BLOGS
POSTED ON Sunday, 01.31.2016 / 3:44 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers


Team Atlantic defeated Team Metropolitan 4-3 in the first game of the NHL's 3-on-3 All-Star Game Tournament, advancing to the final round.

Kris Letang opened the scoring with a wrist shot from the high slot, giving Team Metropolitan Division a 1-0 lead only 1:01 in.

Braden Holtby denied Jaromir Jagr on two great chances from in front about three minutes into the opening period but a minute later, Erik Karlsson's wrister from the slot beat Holtby five hole to tie the game up at 1-1.

Metropolitan regained their lead after Evgeny Kuznetsov completed a two-on-one with Ryan McDonagh, firing the puck into an open net with Roberto Luongo well out of position on the play.

Late in the first period, Luongo made an unbelievable glove save on a slapper from Evgeni Malkin. Moments later, Jaromir Jagr skated in on a breakaway and scored to tie the game with 37.3 seconds to go in the first.

After one period, shots on goal were 10-10 and the game was tied 2-2.

To start the second (and final) period, Malkin scored on a spin-o-rama move on a breakaway to put Metropolitan up 3-2. The goal was scored on Ben Bishop, who replaced Luongo in goal.

Atlantic tied it up again with 7:08 to play. Ekblad quickly redirected a cross-crease pass from Ryan O'Reilly.

With 4:38 to go, Atlantic took the lead when Dylan Larkin fed P.K. Subban on a two-on-one. He ripped the shot past Cory Schneider for the goal.

In the final minute, Letang was denied on a breakaway by Bishop. That was as close as Metropolitan would get.

Final shot count was 22-22.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 01.31.2016 / 12:07 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The NHL has released details of how today's three-on-three tournament will work. They are as follows:

The 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game will feature a 3-on-3 All-Star Tournament. The new format will divide the All-Star Game into three 20-minute games, with star players from each Division making up the four All-Star teams: Pacific, Central, Atlantic, and Metropolitan. Players are facing off for a winner-take-all $1 million prize.

Each game will be 20 minutes in length. Teams will change ends at the 10-minute mark of each game. Games that are tied after 20 minutes will be decided by a shootout.

The Eastern Conference won the Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition and elected to play the first game today. Accordingly, the Atlantic Division All-Stars (wearing black) will face the Metropolitan Division All-Stars (wearing white) in the first of the two semifinal games, followed by

Central Division All-Stars (wearing black) against the Pacific Division All-Stars (wearing white) in the second semifinal.

Other notable rules include:

  • All NHL Rules apply to each game.
  • Each game will be 20 minutes in length, with two 10-minute periods per game.
  • There will be a hard whistle at the 10-minute mark of each game. At this time, teams and goalies will change ends.
  • Video Review will be used to confirm all goals. NHL Hockey Operations will initiate any potential coach’s challenge reviews.
  • All minor penalties will be one-minute in length. Manpower advantages during these penalties will reflect current NHL Rules, where at no time will a team have less than three players on the ice – this may require a fourth and/or fifth skater to be added.
  • Games that are tied after 20 minutes will be decided by a shootout using current NHL shootout rules.
  • All three games will be officiated by referees Dan O’Rourke and Ian Walsh, and linesman Jonny Murray and Vaughan Rody.
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POSTED ON Saturday, 01.30.2016 / 7:13 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Taylor Hall won his heat in the Fastest Skater event at the NHL Skills Competition with a time of 13.654, defeating Ottawa's Erik Karlsson. It was an even race until Karlsson stumbled and got spun around on the final turn, resulting in lost time for the Sens defenceman. Hall didn't expect the format to be the way it was where he had to battle Karlsson directly.

“I didn’t expect that. Kind of find out right before the event. It was still fun to go out there and to see the record being broke. That was pretty cool. He can fly,” Hall said after the competition.

Hall was the only Western Conference skater to win, with the other three heats going to the East. Dylan Larkin also broke Mike Gartner's 20-year-old record of 13.3, coming in at 13.1 in his final full-rink lap. After the Fastest Skater event, East had a 5-1 lead over West.

Overall, Hall had the fourth-fastest time among all skaters.

Hall also passed the puck in the one-timer challenge as part of the relay. He fed pucks to Shea Weber, Drew Doughty and Corey Perry. It took them a shade under 45 seconds to complete the task.

In the Shootout event, Hall did not score on either of his two attempts on Capitals netminder Braden Holtby.

One of the highlights of the night was the Breakaway event, where Brent Burns was dressed in a Chewbacca mask and P.K. Subban dressed up as Jaromir Jagr among other antics.

“I thought that was hilarious. The crowd was amazing tonight and really boosted everyone. Sometimes that breakaway challenge can be a little bit corny but I was laughing the whole time. It was great,” said Hall.
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POSTED ON Saturday, 01.30.2016 / 2:44 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers


A newer tradition that has been added to the NHL All-Star Game in recent years is having the players walk the red carpet prior to arrival at the rink for the NHL Skills Competition. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins did it last year in Columbus and Jordan Eberle in 2012 in Ottawa. This time it was Taylor Hall's turn.

“I think it’s a really good experience. Being able to walk the red carpet isn’t something you get to do every day. Trying to soak it all in and have fun,” Hall began, adding that he's really enjoyed his time so far in the Music City.

