Korpikoski-RNH-Yak, Maroon-Draisaitl-Eberle, Hall-MCDavid-Kassian, Cracknell-Letestu-Pak, Sekera-Fayne, Reinhart-Clendening, Pardy-Oesterle— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) March 12, 2016
The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have activated centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins from Injured Reserve.
On January 18, the Oilers forward blocked a shot with his glove, injuring his hand during the second period of the Oilers 4-2 victory over the Florida Panthers.
Nugent-Hopkins, 22, has appeared in 46 games with the Oilers this season, registering 30 points (8G, 22A) and 14 penalty minutes.
Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse has been suspended three games for his incident late in the game on Tuesday against San Jose versus Sharks defenceman Roman Polak.
Edmonton’s Darnell Nurse suspended 3 games under Rule 46.2 Aggressor of an altercation with San Jose’s Roman Polak. https://t.co/bdqX4tDHLr— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) March 10, 2016
BLOGS & FEATURES
- BLOG: Wednesday Updates
- BLOG: Nurse has hearing with NHL
- BLOG: Oesterle recalled
- BLOG: Pairing size with skill
- BLOG: Oilers hope to spark Kassian
- PRACTICE | Wednesday in Leduc
- PRACTICE RAW | Taylor Hall
- PRACTICE RAW | Zack Kassian
- PRACTICE RAW | Matt Hendricks
- PRACTICE RAW | Todd McLellan
The Oilers rolled out some new forward lines at practice in Leduc. The common theme, which is a continuation of recent games, is size with skill. Zack Kassian was grouped with Connor McDavid and Taylor Hall. Leon Draisaitl and Jordan Eberle had Patrick Maroon on the wing.
“It’s important,” Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan said of blending the big with the skilled. “Those bigger bodies can hold onto to pucks and create time and space for some of the skilled players down low, but that needs to get done.”
McLellan said Maroon has done a good job of complementing skill, but the team needs to jumpstart Kassian’s game.
“I need to get back playing straight lines,” said Kassian. “I think when you play with two guys like that you need to get in on the forecheck, play physical, open up space, but at the same time play in straight lines and good things are going to happen out of that.”
On the other side of things, Hall sees his skill paired with Kassian’s size. That changes the dynamic for him too, while providing versatility to how the line can attack.
“You have to read the game,” said Hall. “You have to play hockey. You try to take advantage of everyone’s skill set. With Connor, you want to use his speed. If you can get the puck to him in open ice then that’s perfect. We can carry it in, but if you can’t then you want to lay it in and let Zack go to work, let his big body protect pucks, get in on the forecheck and get pucks back for us. That’s what happens when you play with different guys, you learn how to just play to their skill sets.”
Oilers forward Zack Kassian has been held scoreless in five games. Following a 3-0 loss to San Jose, Kassian found himself on a line alongside two of the Oilers most skilled players at practice in Leduc.
“Kassian has to get going again,” said McLellan. “I don’t think he’s been the player he was five or six games ago and we’re giving him a real good opportunity now to capture a spot with some really good players. I’d like to see him take advantage of it. In his case, he’s got to get the forecheck going, he’s got to be the first in on pucks, he’s got to keep plays alive, he’s got to go to the blue paint. There’s a lot of things he needs to do when the play is going on to be effective and we’ve talked to him about that and he’ll be better.”
Kassian recognizes his slump and is eager to turn it around beginning Thursday in Minnesota.
“There’s no excuse. I have to be better,” he said. “I think there were a couple games on the road trip where we got wins but I didn’t play my best and when the team is winning it’s OK, it slides. Then when you lose games like yesterday and you didn’t have another good effort it’s tough. You go home and you really start thinking you want to help this team and you didn’t help the team. It’s something that is going to happen over the long duration of the season but the dips and valleys have to be short. I have to get back on the horse and start playing the right way. I’m looking to do so in Minnesota. We’re lucky as a team, we play a lot of hockey in the next month.”
The Edmonton Oilers have recalled defenceman Jordan Oesterle from the American Hockey League’s Bakersfield Condors.
Oesterle, 23, has appeared in four games with the Oilers this season, recording one assist. In 10 career National Hockey League games he has posted two points (2A).
The Dearborn Heights, Michigan native has recorded 23 points (3G, 20A) and eight penalty minutes in 42 games with Bakersfield this season.
Sekera, Pardy and Hendricks are absent from practice today— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) March 9, 2016
The forward lines are as follows:
Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse will have a hearing tomorrow with NHL Player Safety as a result of an altercation with San Jose’s Roman Polak in last night’s game at Rexall Place.
Edmonton's Darnell Nurse will have a hearing tomorrow under Rule 46.2 (Aggressor) for an altercation with San Jose's Roman Polak.— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) March 9, 2016
Nurse and Polak were each given fighting majors at 18:20 of the third period, with Nurse receiving the extra two minutes for roughing.
The Edmonton Oilers have recalled defenceman Griffin Reinhart from the American Hockey League’s Bakersfield Condors.
Reinhart, 22, has appeared in 15 games with the Oilers this season, posting one assist and 16 penalty minutes.
The North Vancouver, British Columbia native has appeared in 27 games with Bakersfield this season, registering nine points (2G, 7A), 14 penalty minutes and a plus three rating.