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INSIDE THE OILERS
POSTED ON Sunday, 24.11.2013 / 12:18 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Today's lineup is the same as it was yesterday.

Forward lines:

Hall-Nugent-Hopkins

Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky

Smyth-Gordon-Perron

Gazdic-Acton-Joensuu

Arcobello and Jones are not on a designated line, in black.

Defensive Pairings:

Belov- J. Schultz

Ference-Petry

N. Schultz-Potter

Philip Larsen (injured) remains absent.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 23.11.2013 / 3:29 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
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POSTED ON Saturday, 23.11.2013 / 3:27 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Watching practice today, there was clearly a different feel to the mood and pace on the ice. The players were smiling, laughing and having a good time. They even made Nail Yakupov do a lap while being shot at with pucks due to his tardiness to the team huddle, all in good fun.

The team is in a much better place after three wins than it was even a week ago.

"It's nice," said Justin Schultz. "Coming to the rink after winning games is something that we haven't had a lot of this year. It makes it more fun for us to come here and hang out for with the guys and it's a fun atmosphere."

Although there is happiness due to recent success, there must also be caution.

"It's nice to feel that way," said David Perron. All that we've got to remember is that it can go the other way in a hurry, mostly with the spot that we're in right now in terms of the standings. We've got to make sure that we're coming to the rink with a positive attitude obviously, and that's the thing (we talked about). Not getting too down on our losses.

"I felt like I was taking some of the losses really to heart and it was tough coming in the next day. It's like wins, you have to forget and turn the page the same as losses. It's nice to have that feeling going right now in practice. You can tell even in workouts off the ice, with the loud music in the gym and stuff like that, that it's a lot of fun. But we've just got to remember, we've got to keep doing the little things right and that's why we've had success."

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POSTED ON Saturday, 23.11.2013 / 3:26 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

With the Oilers winning three-straight games, they are now on the second day of a three-day stretch where they will not play a game. With a big litmus test, the Chicago Blackhawks, looming on Monday, the question is whether or not the team would have rather just kept playing and carrying momentum versus getting some rest.

"You can look at it both ways," said David Perron. "That's the way the schedule is and we'll just go with it. There's nothing we can do early on when we played a lot of road games and stuff like that. It's probably something we'd wish we'd had more home games. That just means that now we'll have more. It's something, we've just got to roll with the schedule and whatever happens, happens. We've got to pour on the best effort we can every single night and get wins."

While it would have been nice to just keep playing, the rest and extra practice time is welcomed.

"A little bit of both," said Justin Schultz. "You want to keep playing when you're playing well. It's tough, but at the same time, it's good for us to get some rest and get some practice in and we'll be prepared for Chicago."

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POSTED ON Saturday, 23.11.2013 / 3:25 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

As of tomorrow, it will have been one week since the Edmonton Oilers recalled goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov from the Oklahoma City Barons.

Bryzgalov is impressed with what he's seen so far from the team dynamic, quickly meshing with his new teammates.

"It's a great team, a great group of guys," he said. "I'm happy, I'm pleased, everything's fine and everything's great."

"Guys have been getting a few laughs out of him and he's obviously showing what he's got, on the ice. It's good," said defenceman Justin Schultz.

Bryzgalov has yet to start a game for the Oilers as he is still in the process of getting prepared for the NHL game after some time off from hockey this off-season. The goalie says that everyday he's feeling better and better and will be ready when his chance arises.

"Everyday better and better," said Bryzgalov.

"I keep working. I'm awaiting my chance, preparing myself for the game. It's up to the coaches. I have no control on this… Right now, it's different. It being the NHL, it's a different level of the game. I'm waiting with a little bit of caution for my first game."

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POSTED ON Saturday, 23.11.2013 / 1:07 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Today's lineup is the same as it has been for the past three games.

Today's forward lines by jersey colours are:

Hall-Nugent-Hopkins

Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky

Smyth-Gordon-Perron

Gazdic-Acton-Joensuu

Arcobello and Jones are not on a designated line, in black.

Defensive Pairings:

Belov- J. Schultz

Ference-Petry

N. Schultz-Potter

Philip Larsen (injured) remains absent.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 21.11.2013 / 3:23 PM
By Chad Hudson - Oklahoma City Barons / Inside the Oilers

Oilers second-year forward Nail Yakupov has had his fair share of adversity and story lines surrounding him this season. However, he seems to be slowly progressing and is currently on a three-game point streak.

Yakupov credits his teammates and linemates with helping him through the tough times.

"I feel much better," said Yakupv. "It's all about the teammates, line mates who have helped me every shift. It's an easy thing when you see from the bench guys working hard and then you're doing the same thing and it's very simple and very easy to play because you see the guys fighting for each other and working hard, playing hard and we're scoring a lot of goals. It's a good thing and you try to keep going the same way."

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POSTED ON Thursday, 21.11.2013 / 3:21 PM
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers placed their physical enforcer Steve MacIntyre on waivers this morning.

Head Coach Dallas Eakins said that the move was because MacIntyre, who has been out of the lineup due to a knee injury suffered in the team's final pre-season game against Dallas, needed to play somewhere and it wasn't going to be Edmonton at this time.

"Mac's been out for a long time and we needed to play," said Eakins. "Where we're at right now as a team, with a full lineup, there's not a place for him to play here right now. You run the risk of losing a guy like that on waivers and I'm always torn on these."

While Eakins said it wasn't necessarily a choice of one player over another, the move was also clearly made easier to make due to the play of rookie Luke Gazdic. The former Dallas Stars prospect was claimed off of waivers at the start of the season and has shown improvement on his forecheck and in the energy he brings when he steps onto the ice.

Gazdic has also served well in the role originally expected to be filled by MacIntryre. He has become the deterrent to opponent mischief that the team needs.

"I think it's important right now for our group," said Eakins. "I know there's a lot of people out there who think that has nothing to do with the game. They've never stood on the bench and see how it ignites your bench. I think it's important for all of our players to stand up for each other. It shows that you care."

Gazdic's fight card this season has filled up with big, veteran heavyweights and seasoned fighters like Chris Thorburn, Brian McGrattan, Jared Boll, Jay Rosehill and Brandon Prust.

"I think I've just been trying to play my game to the fullest since I've been here," said Gazdic. "I've been trying to keep it simple and just do everything that the coach has asked. I've been trying to be a good teammate on and off the ice. They've made some decisions to let a couple of guys go now and I can't control that. All I'm controlling is the way I play and the way I carry myself at the rink everyday. I've just been trying to be a good teammate since I've been here."

While the Oilers move to waive MacIntyre shows trust in Gazdic, the young fourth-line forward is not letting that make him feel too comfortable with his spot on the team.

"Obviously, it gives me more of a sense of comfortability. I'm never going to settle down and get too comfortable. Everyday, I am still treating it as a tryout. You never know what can happen in this game and obviously, it's a bit like a business. One day you could be here and the next day you're gone. I'm just trying to keep my head on a level playing field here and trying to bring a good attitude to the rink everyday and work."

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POSTED ON Thursday, 21.11.2013 / 2:01 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
The Oilers will be going with the same lineup as they had on Tuesday against Columbus. That means Devan Dubnyk will start in goal. These are the lines:

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky
Smyth-Gordon-Perron
Joesnuu-Acton-Gazdic

Ference-Petry
Belov-J.Schultz
N.Schultz-Potter
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POSTED ON Thursday, 21.11.2013 / 12:09 PM
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers have placed forward Steve MacIntyre on waivers.

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INSIDE THE OILERS BLOG