they had some great net drives. The one goal that they hit Smyth on the back door was excellent. That was a real good line for us."

That line combined for three goals with Smyth finishing with two goals, Eberle with one and Arcobello finishing the game with three assists.

"I felt good," said Arcobello. "I was comfortable, I was making plays and confident with the puck. I think it was one of those games where things were going well for me. I felt pretty confident."

Although it was just the first time this line competed with one another, signs were that it was a good fit.

"We found some chemistry tonight and hopefully, if this is the way coach wants it, we'll produce," said Smyth.

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INSIDE THE OILERS BLOG