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

For the Oilers, they’re stuck with a problem that’s a good one to have. Both of their goaltenders, Ben Scrivens and Ilya Bryzgalov have played extremely well recently which has given them a chance to win some hockey games.

Coming out of the Olympic break, the team sees the rotation of goalies as something they’ll refocus on in the first few games. Whoever plays well will be given the chance to play some more.

“The plan is to play who’s playing well and we’ve got a pretty good sample size now of Bryz and I think we know what he can bring and he’s played well for us, especially as of late,” Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “Ben’s come in and obviously has played very well. There’s a part of me of yeah, I want to see if Scrivens is for real. I’d like to give him more games but then the delicate balance is handing and giving things to people. Scrivey has earned his starts and, as of late, Bryz has earned his too. I think, coming out of the break, we’ll probably tip toe into it a little bit and get both guys up to speed. I think that even though we’re practicing, it’s dangerous to just turn, coming out of a break like that, and play one guy. So we’ll probably give them each a couple of starts early and we’ll go from there and see what happens.”

Both goaltenders are free agents at the end of the season, which puts shrouds the team’s backstop situation for next year. It will be interesting to see how the final leg of this season shapes out with both goalies auditioning for jobs.

“I believe that both guys are unrestricted free agents,” Eakins said. “You want to see what they both can bring. For Bryz, I thought he played very well early and I think he’s played really well as of late… With Scrivey, he’s come in and played excellent for us. I think both guys are trying not only to show us, but possibly show the rest of the league that they’re both quality NHL players.”

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POSTED ON Saturday, 22.02.2014 / 12:48 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The lines, by jersey colour, are the same as yesterday :

Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Yakupov

Gazdic - Gagner - Eberle

Hendricks - Gordon - Perron

Joensuu - Smyth - Jones

Oilers Olympians Anton Belov and Martin Marincin are on the ice today for the first time this week and Philip Larsen is on the ice after missing yesterday's practice.

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POSTED ON Friday, 21.02.2014 / 12:33 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
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POSTED ON Friday, 21.02.2014 / 10:10 AM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Friday practice is underway at Rexall Place.

The lines, by jersey colour, are the same as yesterday :

Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Yakupov

Gazdic - Gagner - Eberle

Hendricks - Gordon - Perron

Joensuu - Smyth - Jones

Also, it is Ryan Smyth's birthday today.

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INSIDE THE OILERS