The Oilers have taken the ice here in Leduc for their third practice of training camp.
Schedule for today is as follows:
10-10:45 a.m. - GROUP A PRACTICE - RINK 1
10:50-11:20 a.m. - GROUP B vs GROUP A - RINK 2 - PERIOD 1
11:20-11:40 a.m. - FLOOD
11:40-12:10 p.m. - GROUP B vs GROUP A - RINK 2 - PERIOD 2
Interviews to follow.
- IN FOCUS | Camp Day 3
- CAMP RAW | Griffin Reinhart - Day 3
- CAMP RAW | Jordan Eberle - Day 3
- CAMP RAW | Cam Talbot - Day 3
- CAMP RAW | Matt Hendricks - Day 3
- CAMP RAW | Justin Schultz - Day 3
- CAMP RAW | Todd McLellan - Day 3
- Jordan Eberle - Camp Day 3
- Matt Hendricks - Camp Day 3
- Justin Schultz - Camp Day 3
- Griffin Reinhart - Camp Day 3
- Cam Talbot - Camp Day 3
- Todd McLellan - Camp Day 3
The summer skate is over and the fall season is around the corner.
Day three for training camp and already the roster has scrimmaged — scrimmaged hard — and has had the chance to play the league’s new 3-on-3-overtime format.
“It’s going to be fun. There’s a lot of room out there, and with the guys we have especially, it’s going to be something I think we take advantage of,” said Justin Schultz.
Now that the Oilers are back at it, Schultz is happy to be getting back into real game-like situations.
“It was good, it’s what you’d expect for the first kind of scrimmage for everyone there. It was tough, we had a practice before and went out there, so it was a long day but it was good,” he said.
Within the group setting, Schultz is also focusing on his own game, looking to improve in areas that will increase his skill and benefit the team in the long run.
“I’m going to try to get a lot more shots off this year, get the puck towards the net and get it through screens,” he said.
According to Cam Talbot, as a player in the NHL, you have to have an attitude where you just want to push yourself to be better and better, day in and day out.
It sounds like a promising attribute for the newly acquired goalie, whose time with the Edmonton Oilers is just beginning.
“Different jersey, different guys but same feel, same energy I think,” he said. “Just real excited to get in here and get to know a lot more of the guys and good to see kind of what the teams going to look like in the future."This is not his first rodeo.
Suiting up in an Oilers jersey and dawning his newly painted goalie mask to match, Talbot looked forward to gearing up for training camp.
“You’re always fighting for something in this league and you’re always trying to push yourself to be better and I think that’s one of the characteristics you have to have in order to make it in this league.”
Cam Talbot just accidentally hit RNH in the face clearing a puck after a drill. Went off ice checking his teeth.— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) September 19, 2015
The groups appear to be the same as Friday morning.
Schedule for today is as follows:
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM - GROUP B PRACTICE
10:50 AM - 11:20 AM - GROUP B vs. GROUP A - PERIOD 1
(Click here to watch some of this scrimmage via Periscope)
11:20 AM - 11:40 AM - FLOOD
11:40 AM - 12:10 PM - GROUP B vs. GROUP A - PERIOD 2
12:45 PM - 1:45 PM - GROUP C PRACTICE
The lines for Group B are the same as yesterday:
However, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins took a puck to the face during the practice and Bogdan Yakimov replaced him on the top line between Pouliot and Eberle for the scrimmage.
Looks like Nugent-Hopkins will sit out the start of scrimmage after taking puck to face in earlier skate. Yakimov centres Pouliot/Eberle— Chris Wescott (@TheChrisWescott) September 19, 2015
- IN FOCUS | Camp Day 2
- CAMP RAW | Todd McLellan - Day 2
- CAMP RAW | Jordan Eberle - Day 2
- CAMP RAW | Connor McDavid - Day 2
- CAMP RAW | Taylor Hall - Day 2
- CAMP RAW | Teddy Purcell - Day 2
- Connor McDavid - Camp Day 2
- Teddy Purcell - Camp Day 2
- Taylor Hall - Camp Day 2
- Todd McLellan - Camp Day 2
- Jordan Eberle - Camp Day 2
Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan rolled out some tentative lines for his team on Friday, at Leduc Recreation Centre.
