BLOGS
POSTED ON Friday, 02.20.2015 / 9:05 AM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers announced on Friday morning that defenceman Jordan Oesterle has been recalled from the AHL's Oklahoma City Barons and centre Anton Lander has been placed on injured reserve.

This is Oesterle's first NHL tour of duty. He has played 49 games this season in his rookie AHL campaign and has six goals and 15 assists for 21 points along with a +5 rating and six penalty minutes. He is second in scoring among Barons defencemen this season.

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POSTED ON Monday, 02.16.2015 / 3:24 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers prospect Leon Draisaitl has been named the WHL's Player of the Week. From the WHL's official press release:

ROCKETS’ DRAISAITL NAMED DENNY’S WHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK

CALGARY, AB -The Western Hockey League announced today that Kelowna Rockets forward Leon Draisaitl is the Denny’s WHL Player of the Week for the week ending February 15th, 2015.

Draisaitl collected nine points (2g-7a), while posting a plus-four rating in four games over the past week to help lead the Rockets to a 3-1-0-0 record over that span.

On Monday, February 9th, Draisaitl tallied two assists to lead the Rockets to a 5-2 win over the Prince George Cougars. On Friday, February 13th, Draisaitl collected three assists against the Victoria Royals in a 7-3 victory while also earning first star honours. Draisaitl concluded the week with a four point performance (2g-2a) against the Moose Jaw Warriors on February 14th in which he scored the game-winning goal and added another in a 6-0 shutout victory.

A 19-year-old Cologne, Germany native, Draisaitl has gathered 27 points (9g-18a) along with a plus-nine rating in 17 games this season. The 6’1”, 210 lb forward is in his third WHL campaign and first with Kelowna. Draisaitl has amassed 190 points (68g-122a) in 145 career WHL regular season contests and was selected third overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2014 NHL Draft.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 02.15.2015 / 2:39 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Ben Scrivens spoke to Oilers TV's Tom Gazzola after practice on Sunday to talk about his recovery from a hamstring injury.

“It’s progressing well. I’m feeling good in practice. It’s getting a little better every day,” Scrivens began. “I’m doing what the doctors and trainers are telling me to do and doing everything I can to get back as quickly as possible.”

Scrivens said that the play came about from a fluke incident where he was trying to scramble back to the net in New Jersey to prevent a goal.

“I went to play the puck behind the net, it wasn’t a great puck play, I kind of gave it away. Tried to get it to Schultzie and turned it over and a guy try to come and stuff it really quickly. I came out and spread and jammed the post so I was in a full spread and torqued it a little extra.

“You kind of feel something but obviously I was good enough to keep going. It tightened up that night and I talked to the trainers and started to get treatment done the next morning.”

Coach Nelson added that he expects to see Scrivens back on the team's upcoming three-game homestand which starts Wednesday against Boston.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 02.15.2015 / 2:38 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

There was a myriad of injury updates following Sunday's practice. Tom Gazzola spoke with Benoit Pouliot, who played his first game on Saturday after missing five with a foot injury.

“I felt good. The foot felt good. It wasn’t really the game I was hoping for but I’ll talk personally. I think I felt okay. In the third I felt a little bit better. The first two periods were slow but after that I gained speed,” said Pouliot.

Boyd Gordon and Matt Hendricks both didn't skate on Sunday. For Gordon, interim head coach Todd Nelson termed it a maintenance day. For Hendricks, the hope was a day of complete rest would show some more recovery.

“He tried it yesterday (at pre-game warm-up in Ottawa). We thought a day of rest today would be better off. We’ll try it again tomorrow morning,” said Nelson, adding that losing a player like Hendricks hurts the team.

“Let’s face it. He’s an emotional guy, he’s a glue guy in the room and he’s a leader. The thing is, any time you lose a guy like that out of your lineup, you’re going to miss him.”

Nelson added that Ben Scrivens, who was retroactively placed on IR on Saturday, will not play tomorrow due to his hamstring injury but is a potential for the team's upcoming three-game homestand.

“He’s not going to be available for tomorrow. We’re just trying to get him ready for our homestand at home.”

Another absence at skate was Rob Klinkhammer. He will likely not play on Monday, but for a different reason. When he landed in Winnipeg, he got news that his wife was in labour. He immediately jumped in a car and drove overnight to Lethbridge. He is still awaiting word on the new addition to his family.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 02.15.2015 / 2:27 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

One day after a disappointing 7-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators, the Oilers were back on the ice in Winnipeg and looking to bounce back.

