Oilers rookie centre Mark Arcobello has not only shown a willingness to play anywhere and with anyone he’s told to, but he has also shown the ability to produce in different spots.
With Sam Gagner placed on the wing this morning with Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the top line, Arcobello moved up to centre Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov. Though the Oilers are unsure if that’s the lineup for tomorrow, there is a comfort level with playing Arcobello towards the top of the lineup.
“He’s a safe player,” said Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins. “I can play him on the wing, play him at centre. There’s no headline news about that. He seems to be able to move to wherever, on whatever line, fourth line and you can move him up and he just plays that normal, simple game for us. Obviously, wherever Gags ends up is going to possibly effect him. Once again, I wouldn’t read a whole lot into it. All those lines might turn back into how we finished the other night.”
Arcobello is no stranger to moving up, down and around the forward depth and will be ready to roll with whoever and wherever tomorrow night.
“I’m used to it,” said Arcobello. “I’ve played up and down the lineup. Whatever opportunity I’m given, it’s not going to be a new one for me. I’m excited for another opportunity and hopefully we have some chemistry.”
“I’m excited,” he added. “You saw the lines out there. Hopefully, that’s what it is tomorrow and I’m excited.”
Following practice on Thursday, Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins spoke to the media. View an archive of the live press conference which was streamed on edmontonoilers.com by clicking on the video below.
The Oilers are on the ice for another early-morning practice at Rexall Place. Lines, according to jersey colour, are:Hall-RNH-Gagner
There are seven defencemen out there as Corey Potter has returned to the ice with the team:
Jesse Joensuu and Philip Larsen are not skating.
The Oilers announced that they have assigned defenceman Brad Hunt to the Oklahoma City Barons.
From the team's official press release:
OILERS ASSIGN HUNT
General Manager Craig MacTavish announced today the Edmonton Oilers have assigned defenceman Brad Hunt to the American Hockey League’s Oklahoma City Barons.
Hunt appeared in three games for the Oilers after being recalled from Oklahoma City.
The Maple Ridge, British Columbia native has recorded 15 points (3G, 12A) and 14 penalty minutes in 27 games with the Barons this season.
After edmontonoilers.com published our weekly Future Watch segment on Curtis Hamilton earlier this morning, Oklahoma City published their own (video) piece on the prospect.
Barons TV mic’d up Hamilton, strapped a camera to his lid and stalked him with four Go Pro cameras and two roaming cameras for the duration of a practice.
Check it out below:
Also, check out Barons TV at youtube.com/okcbarons for more video coverage of the Oilers primary development team.
Oilers TV will be in Oklahoma City next week to profile some of Edmonton’s up-and-coming talent on the farm.
Barons TV’s Kerry Shuck sits down with the Oilers former second round pick, 40th overall, in 2009, Anton Lander. The two talk about Oklahoma City, Lander’s golf hobby and his stint with the Oilers this season.
Oilers Ales Hemsky did not return for the third period of tonight’s game. The Oilers say it was precautionary and Head Coach Dallas Eakins provided an update post-game.
“Usually if they’re alarmed by it, I’m alerted right after the game,” said Eakins. “I haven’t been alerted to anything, so I’m hoping it’s just smoke and no fire.”
The Oilers tough guy, Luke Gazdic, has been making improvements to his game as of late. It has not gone unnoticed.
“The one guy, especially as of late, I think is making great strides is Luke in his game,” said Gazdic. “He understands his role and he’s getting better as a hockey player. Boy, there was a lot of talk from St. Louis to our bench and he was quick to engage. There was one individual on the other team who had a lot to say to Luke and then when Luke went out and stood beside him, he had very little to say.
“That’s part of the gamesmanship on the ice. There’s a lot of talk down there. Things are said that you can’t believe that are said sometimes and that gets people going.
“I think Luke has filled his role and, at the same time, he understands that he has to play. He’s got to get to be a better player and he’s doing that. He’s putting in the necessary work and it’s always great to see improvement in a guy like that. Some guys that… fill that role, that’s all they worry about is that role. They don’t do the extra to become better hockey players and he’s doing that.
Gazdic finished tonight’s game with an assist, two hits and a blocked shot in 7:40 of ice time. He is on a two-game point streak, his first of the season.
St. Louis Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock spoke to the media after the game and despite his team netting their sixth straight win, he was disappointed with the team tonight.
“We didn’t play well today,” said Hitchcock. “We didn’t play well. I think a lot of the drama that goes along with the day today really affected our players… We didn’t have the focus that we’ve had and we’ll have to get it back, on this road trip. We can play a lot better, but I think with all the drama, all the Olympic stuff, I think you could see it really draining on people tonight.”
The Blues have 10 players heading to the Olympics. The final rosters were announced today.