The Oilers have taken the ice at Rexall Place for their Monday practice.
The line combinations are as follows:
#Oilers lines: Hall-RNH-Eberle, Pouliot-Draisaitl-Purcell, Perron-Arcobello-Yakupov, Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu & Gazdic— Chris Wescott (@TheChrisWescott) November 17, 2014
Gazdic is wearing grey with the fourth line.
The Oilers took line rushes during warm ups and the combinations were as follows:
Right now Hall with Arcobello and Perron, Yakupov with Draisaitl and Purcell. 1st & 4th lines remain intact. We'll see what develops...— Jack Michaels (@EdmontonJack) November 17, 2014
Forward Taylor Hall has also been taken off the injured reserve list.
The two may not have been in a race to the first 100 but, considering as they are so close, they might have a friendly competition for the next.
“I think I’ve probably played 15 or 20 more games than him, but he was actually joking around that we should race to 200 now,” Eberle said. “It’s good. I think when you have friendly competition like that, I think you definitely rival (each other) a little bit. I think you probably look at all of his goals and there’s quite a few passes I’ve given him backdoor for tap-ins and vice versa. We look for each other out there and it’s fun when we play with each other too.”
Jordan Eberle scored his 100th career NHL goal on Thursday night against Ottawa. It took him 291 games to get to that mark.
“You look back on it and I was actually watching the video that the Oilers put up yesterday of all of them and it was pretty cool to watch,” Eberle said. “It seems like time has definitely flown by and it’s pretty neat that I’ve done it all here.”
Eberle said the first was probably his most memorable.
“Most people remember their first one,” he said. “It was pretty special, in my first game and my family was there. It was pretty awesome. Going through them, you definitely remember most of them. That was pretty neat as well.”
100 down, many more to come.
“I still feel like I’ve got a lot more, so hopefully it continues.”
Dallas Eakins will coach his 100th NHL game tomorrow night against the Coyotes. In his second year with the Oilers, the players have noticed him evolving as a head coach in the league.
“This year, he’s been awesome,” Jordan Eberle said. “As far as the practices we’ve been running, they’ve been quick paced in tempo. I think the more you’re with the coach, the more familiarity you get with him and you know what he expects. I think having him around this year, we’ve had so many coaching changes, it has definitely helped by getting right back into it and the systems we established last year. More than anything, it’s how he runs the bench and everything like that. It just makes it a lot easier on everybody.”
Eakins reflected on his first 99 games with the club today after practice and says it’s been a good situation for him, coaching in Edmonton.
“I didn’t even know it has been 100 games,” Eakins said. “It has been what coaching is. You’re in the battle every day. My family loves living in the city, we like the challenge of coaching and my girls are settled in so on the family side it has been excellent. I work for extremely good people, which is excellent and we’re encouraged that our team is getting better.”
The Oilers could be getting a huge boost to their lineup tomorrow night against the Arizona Coyotes. Their top left winger Taylor Hall could be back from his MCL sprain.
“I think if morning skate goes as well as I think it will then I’ll be playing,” Hall said.
After another good day of practice, how it feels tomorrow morning will decide if Hall plays or not.
“There’s not too much pain anymore,” he said. “The pain dissolved after a couple of days. It’s more of just strength and being able to rely on it. Like I said, today was another good day and I want to keep going.”
However, he is wearing a black jersey along with Luke Gazdic. It does not appear as though he will have a regular line to skate on today.
The Oilers forward lines are as follows:
“So impressed. So impressed.”
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins left his head coach thoroughly pleased with his performance against Ottawa on Thursday night. The centre is going to be, if he isn’t already, a very good NHL player.
Taken first overall in 2011, Nugent-Hopkins has taken great strides this season both on the ice and as a leader.
When the Oilers were down 3-0, Nugent-Hopkins showed his resiliency and demanded better.
“It’s fun to watch him,” Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “It’s fun to watch this kid grow into whatever player he’s going to turn into. He’d been a horse for us on that road trip and tonight, as he was battling through too, you could see him, his eyes narrow and him dig his heels in and basically say, ‘I’m going to change this game now.’”
Nugent-Hopkins had a partial breakaway shortly before the end of the first period. He earned an assist on Jordan Eberle’s 100th career NHL goal that drew the Oilers within one. He was also instrumental on the game-tying goal when he carried the puck strong into the zone and set up Jeff Petry for the tally.
The Oilers lost 4-3 in overtime, but their push back was impressive.
Having the Oilers best players put the team on their back and turn a game around is, “a great sign.”
Eakins said, “As these guys mature, I think you’re going to see more and more of it. They’re able to do it not just occasionally anymore. They’re getting to a point, they’re not there yet but they’re getting to a point, where they’re strong enough to do it, confident enough to do it, mentally tough enough to do it and it’s a part of their development. We saw a bunch of it on the road trip, but I think our fans got a very clear view of which way this young man is going.”
Nugent-Hopkins leads the Oilers in scoring with 13 points (5-8-13) in 15 games.