INSIDE THE OILERS
POSTED ON Saturday, 10.24.2015 / 1:19 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Rob Klinkhammer has been given the opportunity to play with two highly skilled players in Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He made the most of it on Friday night by scoring his first goal of the season, tipping in a centring feed from Hall.

What made the goal sweeter for Klinkhammer is that it was his chance for a little redemption.

“I felt it hit me. It hit my stick pretty hard. It’s kind of why I had that celebration,” said Klinkhammer. “I was pretty happy after it because that got me back to even on the night. That first PK goal was 100% my fault. It was a breakdown by me so it felt good to get back to even on the night.”

Klinkhammer is enjoying providing some size and heaviness to the top line.

“It’s great, obviously. Those two players are unbelievable,” he said. “They’re very creative, very high-skilled, two of the best players in the league. I’ve just got to keep up with them. I can’t slow those guys down. Get them the puck and get to the front of the net, kind of like last week.”

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POSTED ON Saturday, 10.24.2015 / 11:13 AM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers have hit the ice for practice at Rexall Place. The forward lines remain the same, except for one small tweak. Iiro Pakarinen is on the right on the fourth line with Anton Slepyshev rotating in.

Hall-RNH-Klinkhammer
Pouliot-McDavid-Yakupov
Korpikoski-Lander-Purcell
Gazdic-Letestu-Pakarinen/Slepyshev

Griffin Reinhart is not participating.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.22.2015 / 4:07 PM MT
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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.22.2015 / 3:30 PM MT

The Edmonton Oilers announced today, they have recalled winger Iiro Pakarinen from the American Hockey League's (AHL) Bakersfield Condors.

Pakarinen, 24, has appeared in four games this season, posting three points (1G, 2A) and four penalty minutes.

The Loviisa, Finland native posted three points (1G, 2A) in 17 games with the Oilers last season. He scored his first career National Hockey League goal on November 7 against the Buffalo Sabres.

The Oilers also announced they have assigned winger Andrew Miller to the Bakersfield Condors.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.22.2015 / 2:32 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers winger Nail Yakupov has been given an opportunity to play in the top six and he has run with it. Yakupov has points in four of the last five games and three straight. In that span, the 22-year-old has posted two goals and four assists for six points.

“He’s starting to figure out what will make him successful,” said Yakupov’s linemate Benoit Pouliot. “He’s going to the right spot, he’s doing the right things and you can see the success he’s having now. He’s getting much better at being more consistent, and following the game plan. I think it helps us. It helps me and (Connor) McDavid a lot.”

Yakupov didn’t start camp or the regular season in the role he has now, but he moved up the ranks due to injury and circumstance. He has earned more of an opportunity with good play along the way. His setup of Mark Letestu in last night’s win over Detroit was a nice play and a smart decision in his own end led to McDavid’s highlight-reel goal later in the game.

“I think he’s earned it. It’s not me rewarding him. It’s him rewarding himself for some really good play and the ability to create on that line,” said Head Coach Todd McLellan. “That line has been very reliable, it’s been dynamic, it’s been good offensively and, more importantly, it’s been fairly good defensively. He should feel good about himself, he should feel good about his linemates, and they should want to keep this alive. That’s their goal now, to keep this line alive, to keep it energized and productive. I believe that Yak’s offence right now is coming from good defensive positioning by his linemates and by him, taking care of responsibilities away from the puck and thus creating opportunities offensively.”

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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.22.2015 / 11:18 AM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Following their 3-1 win last night over Detroit, the Oilers have hit the ice for Thursday's practice.

Line Combinations:

Hall-RNH-Klinkhammer
Pouliot-McDavid-Yakupov
Korpikoski-Lander-Purcell
Gazdic-Letestu-Slepyshev/Miller

Defence:

Klefbom-Schultz
Sekera-Fayne
Ference-Gryba

Davidson rotating in, while Reinhart is absent.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 10.21.2015 / 11:49 PM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Though the Red Wings and Oilers kept pace with each other, Edmonton ended up walking away with the 3-1 win tonight.

“Those two quick goals there for them hurt us,” said Henrik Zetterberg, when reflecting on the nights events.

After Oilers Mark Letestu lit up the scoreboard midway through the first period, Connor McDavid and Teddy Purcell followed suit in the second, scoring just 30 seconds apart from one another.

“I think in the first there we had five shots but it felt like we had a lot more. We felt pretty good after the first period,” said the Zetterberg.

“It was a pretty tight game the whole way. They’re playing with some better structure and when they get the odd-man rushes — you can’t give them that — they’re really good.”

Progress always involves risk and Zetterberg says that some adjustments have been made, and will continue to be made, until they find the right chemistry that works.

“We tried to change it up a bit today, tried to play a little different, we’ve got to get more shots though and the power play has to be better. We know what has to be done and what has to be better and we just have to keep going at it.”

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 10.21.2015 / 3:13 PM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

As Oilers radio play-by-play host Jack Michaels said, Dylan Larkin is “the first teenager to crack the Red Wings line-up in 25 years.”

“He has all the tools,” said Henrik Zetterberg.

Selected 15th overall by Detroit in the 2014 NHL Draft, Larkin has already posted two goals and added four assists for the team this season.

“He’s a great skater first of all, but he knows how to play the game. He’s more mature than a 19-year-old. He’s older, both on and off the ice and it shows.”

From a new linemate to a new coach, Zetterberg says it’s been a bit of a backwards adjustment for the veterans on the team.

“Half the team here had (Blashill) in Grand Rapids so they recognize all the drills in practice right away,” said the veteran player.

“It’s us older guys that have to restart our brains in practice. We’ve been doing the same drills for 10 years and now we have totally new drills in practice, that’s the change.”

However, Zetterberg says that although there has been change, keeping their rhythm hasn’t been too challenging.

“It’s a new voice. That’s the biggest thing for us guys, especially guys who have been here a long time with Mike, but system-wise it’s pretty similar,” said Zetterberg.

“Maybe a little more offensive allowed, but overall it’s not that big a difference.”

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.20.2015 / 2:16 PM MT
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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.20.2015 / 2:03 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers players and coaches couldn't rest easy with just moral victories as they played well against tough opposition but couldn’t get a win through the first four games of the season.

This past weekend, the Oilers went on the road and took down two Pacific Division opponents in their arenas. Edmonton cruised by Calgary 5-2 on Saturday and beat Vancouver in overtime on Sunday.

Those are the kind of wins the team hopes can lead to more confidence, more production and more positivity moving forward.

“It definitely helps out our team, confidence wise,” said Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. “I thought those were two really good games for us. We were pretty consistent throughout both those games. It’s something that we’ve obviously been working on this year, consistency in our play, and we showed that the last two games and against two rivals like that. Getting wins in their building is big for us.”

Head Coach Todd McLellan talked about the team working hard and needing a reward for that work. They got two this weekend and look for a third tomorrow night against Detroit.

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INSIDE THE OILERS BLOG