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INSIDE THE OILERS
POSTED ON Thursday, 05.12.2013 / 5:34 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

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.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 04.12.2013 / 6:04 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
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POSTED ON Wednesday, 04.12.2013 / 5:42 PM

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.

UPDATE:

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.

-Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 04.12.2013 / 5:03 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

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.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 04.12.2013 / 5:00 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

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."

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 04.12.2013 / 2:10 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
The Oilers are on the ice for practice at Rexall Place today. Injured players Tyler Pitlick (knee), Philip Larsen (back) and Richard Bachman (lower body) are participating with the team.

Jersey colours:

WHITE - Hall-RNH-Eberle
DARK BLUE - Jones-Arcobello-Hemsky
BABY BLUE - Gazdic-Acton-Joensuu-Yakupov
YELLOW - Pitlick
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POSTED ON Wednesday, 04.12.2013 / 1:50 AM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

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."

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 04.12.2013 / 1:50 AM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins gave some candid thoughts to the performance of his team following their 6-2 loss to Phoenix.

Despite a pretty assist on David Perron's first goal of the night, Mark Arcobello was one of the few players who Eakins discussed post-game.

"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."

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 03.12.2013 / 12:29 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The lineup this morning at practice are as follows:

Hall-Nugent-Hopkins-Eberle

Yakupov-Arcobello-Perron

Jones-Gagner-Hemsky

Smyth-Action-Joensuu

Grebeshkov-J. Schultz

Ference-Petry

N. Schultz-Belov

Dubnyk in net.

Tyler Pitlick (knee) and Richard Bachman (groin) both skated this morning as well.

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POSTED ON Monday, 02.12.2013 / 5:33 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers have recalled goaltender Jason LaBarbera from the Oklahoma City Barons. In order to make room for the transaction, the team has assigned defenceman Corey Potter to their farm club.

LaBarbera's recall comes just one day after Ilya Bryzgalov left the game in Dallas with an upper body injury following a collision with Ryan Garbutt of the Stars.

"Bryzgalov took a hard hit yesterday," Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins said after this morning's practice. "He's being assessed as we speak to see where he's at. We'll know later in the day."

LaBarbera has played in two games for the Barons, and has a 1.93 goals against average and a .953 save percentage.

In addition to those moves, the Barons announced the assignment of Kale Kessy to OKC from the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL.

Quad City Mallards goalie Ty Rimmer tweeted out that he is 'excited to be joining' the Barons. He is expected to take LaBarbera's place in OKC, recalled from loan from Quad City.

Rimmer has a 4-3-2 record with Quad City this season, with a 3.17 goals against average and .894 save percentage.

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INSIDE THE OILERS