INSIDE THE OILERS
POSTED ON Tuesday, 25.02.2014 / 1:34 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers GM Craig MacTavish spoke to the media about next Wednesday's NHL Trade Deadline. We streamed the press conference live right here on edmontonoilers.com and on the Oilers Mobile App.

Or watch the archive of the live press conference here:

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 25.02.2014 / 1:33 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers are on the ice for Tuesday practice and the lineup appears unchanged from yesterday.

The forward lines are as follows, based on jersey colour:

Hall-RNH-Yakupov
Hemsky-Gagner-Eberle
Hendricks-Gordon-Perron
Gazdic-Smyth-Jones/Joensuu

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POSTED ON Monday, 24.02.2014 / 5:05 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
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POSTED ON Monday, 24.02.2014 / 4:58 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers unveiled some line changes at practice this morning and Head Coach Dallas Eakins explained the moves in his media availability.

Ales Hemsky skated on the left wing with Sam Gagner and Jordan Eberle on the second line, while David Perron completes the third line with Matt Hendricks and Boyd Gordon.

“It’s been the constant battle this year with the lines whether to put Perron… because Perron is a top six guy for me, Hemmer is a top six guy and we’ve got other guys also that we could… put on Gordon’s line there,” Eakins said. “The more we talked about it over the break, we wanted to get Perron back there. I think he’s more of a better fit with those guys than Hemmer.”

With Perron on the third line, Hemsky flops sides. That’s something Eakins hopes helps Eberle and Gagner, while providing speed and defence to that line.

“The one thing we haven’t done with Hemmer this year is put him over on that left side,” Eakins explained. “He says he’s comfortable over there, he can play anywhere that we want him to. That’s been the great thing about Ales this year, he’s just done what we’ve asked of him. He’s got no problem going over there and we’ll see how it goes. It’s like always, you put your lines together and man, you get three minutes into the game and you’re already shaking them. That’s where we’ll start and we’ll see how it goes.

“What we’re looking from him is to use his speed. He’s been good for us with his habits defensively this year. We want him to continue that with Gags and Eberle but listen, it brings a little bit more speed to the line and hopefully Ales can pick up right from what he did from his last couple games of the Olympics. I didn’t see him play, but I’ve heard that he played very well.”

Click here to read more on Hemsky and todays changes.

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POSTED ON Monday, 24.02.2014 / 3:35 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins was asked during his media avail on Monday about the team's final 22 games and any potential motivating tools he might use.

One that teams use regularly is to treat the games down the stretch like playoff series in seven-game segments. The Oilers coach was asked if he has done anything similar to that.

“In the past with teams,” Eakins said when asked if he’s tried it.

“My team in the American League, we weren’t very good. We were trying to build a program there and we tried that stuff down the stretch.”

Eakins didn't really elaborate on how successful it was at the time for the Toronto Marlies.

“It’s all about the process. I totally 100% understand what you’re staying. Let’s pretend we’re in a playoff series. Well, let’s all pretend we’re fairies. It’s not going to work.”

It is a mantra that Eakins has been stressing since the start of the season that the team will try and win every single game and that mindset will continue as the season winds down.

“Let’s try to get five wins in the next seven games. It all comes down to the process, and the process is that you can’t get five out of seven unless you win tonight. It comes down to that individual game. I like that approach better and I’m just going to stick with that.”

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POSTED ON Monday, 24.02.2014 / 3:28 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins was asked following Monday's practice about Team Canada's gold medal win on Sunday.

“I did see the game. And yes, I was up early," Eakins began. "The collection of players, awesome. But the biggest thing for me was that that collection of players, which such firepower, as a group said to themselves, ‘Do you know how we’re going to win this? We’re going to win this by playing a great defensive game.’ And I don’t just mean Canada’s defence. Their forwards too, their goaltending were all saying this is how you win. Especially those last two games. Those were clinics. That’s a clinic on how to play hockey."

Eakins added that he felt that the way Canada won stresses what he's been saying all season: defence is the most direct route to winning hockey games and championships.

"It goes to show that you don’t need to have to score five and six goals every night to win. If you play the game right and have good habits, and have the mindset that if the other team doesn’t score we’ve got a pretty good chance to win. Good things are going to happen.

"That was a great job by those players, all their coaches. That was a clinic those last two games."

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POSTED ON Monday, 24.02.2014 / 12:35 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Olympics are officially over and the entire Oilers team is on the ice for practice at Rexall Place.

The forward lines are as follows:

Hall-RNH-Yakupov

Hemsky-Gagner-Eberle

Hendricks-Gordon-Perron

Gazdic-Smyth-Jones/Joensuu

The defensive pairings are:

N.Schultz-J.Schultz

Marincin-Petry

Fraser-Ference

Belov-Potter

Larsen (illness) is participating.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 23.02.2014 / 9:31 AM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe has the best seat in the house for Canada's gold medal ceremony in Sochi, Russia.

Check out this exclusive photo from Lowe.

Canada beat Sweden 3-0 to win their second-straight gold medal.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 22.02.2014 / 4:29 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
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POSTED ON Saturday, 22.02.2014 / 4:27 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers three Olympians have returned to Edmonton. Ales Hemsky was the lone non-participant at practice this morning, while defencemen Anton Belov and Martin Marincin are back in the fold.

“It was my first Olympic games, it was a very high level with a good organization and everything (was good) for us. But we (couldn’t) win,” said Belov who played for Russia.

Belov was thrown into a unique pressure situation in Sochi, playing for the host country on home soil in his first Olympics.

“Yes, for sure, (there was pressure) because this was home Olympic games but when I was on the ice, I (didn’t) think about it,” he said.

Belov finished with the tournament with one goal in five games and averaged 13:21 of ice time.

Marincin, the youngest of the Oilers Olympians, had a great showing at the games, despite what his numbers may indicate. The 22-year-old blueliner played in all four games for Slovakia and finished -4. He gained more minutes with each game and finished averaging 17:04 of ice time.

“That was great for me,” he said. “I played a lot. The first few games we played… with eight defencemen, so my ice time was not good. But then we played with six defencemen and my ice time (went) up. That was good.”

Marincin’s favourite part of the tournament was Slovakia’s 1-0 shootout loss to Russia. It was a good game for the young d-man’s home country.

“First, playing for my country (and) to be in this tournament. I liked our game with Russia. We played very good. It was after the shootout that we lost. I think that was the best game.”

It’s been a great season for Marincin. The NHL rookie is beginning to show the Oilers and their fans that he belongs in the NHL and they made the right decision when the team selected him 46th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

“This season, every time is something good for me. I got a chance in the NHL, I got a lot of experience here and now I (went) to Sochi and got a lot of experience there. Every time I’m learning something new.”

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INSIDE THE OILERS