When Colorado's Patrick Bordeleau took a charging penalty for his hit on Ryan Jones, the Oilers deterrent was quick to respond. Luke Gazdic and Bordeleau dropped the gloves, and after a few quick hits by the Avalanche tough guy, Gazdic quickly overtook his opponent.
What makes Gazdic's fight impressive for Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins is not only that the opponent he was facing, but also his quickness to stick up for a teammate.
"I will say this, I have a lot of respect for Patrick Bordeleau," said Eakins. "I've coached against that kid in the American League. I have never, ever seen him lose a fight. He is as tough as they come and he's improved so much as a player, I've watched this kid develop. Luke coming in to let him know that weren't going to take that kind of stuff was excellent. He came out on top in that fight. We want to stick up for each other and it's not always a fight. Sometimes it's just a push or a shove or some kind of verbal response. That's what we need. We need to stick up for each other."
Gazdic has filled his fight card with some heavy hitters this season. He has fought established tough guys like Brandon Prust, Brian McGrattan and Jared Boll.
You can watch the full fight from tonight's game below:
The former 2nd round pick and 21-year-old defenceman, Martin Marincin received some decent reviews following his NHL debut.
"I thought he was good," said Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins. "I thought he was solid back there. I thought at a couple of times in the game, he had maybe a little nerves, which is totally natural. We were comfortable with giving him a little bit of power play time and he played just a solid game. That's all you want out of, not only a guy playing his first game, but every night from your defencemen. Play solid, play simple and he did that. That's a great, great start to that young man's career."
Marincin played over 15 minutes in the game, including 2:28 on the power play. Marincin finished +1 and added two hits in his debut.
The Oilers announced this afternoon that defenceman Anton Belov has been assigned to the Oklahoma City Barons.
Belov, 27, has four assists and is -6 in 27 games so far this season with Edmonton.
General Manager Craig MacTavish announced today the Edmonton Oilers have recalled defencemen Martin Marincin and Corey Potter, as well as forward Anton Lander from the American Hockey League’s Oklahoma City Barons.
In addition, the Oilers have assigned forward Will Acton and defenceman Denis Grebeshkov to the Oklahoma City Barons.
This will be Marincin's first NHL call up since being drafted by the Oilers 46th overall in the second round of the 2010 draft. The 6-4 defenceman has played in 20 games for the Barons this season, scoring two goals and adding four assists.
Ilya Bryzgalov has been placed on IR to make room for the transactions.
Lander 2nd on Barons with nine goals and 15 points; Marincin (2-4-6 in 20 games) tied with Fedun for team lead at +4.— Jack Michaels (@EdmontonJack) December 4, 2013
-Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com
Goaltender Richard Bachman was starting to see some success in net. He had earned a 47 save performance against Los Angeles and had earned three straight starts with Devan Dubnyk recovering from an ankle injury.
Then came a freak groin injury in a game against Detroit on November 2. Flash forward to today, and the Oilers goalie is skating with the team again.
"It's coming along," said Bachman. "For me, it feels really good. I pretty much feel ready to go. There's a couple more checkpoints I have to get through in the next day or two before they actually give me the green light. I'm definitely on the right track and it should be soon now."
Bachman was frustrated that the injury happened when it did, following success in net, but also with how it happened.
"It was a harmless play," said Bachman. "I've done it a million times. I just caught it wrong, pop and injured the groin there. That's what happens. You don't mean to hurt yourself, I didn't mean for it to happen at that time. Now it's just important for me to get back on the ice and battle and show I can play again, show where I left off and just keep going and keep pushing."
With goaltending depth needed in the organization and yet another injury to the position, with Ilya Bryzgalov feeling concussion-like and whiplash-like symptoms, Bachman hopes to be back soon.
Four different goaltenders have started at least one game for the Edmonton Oilers this season; Devan Dubnyk, Jason LaBarbera, Richard Bachman and Ilya Bryzgalov. Even further down the pipe, the injuries have affected the Oklahoma City Barons as well. They have had six different goaltenders start a game for them this season and just added a seventh, Ty Rimmer, to their roster this week.
The organization has seen it's fair share of goaltending turnover.
The Oilers defensive core was the target of some criticism by Head Coach Dallas Eakins following last night's 6-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. The coach and his players met today to discuss the breakdowns last night and the need for more communication on the ice.