First-overall pick Connor McDavid skated between Taylor Hall and Teddy Purcell. He said it was a decision partially based on chemistry of two of those linemates but also Purcell as a third complementary player. Also influencing that combination is that McLellan seems very comfortable to roll with Benoit Pouliot, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle as his other top line.
“I’m not sure it can work, I hope it can work. But I know that Pouliot, Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle had a good finish to last year when they were together,” said McLellan. “There’s some familiarity there. They played well at both ends of the rink for the most part and I like that. I think that Connor and Taylor have had a little bit of chemistry throughout their summer and that might help. And Teddy has the ability to shoot the puck and we forget him using his size and that can be a factor on that line.”
McLellan says this is an opportunity for Purcell to step up and he needs to “take advantage of it.”
Another line the Oilers tested out today was one that has Leon Draisaitl centring Anton Lander and Nail Yakupov. That’s a lot of fire power and McLellan almost went out of his way to remind the media they’re a group to watch.
“The interesting line for me is that Draisaitl-Lander-Yakupov line. If we can get them gelling and playing the right way, they can be very dangerous. That’s a goal of ours anyway,” said McLellan.
The Oilers coach also reminded everyone that the lines the team uses in Leduc aren’t finalized.
“What we all have to understand is those lines are very fluid,” said McLellan. “We didn’t even scrimmage today. There’s really no evaluation tool to see if they had chemistry or not. It was a lot about concepts and setting standards more than anything. Later on, that will happen.”
Oilers winger Teddy Purcell shouldn’t be a surprising player to see skating next to Taylor Hall and Connor McDavid. He’s played that role before on a different team. In Tampa Bay, Purcell put up good point totals skating with Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis.
“I like to consider myself a complementary player,” said Purcell. “They’re obviously very tough to play with because they’re very demanding. But at the same time, if you keep it simple and make the right play it usually works out. I learned a lot from ‘Stammer’ and ‘Marty’ and (Vincent Lecavalier) that sometimes you try to force it a lot and that’s not the right play too. If you play the right way, usually it opens up. When the guys are that skilled, eventually it goes in.”
Hall and McDavid are two extremely skilled forwards who are expected to lead the way offensively for the Oilers. Both are first-overall picks.
“It’s nice for your confidence that the coach has that trust in you to try you out with those guys,” said Purcell. “Going to take it day by day and build off day one.”
In 2010-11, Purcell recorded 51 points in 81 games for the Lightning. He followed it up with a 65-point season in 2011-12. He’s shown he can be a good fit on top lines.
Keeping up with the speed and skill of Hall and McDavid might still take some getting used to.
“My groins are a little tight,” Purcell joked. “But I worked enough this summer that, once you get the groove and get to game speed, I think I’ll be fine.”
“It was fun,” said McDavid. “It’s always fun to get out there and skate with your new team or any new guys and get a feel for everything that’s going on.”
Hall came away impressed with how quickly McDavid was able to pick up on what Head Coach Todd McLellan was teaching. Hall says McLellan gave the team a lot to soak in, including two video sessions.
“A lot of information on the first day, but he seems to take it in really well,” said Hall. “That’s a good thing for a hockey player and an 18-year-old, when it doesn’t seem to frazzle them much when a lot is going on. The quicker that he can process that stuff and get playing, it’s going to be good for him.”
Group B is on the ice for the Oilers.
Gazdic-Khaira-Pakarinen (McRae rotating)
#Oilers again rotating pairings but looks like Reinhart-Gryba, Klefbom-Schultz & Musil-Nurse. Simpson rotating in. Pairings keep changing.— Chris Wescott (@TheChrisWescott) September 18, 2015
Nurse-Musil (Simpson rotating)