INSIDE THE OILERS
POSTED ON Friday, 03.25.2016 / 1:50 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers winger Patrick Maroon was named the first star of the game in Edmonton’s 6-3 win over the Sharks in San Jose last night. He scored a goal and added two assists and five shots in an impressive effort. That was Maroon’s second career three-point night.

“I don’t really judge myself after games,” said Maroon. “Some games I’ve played terrible and I’ve played some terrible games as an Oiler, maybe a couple. Last night, I thought I felt good. I thought our line played good in all three zones. We were breaking out clean in the defensive zone and we did good offensively leading to some zone time. I thought we did a good job of that. The more time we do that, the more successful we’ll be.”

Maroon was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks at the trade deadline. The hulking winger has played 11 games for the Oilers and has nine points (3-6-9). He is consistently playing a top-six role with Edmonton and has shown a knack for going to the net and playing with skilled linemates, such as Connor McDavid and Jordan

“It’s been going good so far,” said Maroon. “The coaches and the brass have given me a chance to play in the top six. For me coming in here I have to seize the opportunity. I’ve got to play good, because this could be a spot for the taking and maybe for my future, it could be good for me. Obviously, playing with Connor and Ebs is pretty easy. They have really good skill, good speed in the neutral zone, good and clean breakouts so that really helps for me. I just try to play big and physical and go to the net and try to open space for those two.”

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POSTED ON Friday, 03.25.2016 / 1:46 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers didn’t have the first period against the San Jose Sharks they wanted or expected. By the end of the opening 20 minutes Thursday night, Edmonton found themselves down 2-0.

Lauri Korpikoski got the important first goal for Edmonton 1:39 into the second period, after the team received chastisement from Head Coach Todd McLellan during the intermission. Following Korpikoski’s tally, the Oilers comeback continued.

Taylor Hall scored at 8:18 of the middle frame and Adam Clendening gave the Oilers their first lead just 45 seconds later. Following a Sharks goal to tie the game at 3-3, Patrick Maroon responded for the Oilers and they never surrendered the lead again. Hall’s empty-net goal at 19:54 of the third closed out the 6-3 win.

“It was huge coming back from behind,” said Korpikoski. “We haven’t had too many of those lately. The first period is something we all learned from. We weren’t ready to go in that one, but the last 40 was a lot better.”

With San Jose trying to clinch a playoff spot with a win against the Oilers, it was impressive that Edmonton was able to not only come from behind, but beat a motivated team in their own barn.

“It says a lot. It says we’re capable of doing that, and it says basically going forward into next year, if we play like that, we can beat any team in this league. That’s a good sign,” said Maroon. “The last month of this season, it’s probably the hardest to play. It’s like playing playoff hockey. Some teams are trying to make it, some teams are trying to clinch a playoff spot so they’re playing for their spots. To come back and win shows good character in the locker room and good response, good poise and the leaders took charge.”

The playoffs are not in the team’s immediate future, but showing resiliency down the stretch is better than the alternative.

“We may not be in a playoff spot this year but it gives us confidence going into the summer that if next year we come back and play 60 minutes (every game) then we can be a playoff team,” said defenceman Jordan Oesterle.

Maybe momentum won’t carry into 2016-17, but lessons learned may and momentum can at least provide a boost heading into their showdown with Los Angeles Saturday night.

“It definitely gives us some momentum going into LA, and it definitely gives the boys a boost of confidence leaving San Jose with two points,” said Oesterle. “We came out in the first not the way we wanted and responded well in the second and third.”

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POSTED ON Friday, 03.25.2016 / 11:50 AM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers have hit the ice for practice at the SAP Center in San Jose before flying to Los Angeles this afternoon.

Darnell Nurse and Cam Talbot are not participating.

Stay tuned for full coverage.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 03.24.2016 / 4:00 PM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

In two weeks, Oil Country will celebrate the last NHL game in Rexall Place history.

The Wednesday, April 6 game vs. Vancouver and post-game farewell ceremony will feature 100+ Oilers alumni in attendance. Each day leading up to the game, we’ll announce five Oilers alumni who are scheduled to attend, starting with the first five today.

Jari Kurri joined the Oilers in 1980 and played 10 legendary seasons, winning five Stanley Cups. Not long after his arrival, he was paired with teammate Wayne Gretzky, and the duo became one of the most prolific scoring tandems ever to play in the NHL. In the 1984-85 season, the Finn scored 50 goals in his first 50 games and finished the year with 135 points. Kurri recorded 601 goals and added 797 assists in 1,251 games for 1,398 points with Edmonton, as well as 233 points in 200 career Oilers post-season games.

Willy Lindstrom started his hockey career in the World Hockey Association with the Winnipeg Jets. He went on to play nine seasons in the NHL, two of which were spent as an Oiler. In that time, Lindstrom recorded 40 goals and added 41 assists in 163 games for 81 points and won two Stanley Cups in 1984 and 1985.

Petr Klima played four seasons with Detroit from 1985-89 before being traded to the Oilers (along with Joe Murphy and Adam Graves) during the 1989–90 season. The Czech forward played four seasons with the Oilers, recording 118 goals and 85 assists in 258 games. Klima scored the winning goal in the third overtime of Game 1 of the 1990 Stanley Cup Final against former Oilers goalie Andy Moog of the Boston Bruins. Klima played for the Oilers until 1993, winning the Stanley Cup in 1990.