“We had a really good meeting before practice. We had a spirited practice out there and the guys competed hard. That’s the great thing about the game of hockey. We got to wake up this morning, get back in the saddle and try to rectify things,” said Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson.

Nelson added that the way the team played was odd to him considering they had made some great strides throughout the week with three excellent games, particularly against two tough Eastern Conference teams in New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens.

“I wish I could figure it out. I’m sure every coach would like to figure it out because it’s pretty odd, right? Especially when we were trending in the right direction and then we come out with that performance,” Nelson continued.

“There were so many things. All 20 guys were culprits. Just our thought process with our system work, making plays, our execution was off. It was one of those games. I think the most important thing now is us moving forward and trying to get back to where we were in Montreal and Long Island.”

Benoit Pouliot added that he felt the team could give a lot more than they showed on Saturday.

“You don’t want those games to happen too often. Yesterday afternoon was pretty embarrassing. Just the way that we played. We didn’t really try that hard. Intensity was low and they scored seven goals. It showed. We can’t play like this or we’ll be like this every night.”

Jordan Eberle did add that despite the loss, the team has been showing positive signs.

“We’re definitely playing better as a team, with the exception of last game. Before that, we were really starting to hum,” Eberle began.

“When we play bad, we lose. It’s plain and simple but now when we play good and play the right way, we’re winning. That just shows the signs of a good team. We just have to bring that consistent level every night and play the way we know we can.”

Eberle expects a battle on Monday night against a Winnipeg team coming off the high of a shootout win in Detroit.

“Moving forward to Winnipeg, they’re a good team. They play a lot like Ottawa. They’re big, they’re strong and they’re fast. We know they’re going to come around in our face so we have to play a lot better than we did.”

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POSTED ON Sunday, 02.15.2015 / 11:11 AM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
The Oilers are on the ice for practice in Winnipeg this afternoon. Boyd Gordon, Matt Hendricks and Rob Klinkhammer are not skating.

Forward Lines:

Purcell - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Hamilton - Roy - Yakupov
Pouliot - Lander - Pakarinen
Gazdic - Fraser

UPDATE:
Klinkhammer is in Lethbridge with his wife awaiting the arrival of his child.
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POSTED ON Saturday, 02.14.2015 / 11:58 AM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers have activated forward Benoit Pouliot from the injured reserve list; Place goaltender Ben Scrivens on IR.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 02.14.2015 / 11:36 AM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers are on the ice for warm-up in Ottawa prior to this afternoon's game. Benoit Pouliot and Matt Hendricks are both out there for the visitors.

Luke Gazdic is also on the ice while Matt Fraser is not.

Line combinations coming.

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POSTED ON Friday, 02.13.2015 / 1:30 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Benoit Pouliot skated with the team for the third straight time as he appeared to be getting closer to a return to the lineup.

Coach Nelson said a final decision will be made on Saturday morning to determine if he's ready to play the Senators at 2:00 p.m. local time (12:00 p.m. MST).

“When you add a guy like Benny it’s always going to help your team. Tomorrow morning we’ll have another discussion to see where we’re at. There’s a lot of questions up in the air with the lineup tomorrow so we’ll have the rest of the day to think about it and see how guys are. We’ll make decisions tomorrow.”

Matt Hendricks did not practice today. He blocked a handful of shots against the Canadiens and at least one of them hurt a little more than usual.

“Matty took a puck off the ankle and today was a day where he wasn’t able to go out and practice. If anybody knows Matt, he wants to go out there and play. Tomorrow morning we’ll re-evaluate him and we’ll see if he’s good to go for tomorrow.”

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POSTED ON Friday, 02.13.2015 / 1:27 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

After an emotional win on Thursday in Montreal, the Oilers had a very spirited practice at the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata, near Ottawa. The team was still coming off the high of one of their best victories of the season.

“I’m going to enjoy this the rest of the day and tomorrow morning when I wake up we’ll get geared up for Ottawa," said Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson following practice. "It was a big win for our hockey team. We played well. We stuck with our game plan and today’s a good day for the guys to enjoy themselves.”

The practice was brief and to the point, lasting about 30 minutes.

“We worked hard. It was short but we can enjoy this. It was a big win for us.”

Coach Nelson talked about the importance of the victory, helping to reinforce the message after the team played so well on Tuesday against the Islanders but came away with zero points.

“Bouncing back after the Islanders game was huge for us. We played well but didn’t get rewarded. Last night we did. It was a good sign for us. The guys feel good about it.

“We have to keep on pushing forward. Last night was one game. It was a big game for us character-wise but we have to keep building on that and moving forward.”

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