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INSIDE THE OILERS
POSTED ON Monday, 20.10.2014 / 2:46 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Two players were on the injury report during Head Coach Dallas Eakins’ post-skate press conference. Both Viktor Fasth (groin) and Luke Gazdic (shoulder) got a positive prognosis from their head coach.

“Fasth was on the ice, always a good sign,” Eakins said. “It’s not as bad as we thought, which is good. He’ll just go through his process of rehabilitating that. At first he had heard something pop, which usually means six weeks. But everything has come back way better so we’re encouraged by that.”

Gazdic is getting closer to returning to action as well.

“Luke is on the cusp now of getting closer and closer. He’s not months away, he’s weeks away.”

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POSTED ON Sunday, 19.10.2014 / 3:32 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
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POSTED ON Sunday, 19.10.2014 / 3:31 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Luke Gazdic gave an update on the status of his injury on Sunday after practice, noting that he was cleared for contact a few days ago.

"I'm real close," he said. "I'm taking some pretty big contact, doing all those battling drills and feeling strong."

When asked about timelines, Gazdic felt that he should be back relatively shortly.

"I'd say a couple of weeks away. We'll see how these next few practices go and then re-evaluate here."

Gazdic said it was nice to get battling again in practice after many weeks skating in a non-contact jersey.

"That practice yesterday, we had a ton of battle drills in the corner. It's great to get into that physical aspect," he said. "It's nice to finally hit somebody."

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POSTED ON Sunday, 19.10.2014 / 3:30 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers have had a couple of days to practice and prepare ahead of a busy week in which they'll play two high-powered Eastern Conference foes Monday and Wednesday in Tampa and Washington followed by the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.

"The things we're doing well are our forecheck and ability to close quickly on our forecheck in the neutral zone," said Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins after practice. "We're also continuing to try and get better in a couple areas. Our power play's come off a little bit. We're not overly worried about it but we worked on that."

Eakins added that he also worked a lot on the team's play in its own end.

"Our D-zone coverage. That's nonstop with every team in the NHL. Just looking at the goals from last night (in the game between Vancouver and Tampa Bay), that area in front of the net is critical to every team. We spent a couple of days working hard on that.

"You need compete drills and battle drills in practice. Our guys worked extremely hard on that yesterday."

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POSTED ON Sunday, 19.10.2014 / 3:29 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
It appears the Oilers wil go with the same six defencemen on Monday that they had Friday against the Canucks. The pairings were:

Ference-Petry
Marincin-Fayne
Nikitin-Schultz

That means Brad Hunt will be the odd-man out again. Eakins was asked if he was tempted to put Hunt back in considering the power play has dropped off.

"Huntsy's done a great job but we do have to weigh five-on-five play. We feel Nikitin's coming up to speed now. He got hurt in camp and that held him back a little bit but now we feel he can take the minutes on that second power play right now," Eakins remarked.  

"That leaves Huntsy on the outside but he's ready and waiting for the call."
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POSTED ON Sunday, 19.10.2014 / 1:09 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
The Oilers are on the ice for practice at Rexall Place. The forward lines are the same as Saturday in Leduc, but the defence pairings have changed:

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Pouliot-Arcobello-Yakupov
Purcell-Leon-Perron
Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu

Acton & Gazdic are rotating in on the fourth line.

Defensive pairings:

Ference-Petry
Marincin-Fayne
Nikitin-Schultz

Hunt is rotating in.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 18.10.2014 / 4:18 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
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POSTED ON Saturday, 18.10.2014 / 1:58 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers are on the ice for practice in Leduc. The forward lines are as follows:

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Pouliot-Arcobello-Yakupov
Purcell-Leon-Perron
Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu

Acton & Gazdic are rotating in on the fourth line.

Defensive pairings:

Ference-Petry
Marincin-Schultz
Nikitin-Fayne
Hunt is rotating in.

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POSTED ON Friday, 17.10.2014 / 2:45 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Mark Arcobello will again centre a line with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle, when the Oilers host the Canucks tonight. Those three players have history dating back to their time together in Oklahoma City during the 2012-13 season.

“He’s grown so much as a player since I started playing with him,” Hall said of his centre. “He’s a guy that’s just really consistent out there. You can always expect the same effort out of him. Not saying that in a bad way, he can make plays too with the best of them so it’s fun to play with him.”

Arcobello has two goals and an assist in four games this season.

Oilers top centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will play on a line with Teddy Purcell and Nail Yakupov.

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POSTED ON Friday, 17.10.2014 / 2:40 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers announced this morning that they assigned Darnell Nurse to Sault Ste. Marie of the OHL. The seventh-overall pick in the 2013 draft played two games in the NHL this season before returning to junior.

Head Coach Dallas Eakins addressed the media after the team’s morning skate and said the decision is what’s best for Nurse and the Oilers.

“Obviously, sending Darnell back is a difficult conversation,” Eakins said. “The kid couldn’t do anymore. He played as well as he could but this is what’s best for him and what’s best for our organization in the long run. The best thing for him is to play against his peers right now. We thought he played a really good game against LA. He played well against the Coyotes, but we do have depth at the position. What’s right for him will be right for our organization in the long run. The kid is terribly disappointed. Again, it’s not a fun conversation for everyone. But he will be well served by this decision.”

Nurse returns to the team that he played 64 games for last season, scoring 50 points (13-37-50) and recording 91 penalty minutes.

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INSIDE THE OILERS BLOG