"As a group, we are all very aware of the breakdowns last night and the challenge is not to turn it into something bigger," said Eakins. "I hope we covered that off this morning. It was a long meeting where I did a lot of talking. I asked for the group's input. They all agreed where we were at. So hopefully, it was just a blip on the radar. Overall over the last five or six games, I've liked our game overall. Now the challenge comes to not turning this into a total loss of confidence, which puts you very deep in a hole that we have been in and we have been trying to dig ourselves out of."
Communication was a major topic in Eakins' post-game presser last night and the players continued discussion of that topic following practice today.
"We've got to talk more," said Justin Schultz. "I think we're getting confused in our d-zone and it's not helping us. We just talk and keep working at it in practice and we should get better."
Defenceman Jeff Petry admitted today that he was responsible for a few of the miscues in last night's loss. He's taking those mistakes to heart and deciding to use those experiences to turn his game back on track.
"It's just a matter of learning from them," said Petry. "Mistakes are going to be made. It's a matter of trying to eliminate them out of the game as quickly as possible."
Last night, Eakins said he wanted to see more from Petry. However, today he was happy that his defenceman faced the media and owned up to his mistakes against Phoenix.
"That's great that he said that," said the Oilers bench boss. "That's the first step, for me. That's a hard thing to do. Especially, when you're not only a player, just human, to accept full responsibility for the mistakes and that's a great trait, thats a great step in the right direction. That being said, yes, (Petry) has been on the wrong end of the stick, so to say, on a couple of goals lately. We have to help there too.
"We don't ever want to pin plays on just one guy. We talked last night after the game and we had a lengthy discussion this morning in our video session about communication. I think on a couple of plays where Petry was the victim, communication could have helped. But it goes back to resetting the player, for me. You eventually get to a point where you have to go back to the bare bones and basics of playing defence. That's what a big part of our meeting this morning was."
Knowing that his coach told the media he wanted more out of him, Petry is looking to respond with better play.
"We've all been in positions like that where we aren't feeling our best and things like that," said Petry. "It's a matter of how you respond to it. I can fall deeper into a hole or I can respond to it. I think that that's what I'm going to focus on, how I'm going to respond."
He added, "You've got to find the positives out of any situation… That game last night wasn't all negative. We played well during bits and pieces of that game so we've got to pick and get some confidence from those moments that we were playing well and we've got to focus on doing that for a full game."
WHITE - Hall-RNH-Eberle
DARK BLUE - Jones-Arcobello-Hemsky
BABY BLUE - Gazdic-Acton-Joensuu-Yakupov
YELLOW - Pitlick
Oiler practice at Rexall. Eakins, Gordon, Perron, Gagner, Smyth not on ice. pic.twitter.com/cxzMIvUkdN— Jack Michaels (@EdmontonJack) December 4, 2013
Hockey is a team sport and when a team is struggling in the middle of a game, communication on the ice is key. Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins was very disappointed with the lack of talking between players on the ice.
"There is absolutely no skill involved in using your voice," said Eakins. "We talk to each other all day. We talk on the phone, we text, we talk amongst each other. Not to be talking on the ice is criminal. It takes no skill. You put five guys out on the ice with no skates on and they don't even need to play hockey, they can at least talk. It's the one skill that is so under-utilized in the game, to me. You have to communicate. You have to talk out there and when you do that, that usually sorts it out very, very quickly."
Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins gave some candid thoughts to the performance of his team following their 6-2 loss to Phoenix.
"Arco's been a good player for us all year," said Eakins. "Tonight I thought he was way off. I thought he had a rough, rough night. It wasn't the Arcobello that we've seen and that happens to players. You're not going to play 82 unbelievable games. That should be your goal obviously, but you understand when guys have hiccups. I'm a little hesitant to throw him totally under the bus. I thought he had an off game, they've been rare. He'll rebound. That's his fight. He's a smart player, he understands angles, he understands where he's supposed to be on the ice and when he gets those battles against those bigger men, he's going to have to use his brain and his stick more than his brawn."
Arcobello, normally known for his solid face-off skills and offensive ability, was just 36% in the face-off dot. He did finish the game with two shots and a team-high three blocks in the loss however.
Jeff Petry finished the night -2, with just one hit on the stat sheet and struggled defensively in the eyes of Coach Eakins.
When asked if he was disappointed in Petry's game, Eakins had this response:
"Yes. With the amount of minutes that he plays and the responsibility that he's given, we need more from him."