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INSIDE THE OILERS
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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POSTED ON Thursday, 20.02.2014 / 4:30 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
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POSTED ON Thursday, 20.02.2014 / 4:28 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

After three groups of players went through a few drills and some fitness testing yesterday, the team was on the ice for a full practice today.

“It’s nice to be back,” Taylor Hall said. “It was a long time not skating and certainly, I don’t feel 100% out there. It’s just very awkward and all of your gear seems to be like it’s new or something. I’m having fun being back. It’s good to be around the guys. It’s just good to be practicing again and get your heart rate up.”

For the Oilers, it was nice to get back into the swing of a full practice.

“Today’s another day to get used to being with the guys and, for me, trying to track pucks and get in front and re-establish good habits,” Goalie Ben Scrivens said. “It’s still early. We’ve got some time left and it’s feeling better. Yesterday was a little sketchy out there. Today felt better and hopefully tomorrow’s even better than that. It’s a matter of establishing good habits and trying to go from there.”

The Oilers are attempting to use the Olympic break to install some things into their systems before the NHL season picks back up again.

“The first couple of days is just making sure we have our hands and our heads back up to speed,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “We’ll be modifying some things that we’ve been doing with some of our system stuff and adding some stuff to it as well. It’s interesting. You actually have more time right now to work with your team than you actually do at training camp because you’re preparing for the games in camp as well.”

Hall added, “We’re changing a couple of things system-wise. If there is a time to do it, it’s right now just to get used to everything and what it’s like to practice like that. I think for me, I’m just kind of working on the basics again. Just shooting, passing, skating and making sure that when I come back for these last 22 games, I’m the best I can be.”

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POSTED ON Thursday, 20.02.2014 / 4:28 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers defenceman Jeff Petry was named to the Des Moines Buccaneers Hall of Fame. Petry, who played two seasons for the USHL team before beginning his collegiate career at Michigan State, talked about the accomplishment after practice on Thursday.

“It’s an honour to be inducted into that hall of fame,” Petry said. “There’s guys like (Los Angeles Kings) Trevor Lewis, I think he got inducted two years ago. It’s an honour to be a part of that.”

Petry played two seasons for the Buccaneers and scored 45 points (18-27-45) in 55 games during the 2006-2007 campaign. He says he never expected to get such an honour from the club.

“I didn’t. My goal, at that point, was to get a college commitment and to go to college, spend four years there and ultimately, I was drafted after my first year there. It just kind of put things into perspective go how things happen quick and how my dream of playing in the NHL was one step closer.”

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POSTED ON Thursday, 20.02.2014 / 4:27 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers will be back on the ice early tomorrow morning as practice starts at 8 a.m. The early practice will give the players an opportunity to watch the semifinals game between Canada and USA.

“I like to sleep in,” Taylor Hall said. “But it is a huge game for our country and it will be nice to watch it with the rest of the nation.”

Hall says he doesn’t know whose idea it was for the early practice and joked he might have chosen more sleep over the early start time.

“It wasn’t (my idea), I’ll tell you that. It will be nice to watch the game. I like to sleep in a little bit, but that’s just me.”

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POSTED ON Thursday, 20.02.2014 / 4:26 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers are hoping that they can pick up where they left off before the Olympic break, winning five of their last seven games. They feel like their confidence is pretty high as they return to work.

“I think there’s a few teams in the league that haven’t done very well before the break and they’re probably not coming back with the same confidence that we are,” Taylor Hall said. “We have to carry that and make sure that we know the things that we were doing well and just continue them.”

When asked whether or not he thought the team would take off running when the break ends, Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins was undecided on an answer.

“That’s a hard one to answer,” Eakins said. “I’m not sure. All the teams are in the same boat coming back. I think the pulse in the room yesterday and today was upbeat. Even though we fully understand where we’re at in the standings, I think getting some points and especially with how we played the last two games, were real positive signs. Hopefully we can pick up where we left off. But it will be interesting to see, not only how are team comes out of it but how the top teams come out of this. This is real interesting with having players over there playing, coming back from huge time zone changes and see how teams do pick up afterwards.”

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POSTED ON Thursday, 20.02.2014 / 1:10 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Thursday practice is underway at Rexall Place.

The lines, by jersey colour, are as follows:

Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Yakupov
Gazdic - Gagner - Eberle
Hendricks - Gordon - Perron
Joensuu - Smyth - Jones


Philip Larsen (illness) is participating.

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INSIDE THE OILERS BLOG