Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins said after practice on Monday that Viktor Fasth would get his first start in net, as an Edmonton Oiler, on the upcoming road trip.
“Both guys will play,” Eakins said. “Ben’s played extremely well, he keeps rolling along and has made a real good case for himself here and obviously, we’ve rewarded him with a contract. But Viktor has played a lot this year and it’s kind of the same as with Oscar (Klefbom). I thought it was best for the player to start his Oiler career on the road and that’s what we’ll do.”
Fasth has not played an NHL game since November 18, with the Anaheim Ducks. Fasth was dealing with injury issues for most of this season before returning to game action in the American Hockey League. The Oilers are eager to see what they got in their trade with Anaheim and hope Fasth returns to form quickly in his first start.
“I hope it’s like riding a bike but at that position it’s a little bit different than a player,”Eakins said. “It’s going to have to be one of those, let’s just wait and see. But his improvement in practice just over the short amount of time, from his first practice to today, has been a vast improvement so that’s encouraging and he’s telling me he’s ready to play when we’re ready to put him in.”
Fasth says that although he has been eager to get back into game action, having the extra few days of practice with his new teammates has been beneficial.
“You want to play, but it’s been a good start so far for me here,” Fasth said. “I think the guys are really nice to me and have welcomed me to the team. I’ve had a couple of good days practicing here so it feels good.”
Now that he has assimilated into the locker room, Fasth is ready to make his debut in the blue and orange.
“Yeah of course. It’s been a long season for me so far and I want to get back in there and play a game again. It’s just a matter of keeping focused and try to be ready when the coach tells you to play.”
Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins provided an update on Hall after practice and says he will play on Tuesday in Minnesota.
“He’s banged up a bit but nothing that’s going to keep him out,” Eakins said. “Just, Taylor plays a hard game. His minutes aren’t, soft is not the word but when he’s out there, he’s a workhorse and his body takes on a fair amount of wattage. So, we just thought it was better to take him off the ice and let a couple of his bumps and bruises heal up.”
The Oilers have taken to the ice at Leduc Recreation Centre for practice, prior to traveling to Minnesota later today.
Still early but #Oilers Taylor Hall not on the ice for start of practice. By jerseys, Philip Larsen filling in with Gagner & Perron— Chris Wescott (@TheChrisWescott) March 10, 2014
The Line combinations by jersey colour are as follows:
The Edmonton Oilers have assigned Anton Lander to the Oklahoma City Barons and have elected to keep Oscar Klefbom with the team. Both players were recalled to Edmonton on an emergency basis on Saturday.
Lander is the captain of the Barons in the American Hockey League. This season, Lander has played in 42 AHL games and has scored 45 points (17-28-45). Lander is the former 40th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He has played in 79 NHL games in his career.
20 year-old Klefbom is the former 19th overall pick in the 2011 draft and has yet to make his NHL debut. He could do so as soon as Tuesday night in Minnesota against the Wild.
The Oilers practice at 10 a.m. Monday before flying to Minnesota. Stay tuned for coverage from practice on edmontonoilers.com.
The Edmonton Oilers have been very pleased with their acquisition of goaltender Ben Scrivens. The goalie leads the NHL in save percentage this season at a .934 clip. The Oilers traded with the Los Angeles Kings for their new netminder and this morning, Scrivens talked about learning from one of the best goalies in the game; Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick.
“It was a great opportunity to learn from one of the best in the game,” Scrivens said earlier today. “He’s an Olympian, he’s a Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup winner. Everyday you got to watch him in practice and see how he conducts himself before the games and during games. It was a great learning experience for me.”
Scrivens made 46 saves tonight in the Oilers 4-2 loss to the Kings and after the game, Quick talked about Scrivens and he’s not surprised the goalie has performed well. He also thinks Scrivens was just what the doctor ordered for Edmonton.
“Well, he’s done it all year,” Quick said. “He did it with us too. He’s definitely what I think this team needed here in Edmonton. He consistently gives you a solid night and gives you a chance to win every night. You look at tonight… we put 50 shots on him. They still had a chance at the end there, they pulled the goalie and you know they’re only two down. For a few years now, I think that’s been an area where they kind of, need some improvement. Not to knock the goalies that were there before, obviously the team defence could be better as well. But (Scrivens) has really kind of stepped in since he’s been there and given them a chance to win every night.”
The Edmonton Oilers signed goaltender Ben Scrivens to a two-year contract on Monday and a week later he was playing his former team, the Los Angeles Kings. Fresh off of a 46 save performance against his former team, Scrivens was done answering questions about the Kings.
“No, these are my teammates,” Scrivens said when asked if it was weird facing his former teammates. “I don’t care about the LA Kings anymore. I obviously have friends on that team but once I’m on the ice, I’m an Edmonton Oiler and that’s all that should matter.”
Matt Hendricks is the newest Oilers player to wear the 'A' on his chest. Hendricks is an alternate captain for the Oilers tonight in their game against the Los Angeles Kings.
Oilers defenceman Jeff Petry left Thursday night’s game against the New York Islanders with a back injury and did not return. The team had a day off on Friday and it must have done wonders for Petry, who took to the ice this morning at Millennium Place in Sherwood park and participated fully in the drills.
“It’s gotten a lot better since the game,” Petry said. “Yesterday morning, it was still pretty stiff and then it loosened up quite a bit yesterday and it feels pretty good today.”
Petry said he feels like he could play tomorrow night when the Oilers host the Los Angeles Kings, but the team is still in a ‘wait and see’ evaluation mode.
“He woke up yesterday not very good and today it had huge improvement so we’ll just have to make the call tomorrow morning and we’ll see how he is,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “I’m encouraged, after talking to him, that I think he’ll be able to play but you never know. We’ll just give him another 24 hours to see where he’s at.”
Eakins said the team really missed Petry after he left the game and would hope to see him back soon. Oscar Klefbom would make his NHL debut if Petry is unable to play.
The Oilers have taken the ice at Millennium Place for practice. Here are the forward lines as per jersey colour:
#Oilers forward lines at practice: Yakupov-RNH-Eberle, Hall-Gagner-Perron, Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu, Gazdic-Smyth-Jones— Chris Wescott (@TheChrisWescott) March 8, 2014
Jeff Petry (back) is skating with the team.
Freshly recalled Oscar Klefbom is on the ice skating, wearing number 84.
There is no sign of recalled forward Anton Lander at the start of practice, however Lander played last night for Oklahoma City which could be the cause of his early absence.