"That's a veteran guy," said Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins. "He comes in with a little swagger… He was good. The only one they got by him was tipped."
Bryzgalov's entry into the game was met by a loud ovation from the Edmonton crowd.
"It's very nice from them," Bryzgalov said. "I didn't even know that… there was a standing ovation. I was so focused on the game and a little bit nervous too. That's why I maybe not paid attention to that moment that was outside the game."
The goalie is scheduled to make his first start as an Oiler against either Nashville on Thursday or Columbus on Friday night.
Ilya Bryzgalov is expected to make his debut for the Oilers this coming week when the team has a back-to-back on the road in Nashville and then Columbus.
Head Coach Dallas Eakins confirmed today that he'd like for Bryzgalov to start either in Nashville against the Predators or against the Stars.
"I'd like him to play one of the two games," he said.
Bryzgalov has played two games this season for the Oilers' AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City, with a 1-1-0 record and a 3.03 goals against average and .888 save percentage.
Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins has taken on a more scruffy look with his facial hair recently. When asked about his beard a few games back, Eakins said it would be gone the next day. However, the coach has kept the facial hair due to the team's recent success.
Not normally superstitious, Eakins says it was a request from players and coaches in the dressing room that he'd keep the beard going while the team was successful.
"We had some requests to keep it so that's my commitment to the team," said Eakins. "I'll keep this. Actually, my wife quite likes it which is interesting. Maybe she's going blind but we'll keep it, keep it rolling and have a little fun in the dressing room… For a guy who used to make fun of everyone's superstitions, I'm starting to get there myself."
The Oilers are on a three-game win streak, hoping to extend that streak tonight.
When the Saskatchewan Roughriders host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the 101st CFL Grey Cup today at 4 p.m., there will be at least one Edmonton Oiler watching with a vested interest in the outcome.
Regina, SASK native Jordan Eberle is a big Roughriders fan and is excited to root for the home team in the championship game.
"I'm pretty excited," said Eberle. "The 'Riders are playing in their home city. It's going to be good. I've gotten a lot of pictures and tweets from buddies that are back home right now. There's a pretty good mood around the city… I don't think anyone is working. It's going to be good."
As the game will be played in Regina, things could get ugly for Eberle's hometown should the 'Riders lose to Hamilton.
"There might be a riot I think. But I think they've got a pretty good chance. They played pretty well in the Conference Finals, so I am looking forward to it."
Edmonton veteran forward Ryan Smyth takes a different approach to today's game and who he wants to see hoist the Grey Cup.
"Neither of them," said Smyth. "But my wife is from Moose Jaw, so she's from Saskatchewan, so I'll probably go with them. I think they're going to dominate."
Smyth is an Edmonton Eskimos fan.
Big, physical forward Jesse Joensuu has been relegated to fourth-line duties since returning from his back injury. It is a challenge for the 26 year-old Finnish born player to play a more limited amount of minutes on limited shifts.
"I feel good," said Joensuu. "We're playing, sometimes, small minutes so it's tough to get into the game but at the same time, you get paid to do this and everybody wants to play in the NHL. You need to work on being ready whenever you're called on to go to the ice."
The forward says it can be more difficult to find a groove when his time on the ice is limited.
"Every hockey player will tell you when they play more, it's easier to play and they play better. There's a lot of guys who are ahead of me in the lineup and I obviously knew that. That's no shock to me and they're playing good. Our line, we have to bring energy and play as good as we can with those minutes and that's obviously the only way you can play more in the future."
Joensuu has not recorded a point since opening night against Winnipeg on October 1. He has also seen less than eight minutes of ice time in four of his last five games, excluding over 12 minutes against Columbus on November 19.
Against Columbus, Joensuu had a decent game, chipping in a team-high five hits while adding a blocked shot as well in 12:14 on the ice.
He understands that comes with the territory of skating on the fourth line and knows that if he wants more ice time, he'll have to earn it.
"This is the only thing I have to work on in my life. This is my work and the only thing I have to focus on. If I have done a poor job, I just have to find a way to do it better. I can't really complain."
Today's lineup is the same as it was yesterday.
Oilers on the ice at Millennium Place, lines same as yesterday.— Tom Gazzola (@TomGazzola) November 24, 2013
Arcobello and Jones are not on a designated line, in black.
Belov- J. Schultz
Philip Larsen (injured) remains absent.
Watching practice today, there was clearly a different feel to the mood and pace on the ice. The players were smiling, laughing and having a good time. They even made Nail Yakupov do a lap while being shot at with pucks due to his tardiness to the team huddle, all in good fun.
The team is in a much better place after three wins than it was even a week ago.
"It's nice," said Justin Schultz. "Coming to the rink after winning games is something that we haven't had a lot of this year. It makes it more fun for us to come here and hang out for with the guys and it's a fun atmosphere."
Although there is happiness due to recent success, there must also be caution.
"It's nice to feel that way," said David Perron. All that we've got to remember is that it can go the other way in a hurry, mostly with the spot that we're in right now in terms of the standings. We've got to make sure that we're coming to the rink with a positive attitude obviously, and that's the thing (we talked about). Not getting too down on our losses.
"I felt like I was taking some of the losses really to heart and it was tough coming in the next day. It's like wins, you have to forget and turn the page the same as losses. It's nice to have that feeling going right now in practice. You can tell even in workouts off the ice, with the loud music in the gym and stuff like that, that it's a lot of fun. But we've just got to remember, we've got to keep doing the little things right and that's why we've had success."
With the Oilers winning three-straight games, they are now on the second day of a three-day stretch where they will not play a game. With a big litmus test, the Chicago Blackhawks, looming on Monday, the question is whether or not the team would have rather just kept playing and carrying momentum versus getting some rest.
"You can look at it both ways," said David Perron. "That's the way the schedule is and we'll just go with it. There's nothing we can do early on when we played a lot of road games and stuff like that. It's probably something we'd wish we'd had more home games. That just means that now we'll have more. It's something, we've just got to roll with the schedule and whatever happens, happens. We've got to pour on the best effort we can every single night and get wins."
While it would have been nice to just keep playing, the rest and extra practice time is welcomed.
"A little bit of both," said Justin Schultz. "You want to keep playing when you're playing well. It's tough, but at the same time, it's good for us to get some rest and get some practice in and we'll be prepared for Chicago."