“Nashville’s a great city. The weather’s been great. A lot of fan support and being able to do stuff like this is pretty cool,” he continued. “Having fun with it.”

Hall's mom, aunt and cousin have all joined him here in Nashville. The Oilers winger added that he's glad he's been able to share this experience with them.

“That’s one of the best thing is having family here and having them experience it.”

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POSTED ON Friday, 01.29.2016 / 1:40 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers


Oilers forward Taylor Hall will be taking part in three different events at the Skills Competition on Saturday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

He will be one of four players for the Western Conference in Fastest Skater and will also be taking part in the Shootout as well as passing pucks in Shooting Accuracy. The other three skating alongside Hall in Fastest Skater will be: Winnipeg's Dustin Byfuglien, Colorado's Matt Duchene and Nashville's Roman Josi.

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POSTED ON Friday, 01.29.2016 / 1:30 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Taylor Hall spoke to the media at NHL All-Star Media Day on Friday at Bridgestone Arena. Having just got into Nashville yesterday late afternoon, he hasn't had a whole lot of time but has taken advantage of his time so far.

“It’s something I’m very proud of. Just seeing all the guys, being around here and being recognized for your efforts is fun. I’m going to soak it in,” said Hall, adding that he has family coming in later today.

Hall was asked about the three-on-three format, which is a first for the NHL. Pacific Division, with six forwards, three defencemen and two goaltenders will face off against the Central Division in a 20-minute game where each team will play three skaters aside. The winning team will then play the winner of Atlantic vs. Metropolitan. The winner of the final 20-minute game will split $100,000 between the 11 participants.

“I’m actually really excited to play the three-on-three,” said Hall. “I think it’s going to be a good experience. It’s going to be fast. I don’t know about the other guys, but I’m going to try pretty hard. I’m excited for the whole thing.”

It being Hall's first game where he's actually playing — he was a rookie who just did Skills Competition in Raleigh in 2011 — he's trying to embrace every moment of the weekend.

“I always remember Wayne Gretzky saying — I don’t remember how many all-star games he went to — but he always said it was such a great experience and he was honoured to be around guys. I feel the same way. It’s really fun to be here and I’m proud.”

Hall is also excited to get to spend some time in Nashville. A very underrated NHL city, "Nash Vegas" is known for its live music and vibrant nightlife.

“Just hitting the town a bit last night, seeing what the whole vibe is, it’s been fun. When you hear the game is in Nashville you get excited about that. It’s certainly a lot different than other cities. From what I’ve seen so far, they’re putting on a great event so it’s fun.”

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 01.27.2016 / 10:17 AM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers have claimed defenceman Adam Clendening off waivers from the Anaheim Ducks.

Clendening did not play a game for the Ducks after being acquired on January 15 along with David Perron in exchange for Carl Hagelin. Earlier this season he played six games for the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and had three assists. He also played nine games for the Pittsburgh Penguins and had one assist.

He's played 30 career NHL games between Pittsburgh, Vancouver and Chicago with a goal and four assists for five points and a +5 rating.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 9:47 AM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers announced on Thursday morning that defenceman Andrew Ference will be out for the season after undergoing hip surgery. Ference has been on injured reserve for the majority of the season due to the nagging hip injury.

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POSTED ON Monday, 01.11.2016 / 9:44 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
Oilers forward Matt Hendricks has been suspended three games. From the NHL's official press release:

NEW YORK (Jan. 11, 2016) – Edmonton Oilers forward Matt Hendricks has
been suspended for three games, without pay, for boarding Florida Panthers
defenseman Aaron Ekblad during NHL game No. 629 in Edmonton on Sunday, Jan.
10, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced
today.

    The incident occurred at 2:12 of the third period.

    Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on
his average annual salary, Hendricks will forfeit $29,838.72. The money
goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
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POSTED ON Friday, 01.1.2016 / 12:48 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The next step to Connor McDavid's road to recovery happened on New Year's Day. McDavid skated with the team for the first time since breaking his collarbone on November 3, nearly two months to the day.

“It’s good to feel normal again and be out there with them. Today was a little bit of a lighter practice, they were getting ready for tomorrow’s game but it was still a lot of fun to be out there,” McDavid began, while speaking to a relatively large contingent of media considering the holiday.

“It feels really good. There hasn’t been any pain with it since surgery. Obviously, a few days after but it’s felt pretty good for a long time. Just gotta wait for it to heal.”

McDavid talked about the difference in recovery this time around from last year when he broke his hand in a fight in November.

“It’s a little bit different. It’s not like last year with my hand. It’s in a cast and you know it’s broken. But when it feels so good you ask ‘can I do this, can I do that’ but doctors know what’s best. We do x-rays pretty frequently so you know what’s going on in there pretty good,” he said. “It’s their job to worry about that.”

The rookie centre was asked about how he's been able to stay in shape these past couple of months.

“The good thing about this injury is it was an upper-body injury and you can still keep your legs feeling good. I think I was on the bike four days after so that’s no excuse to come back out of shape or anything like that. I feel really good with my legs and all that.

“There’s still a process I have to go through. Today was the first step, being out with the guys. We’ll just kind of go from here, taking contact and doing all that. We’ll see how fast that moves along. Today it felt good to be back out there with them.”

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