Based on jersey colours, forward lines appear to be:
As expected, Oilers prospect Darnell Nurse received an invite to Canada’s world junior team selection camp. The seventh-overall pick in 2013 and captain of the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds is excited about the opportunity.
“There’s a lot of excitement going on, especially around the rink and in this town,” Nurse said Tuesday, on Oilers Now. “For me, it’s a really exciting moment and I can’t wait to really get everything going and get to the camp. I’m fully aware that I’m capable of playing at that level and it’s going to be a task for me to go out and prove it each day.”
Last year, Nurse was left off Canada’s roster, which was a disappointing experience for the 19-year-old defenceman. Nurse is determined to not let that happen again.
“It was definitely an eye-opener, not having an opportunity to play on the team last year,” Nurse said. “I just went back and worked on my own game and things I can change in order to not be in the same situation when this time came around this year. It’s really just been a focus of mine to do things on the ice a lot more simple and not put myself in as risky of situations as I have in the past and it’s helped me to this point, not only in junior but especially at the beginning of the year when I had the opportunity to stay up and play a few games. It’s a continued process to really keep my game refined and play smart, simple plays as well as being able to contribute at both ends of the ice.”
The Oilers have lost 10-straight games, a tough pill for everyone in the organization to swallow. Darnell Nurse, the Oilers seventh-overall pick in 2013, has been watching the team from Sault Ste. Marie, where he captains the OHL’s Greyhounds.
“You never want to see that happen,” Nurse said on Oilers Now. “They have the right pieces in place and the right coaches and things like that to turn this thing around. You have to have all the faith in the organization that they’ll be able to do that. Obviously, there are still friends and guys I’ve grown relationships with on the team. You hope for nothing but the best but my main focus remains here in Sault Ste. Marie as we try to make a run for it this year.”
Nurse also expressed his support for Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins, having learned from him in training camp and played for him in two NHL games this season.
“He was a great help to me and in helping me refine my game and the things I need to work on to play at that level,” Nurse said. “He’s a great coach and someone who really helped me in order to help me find my way to play in the NHL games.”
Frustrations follow losses, and the Oilers have dropped 10 straight games. Captain Andrew Ference had some heated words about the performance of the team through the stretch and the mistakes being made.
“It shouldn’t be such a chore to come here and pay attention to what you’re supposed to do and work hard and have pride in being in the NHL and putting on a jersey. That should be the easy part,” Ference said. “To come here and have to eke pride out of guys to get out there and pay attention and do details and cover the same details over and over over again, it’s not right. I think it was touched on last game. Like (Ben Scrivens) said, you can’t play like that in the NHL and win. It’s 100% unacceptable.”
The Oilers struck first tonight against the Coyotes, but allowed five-straight goals in the eventual 5-2 loss.
Ference added, “It’s unacceptable. “We’re not a team that is in a position to let our guard down and just go out there and expect it to be easy or expect another team to lie down because we have a penalty or they’re down by a goal. That’s the way we went out and played. Like we’re in some position of excellence where we can just go out there and float around. It’s the same mistakes, it’s not learning from mistakes and it costs us games over and over again.”
Head Coach Dallas Eakins confirmed the frustrations in the room, but declined further comment.
“We’ve seen it along the way, since I’ve been here. It’s been just over a year,” Eakins said. “There is always that going on internally and I will not speak about it out here. I don’t think it’s fair to any player to do that.”
Hockey Canada has announced their list of players invited to Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp, in advance of the World Juniors.
Oilers prospect Darnell Nurse is on the list. Nurse, the seventh overall pick in 2013, has played in 16 games for the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds this year. He had 16 points (6-10-16), 30 penalty minutes and is +2.
The Hamilton, Ontario native skated for Canada at the 2012 and 2013 U18 World Junior Championships.
The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have recalled winger Tyler Pitlick from the American Hockey League's Oklahoma City Barons.
Pitlick, 23, has registered nine points (3G, 6A) and eight penalty minutes in 14 games with the Barons this season.
The Oilers took yesterday off and used their practice today to refocus ahead of tomorrow’s game against the Coyotes.
“After a trip, it’s always nice to just get home, unwind for a bit and get back at it,” Mark Fayne said.
“It was good having a day yesterday to kind of regroup,” Boyd Gordon added. “We had a good skate today and to get that little bit of extra rest for the game tomorrow. We need to come out ready and have a good 60-minute game.”
After two tough overtime losses on the road, the players were happy to get some rest and a chance to reset before they play again.
“It’s tough, especially with the streak we’re on now,” Fayne said. “We thought we played two strong games and definitely could have won both of them. Right now, you can’t dwell on that. You’ve just got to keep moving forward because there is still a lot of hockey left and I think we have a lot of good hockey left too.”
The Oilers placed winger Jesse Joensuu on waivers this morning for the purpose of assignment. The decision to do so was based on the pressure coming from the minors. Players in Oklahoma City are pushing for a chance in the NHL.
“It’s a hard decision,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “The thing you can never forget is we have players here, but we have a whole bunch of players in Oklahoma City that are improving and getting better. Some of those players now are ready for another look, or their first look. Unfortunately, rightly or wrongly, Jesse gets caught in the crosshairs there. Jesse went on waivers today, it gives him the chance to be picked up by 29 other teams and if he doesn’t get picked up then we’ll decide what to do with him tomorrow, once we see what happens.”
The OKC Barons have won five games in a row, and have earned points in their last seven.
The Oilers probably played one of their best games of the season against the Nashville Predators on Thursday night. Despite outshooting their opponent 37-25, the Oilers fell in overtime. They played well again against St. Louis that next night, but fell again in overtime.
The Oilers watched two leads disappear in that 4-3 loss to the Blues.The team is hoping to have more consistency with the way they play moving forward.
“We’d like way more consistency,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “I thought we had that game in Nashville. We’ve talked a lot about that game and that’s the game we want to play 5-on-5, with a little more finish. Our power play has to step up in certain games like that. Then going into St. Louis, that’s the challenge in this league to be able to bring that game every night. It’s a difficult thing to do but it’s a necessity. What you run into is you’ve played, you’ve played a hard game the night before, there’s been some guys play some heavy minutes and now you have to do it again against a team that’s been sitting there waiting for you for a few days. You can’t run into the excuse in this league that we’ve played back-to-back and we’re just going to grind out a point. You have to find a way to get both.”