BLOGS
POSTED ON Monday, 03.03.2014 / 3:05 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
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POSTED ON Monday, 03.03.2014 / 1:42 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers have officially announced that the team has inked goaltender Ben Scrivens to a new two-year contract.

Scrivens, a Spruce Grove native, was acquired for a third round pick in a trade with Los Angeles on January 15. Since joining the Edmonton Oilers, Scrivens has played in seven games and has posted a .940 save percentage and a 2.15 goals against average.

The goalie ranks first in the NHL in overall save percentage this season (.934).

Scrivens was set to become a free agent at the end of the season.

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POSTED ON Monday, 03.03.2014 / 1:13 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Nail Yakupov returns to the ice for the Edmonton Oilers after missing one game after taking a shot off the foot against Minnesota.

The forward lines are as follows:

Hall-RNH-Yakupov

Hemsky-Gagner-Eberle

Hendricks-Gordon-Perron

Gazdic-Smyth-Jones/Joensuu

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POSTED ON Monday, 03.03.2014 / 1:08 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The AHL has announced that Oilers and Oklahoma City Barons centre Mark Arcobello has been named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the week ending Mar. 2, 2014.

Arcobello scored seven points (3-4-7) in three games for the Barons during that time. Arcobello has been a big part of helping the Oilers affiliate close the gap in the Western Conference standings as the Barons look to make the playoffs.

Arcobello has been on a tear for the Barons since being sent down by the Oilers. The 25-year-old forward has 19 points (7-12-19) in nine AHL games this season.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 02.03.2014 / 2:05 AM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers have made no secret of their intent to change the mentality of the team to that of a ‘defence first’ approach. Head Coach Dallas Eakins spoke about the defence and how they’ve improved in their own end as the season has gone on.

“We’ve cutdown on the chances against,” Eakins said. “We still need improvement, not so much in our zone but we’re really hammering on our guys, we like to call it ‘back pressure’. We want the guys coming back hard out of their zone and through that neutral zone. Early in the game, we weren’t doing it. We were much better in the third. In our own zone, for the most part, I thought we were alright.

“The last goal was just a great lesson for the defenceman there. You’ve got to win the battle. It’s a simple battle and that’s what happens when you lose a battle like that, especially 4-on-4. Defensively, OK. We still have to find more offence. We’ll go right back to it in practice and continue to get those touches. But our top guys have got to find a way. They’ve have to find a way to generate more.”

Scoring is something the Oilers look to adding to their game as they’ve scored one goal in the two games back from the Olympic break.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 02.03.2014 / 2:04 AM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins talked in length about Luke Gazdic after the team’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Flames.

Gazdic knocked out Kevin Westgarth in a fight following the Flames first goal. The incident was a scary one and one Eakins, who says he likes a good fight, was ‘disturbed’ by.

“Luke’s game has improved greatly this year,” Eakins said. “He’s a big part of our team… I’ll admit, I love a good fight but to see Kevin laying on the ice like that, I don’t like that. That’s a disturbing thing for me and you never like to see a guy trying to get off the ice like that. But that’s the danger of those fights… Luke seems to be catching guys almost every time now, maybe not that drastic but the guy is falling out of the fight because he’s been tagged in the right spot. Luke’s doing an excellent job in his roll. He’s improving as a hockey player and his skill set and I personally, certainly hope that Westgarth is okay because that disturbed me.”

Aside from the outcomes of Gazdic’s fights, Eakins has been happy with the rookie’s work ethic and drive to improve his skills.

In today’s NHL, fighting is still a part of the game but those who fight also have to be able to take shifts and play at a high level and Gazdic can do that.

“For me, the guy has got to be able to play,” Eakins said. “The days of the guy just playing one shift and that’s it, and sometimes not even playing a shift just sitting on the bench, they’re gone. You’ve got to be able to play and you’ve got to bring something. Luke skates well enough that he’s able to get in on the forecheck and he continues to work on his skills. He’s been working his butt of in practice with our penalty kill. He’s dying to kill penalties and we may look at that, kind of after the… trade deadline to see if he can do that a little bit. He works extremely hard on his game, we all know he’s tough, the rest of the teams in the league are finding that out but it’s a great progression for him.”

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POSTED ON Saturday, 01.03.2014 / 12:26 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins tweeted out a few lineup updates this morning, before their pre-game skate.

Eakins confirms again that Ilya Bryzgalov will start in net against the Calgary Flames, while his fellow Russians Nail Yakupov and Anton Belov will sit out with injuries.

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POSTED ON Friday, 28.02.2014 / 3:19 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
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POSTED ON Friday, 28.02.2014 / 3:18 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Ales Hemsky is the beneficiary, depth chart wise, of Nail Yakupov’s absence at practice on Friday. Hemsky skated with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall on the Oilers top line at Millennium Place.

Hemsky says the new role is a different one but should he play there, it will only help his offensive game.

“It’s a little change than where I played in the last 30 games or something like that, or 20 games,” Hemsky said. “It’s just my game. If you play with those guys, it just helps you be better and just be better offensively. I’ll take any role they give me in the end. If they put me on the third line or first line, it doesn’t matter. I’ll just try to do the role they give me.”

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POSTED ON Friday, 28.02.2014 / 3:18 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Nail Yakupov’s foot absorbed a heavy shot from a teammate in last night’s game against the Minnesota Wild. He left the bench in the third period and did not return.

While Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins had not yet received an update from the trainers when he spoke to the media, Yakupov spoke sometime later and provided his own.

Justin Schultz just (made) a shot and I was in his lane,” Yakupov said as he described the play. “But it’s okay, it happens sometimes and it’s part of the game, part of hockey and sometimes shots will get your body or your legs when you stand in front of the net. It happens. It’s okay. I think it will be better for sure and I’m just waiting to be in a game again and just play for the Oilers.”

When asked how he felt today, the prognosis is looking good.

“I feel good,” he said. “Much better than yesterday so it’s nothing serious, just got (hit with) a shot. It will take a little time.”

Yakupov confirmed there are ‘no breaks’ which is good news for the Oilers young forward. However, he is unsure as to whether or not he’ll play tomorrow night against Calgary.

“I don’t know. I can’t say anything now but I hope not.”

Yakupov said that although he left the game in the third, he knew right away it wouldn’t be serious. He says he can walk on it and move it. He was at Millennium Place in a walking boot this morning.

“It wasn’t that bad,” he said. “I just couldn’t play the third period and just left but I thought nothing serious.”

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INSIDE THE OILERS