Eddie Mio was part of the legendary WHA trade that sent Wayne Gretzky (along with Peter Driscoll) from the Indianapolis Racers to the Oilers. The 5-foot-10 goaltender played two seasons with Edmonton, seeing his first NHL action during the days of the Oilers’ transition from the WHA. Mio won 16 games in 1980–81 before he was traded to the New York Rangers.

Ryan Smyth was selected by the Oilers in the first round (sixth overall) in the 1994 NHL Draft. The winger went on to play 15 seasons with the Oilers. He spent 12 seasons with Edmonton before he was traded to the New York Islanders in 2007. After five seasons playing with three other NHL teams, the Oilers reacquired Smyth in 2012. The perennial fan favourite recorded 386 goals and added 456 assists in 1,270 games for 842 points with Edmonton, as well as 59 points in 93 career Oilers post-season games. Smyth is tied with Anderson for the most regular season power-play goals in franchise history with 126.

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POSTED ON Monday, 03.21.2016 / 1:37 PM MT
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POSTED ON Monday, 03.21.2016 / 1:29 PM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

It’s natural to love when a plan comes together. When everything works just as you practiced, every pass, every play just clicks.

But Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan said that just because one night showed significant gains, doesn’t mean it’s always going to go that way.

“Some days you feel good, some days you’re not sharp, you’re sluggish, timing, ice conditions — they all come into play,” he said.

“Five-on-five, power play — any type of situation. You can’t just bottle one game up on four, five power-play goals and think it’s going to happen every night. You get the reward, you take a deep breath and you let your guard down a little bit and perhaps we’ve done that again too.”

Edmonton rocked their power play against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday, scoring on four of six opportunities, which lead them to a 6-4 victory.

Last night, the Oilers were unable to capitalize on all four power plays during their game against the Colorado Avalanche.

“One [player] can destroy five,” said McLellan. “When you’re on a power play if one is making a bad decision and one is making poor reads [it] affects the mindset of the power play. Now, last night it was one at a time, it wasn’t just one individual. They were taking turns making poor reads, but continuing to work it to get them to understand why certain things happen on the power play is important and we’ll continue to do that.”

The Oilers have continued the cycle at practice, working on moulding and shaping their power play.

“We’ve spent a lot of time on the power play, hours on end really,” said the benchboss. “I do believe we’re getting better, I think we’ve seen some results. We had some real good scoring opportunities and then we just had some really poor puck decisions and poor passing. That’s a little bit surprising for me when you can put that type of talent on the ice, they seem to be forcing things, so we’ll clean it up and get better.”

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POSTED ON Monday, 03.21.2016 / 11:57 AM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan said that it’s unlikely forward Patrick Maroon will make it into the lineup tomorrow night against the Arizona Coyotes.

“He’s not feeling good,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “I don’t think he’ll be ready to play tomorrow in Phoenix, so probably San Jose.”

Maroon was absent from practice this morning as the Oilers took to the ice in Leduc.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound forward was acquired on February 29 from the Anaheim Ducks. Maroon has recorded two goals and added four assists for six points in 10 games this season.

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POSTED ON Monday, 03.21.2016 / 9:06 AM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers have hit the ice in Leduc.

Patrick Maroon is absent from practice. Adam Cracknell is skating in dark blue with the top six forwards.

Lines:

Cracknell-McDavid-Eberle
Hall-Draisaitl-Pakarinen
Korpikoski-RNH-Yakupov
Hendricks-Letestu-Kassian

Reinhart-Oesterle
Sekera-Fayne
Nurse-Clendening

Benoit Pouliot, Brandon Davidson, Eric Gryba and Oscar Klefbom are all not skating.

Stay tuned for full video and blog coverage after practice.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 03.20.2016 / 11:27 PM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

It was sink or swim for the Colorado Avalanche tonight, who needed a win over the Oilers in order to continue their playoff push in the Western Conference.

Their hard work paid off as they finished the night with a 3-2 victory.

“I thought we had a good start to the first period where we pushed quite a bit,” said Avalanche Captain Gabriel Landeskog. “Obviously, they got a power play at the end of the first there that they pushed back at. But, other than that, I think we played a pretty solid game from start to finish and obviously our power play was key tonight.”

Landeskog who returned to Colorado’s lineup after serving a three-game suspension for cross-checking Anaheim Ducks defenceman Simon Despres on March 9, opened scoring late in the second, slipping the puck inside the right post past an outstretched Laurent Brossoit.

“[I] felt good, it’s tough watching,” he said. “I was hungry and ready to go but the guys have done a great job throughout the road trip here to make sure that we’re in a good spot, and I was just hungry to come and help out.”

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POSTED ON Friday, 03.18.2016 / 11:34 PM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

It was tough goings for the visiting Canucks as the Oilers blanked Vancouver with a 2-0 victory, Friday night.

Confusion midway through the second period saw a goal from Canucks forward Brendan Gaunce waved off.

“That was a tough one, I still don’t really get it,” said Vancouver Captain Henrik Sedin. “They tried to explain it to everyone. For me, they [said they] called it off because he batted it in with his hand, but then they came back and said it was a goalie interference.”

Nearly five minutes later, Oilers forward Jordan Eberle flicked a shot from the left circle through the five-hole of goaltender Jacob Markstrom, taking a 1-0 lead, and putting a damper on Vancouver’s momentum.

“It was nice to get a [would-be] goal there, again we’ve got to think about the way we play and our process here of trying to get better,” said Sedin. “It was a tough one today but overall we played a good game.”

The third of five meetings between the teams, the Oilers are now 2-0-1 in the series.

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INSIDE THE OILERS BLOG