The Oilers are hoping that they can pick up where they left off before the Olympic break, winning five of their last seven games. They feel like their confidence is pretty high as they return to work.
“I think there’s a few teams in the league that haven’t done very well before the break and they’re probably not coming back with the same confidence that we are,” Taylor Hall said. “We have to carry that and make sure that we know the things that we were doing well and just continue them.”
When asked whether or not he thought the team would take off running when the break ends, Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins was undecided on an answer.
“That’s a hard one to answer,” Eakins said. “I’m not sure. All the teams are in the same boat coming back. I think the pulse in the room yesterday and today was upbeat. Even though we fully understand where we’re at in the standings, I think getting some points and especially with how we played the last two games, were real positive signs. Hopefully we can pick up where we left off. But it will be interesting to see, not only how are team comes out of it but how the top teams come out of this. This is real interesting with having players over there playing, coming back from huge time zone changes and see how teams do pick up afterwards.”
Thursday practice is underway at Rexall Place.
The lines, by jersey colour, are as follows:
Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Yakupov
Gazdic - Gagner - Eberle
Hendricks - Gordon - Perron
Joensuu - Smyth - Jones
Philip Larsen (illness) is participating.
MINI-CAMP RAW | Jordan Eberle
MINI-CAMP RAW | Andrew Ference
MINI-CAMP RAW | Jesse Joensuu
MINI-CAMP RAW | Ryan Smyth
IN FOCUS | Back to the Grind
The Oilers are back at Rexall Place for practice this afternoon. The team is broken up into three groups today.
And we're back. Oilers with 3 sessions today at Rexall Place. pic.twitter.com/qldLozSsDU— Tom Gazzola (@TomGazzola) February 19, 2014
2:00 PM GROUP 1:
- Jordan Eberle
- Andrew Ference
- Boyd Gordon
- Jesse Joensuu
- Mark Fraser
- Ryan Smyth
- Ilya Bryzgalov
2:45 PM GROUP 2:
- Taylor Hall
- Nick Schultz
- Luke Gazdic
- Ryan Jones
- Philip Larsen
- David Perron
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- Coach Frederic Chabot in net
The Oklahoma City Barons announced an AHL trade that sent Nicholas Tremblay to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in exchange for Greg Miller.
Miller is a 24-year-old forward from Toronto who spent four years at Cornell University. He has played nine games for the Tigers in the AHL this season. He has also skated in 37 games with the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL, scoring 17 goals and adding 21 assists.
Both players involved in the trade were on AHL deals.
My thoughts on the trade: Tremblay is a great guy, but Miller is a point-per-game guy this year. Can't argue with numbers.— Ryan Holt (@BroadcastHolt) February 19, 2014
Ben Scrivens has a new Oilers themed mask now. Check out some pictures here:
Oilers President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe did not get the opportunity to watch Martin Marincin’s final Olympic game live yesterday. He was busy on the other rink scouting the Latvia-Switzerland game, of which the winner would face Canada today in the quarterfinals.
However, Lowe watched all of the other Slovakia games and talked about how the young defenceman, who turned 22 yesterday, fared in his first Olympic experience.
“I am highly impressed by the way he performed,” Lowe said. “You never know how the young guys or players are going to take experiences like this. Typically, they take it in the right way and they use it and they build off of it. I think his confidence should be sky high. We’ve got to remember that he’s only been a pro for a year and a half, so there are going to be some rough spots I’m sure as we move along here this season and maybe next season.”
Marincin has played in 22 NHL games this season for the Oilers. He has two points (0-2-2) and is +4, which leads the team. At the Olympics, Marincin steadily gained more play time and finished his tournament strong, playing over 21 minutes and finishing +1 in Slovakia’s 5-3 loss to the Czech Republic.
“He’s demonstrated that he can play against the best players in the world and handle himself very well,” Lowe said. “He’s got a lot to be proud of and I think the Oilers have a lot to be excited about.”
Oilers Kevin Lowe poses with former Soviet Union goaltender Vladislav Tretiak, General Manager and Executive Vice President of the Detroit Redwings Ken Holland and Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli.
Oilers President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe is on the ground in Sochi, Russia at the 2014 Winter Olympics as a member of Canada's Management Team.
He has provided exclusive photos of the experience in Sochi. Here are a couple of photos of Athlete's Village, including a shot of Team Canada's digs.
|Team Canada's home at Athlete's Village. Photo provided by Kevin Lowe.
|Athlete's Village on The Black Sea. Photo provided by Kevin Lowe.
Edmonton Oilers blueliner Anton Belov scored for Russia in his Olympic debut today, a 5-2 win over Slovenia. For the 27-year-old defenceman, it had to be a moment to remember. Oilers President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe was on hand for the goal.
“It must have been quite the feeling…,” Lowe said. “The score was 3-2 in the third period. Not unlike (Canada’s) game against Norway, I don’t think it appeared that the Russians were too nervous but once they scored a few goals, including Anton’s in the third, I think everyone breathed a little easier.”
Belov’s goal secured a three-goal lead for the Russians in the third period. The moment after he scored, Belov was noticeably excited.
“I didn’t talk to him afterwards, but it was a great shot,” Lowe said. “He was really excited, by his celebration. It’s probably a highlight for him, I’m sure, in his career to score a goal, on his home soil, in the Olympics. I’m sure it will be one of the great memories for him.”
For a player like Belov, in his first season of professional hockey in North America, it is important to build confidence in his game. The transition from KHL to the NHL has been something Belov has been working towards. Lowe talked about that transition and how an experience like the Olympics can help in a player’s development.
“I think overall, although Anton is not a young player, he’s certainly not an old player. But he is young for the NHL. It’s a completely different league than playing over in Europe, the KHL in his case. It’s a longer season, it’s more of a grind, a smaller rink and all of those things. I suspect that this experience for him will help him immensely when he comes back to Edmonton. I’m sure that scoring a goal, and if he continues to play well, will add to his confidence and that should only bode well for our hockey team and in terms of how he’s able to be productive for us when he does come back.”