A day after Oilers winger Nail Yakupov addressed the media on comments made by his agent and his frustration with lack of play time, his head coach is expecting all eyes to be on the young player. He feels that Yakupov is up to that challenge, but will still have to earn more ice time, just like the rest of the team.
"I don't feel any differently about Nail," said Dallas Eakins. "Climbing a mountain, he obviously hit a valley yesterday with having to come out and answer questions and make statements. I think it's pure frustration of a player and something he'll learn negatives or positives to take from it. We'll see how Nail's going. That's how it always goes with our team. Every guy earns their ice time. My expectations for him are that, between his agent's comments and his comments yesterday, my concern for him is all eyes are on him now and that can be a burden sometimes.
"I think he's up to the challenge of all eyes on him. We'll monitor how he's going, how we do every night. I expect him to come out and play hard. He always has passion in his game. He's just still learning the game and it'll depend on the score of the game and so many different things on how much ice time he gets. But I expect him to come out flying."
The Oilers are on the ice for morning skate prior to tonight's game against the Dallas Stars.
Lines and defence pairings are:Perron-RNH-Eberle
Smyth-Arcobello-Yak, Hall-Gagner-Hemsky, Perron-RNH-Eberle, Jonesuu-Gordon-Jones, Ference-Petry, Belov-Larsen, N. Schultz-Potter— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) November 13, 2013
Justin Schultz talked to Oilers TV's Tom Gazzola on Tuesday and gave an update on the status of his groin/rib injury.
"It's getting better. It's pretty close," said Schultz. "Day-to-day right now so we'll see every morning how I am."
Schultz travelled with the Oilers on their recent four-game road trip but didn't even get a chance to practice with the team. He skated on his own most days.
"It's tough. You're there but you're not around the guys that much. They're getting ready for the game and you're doing other stuff. It definitely was tough and I'm excited to get back."
Schultz said it would be a combination of himself, the coaching staff and doctors who will decide if and when the blueliner is good to go.
"I'm hoping tomorrow but it's day-to-day and we'll see what I feel like when I wake up tomorrow."
Fedun played in four games with Edmonton after being called up from OKC, scoring two goals.
Potter has played in five games for the Barons this season, recording an assist.
Defenceman Justin Schultz (groin) skated with the Oilers this morning at Russ Barnes Arena in Edmonton.
Oilers sophomore winger Nail Yakupov spoke to the media about reports surrounding his agent coming to town.
We will have full reaction (video, audio, written) surrounding this soon.
"I just want to help my team win every game... I love this city and I want to play for this team." - Nail Yakupov pic.twitter.com/nAYPc07jo7— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 12, 2013
"We have a lot of players frustrated right now. We have an organization frustrated with our results. We all want better." - Coach Eakins— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 12, 2013
"This is not going to sway me whether he plays 20 min or 2... he's going to play the minutes he deserves." - #Oilers Eakins on Yakupov— Chris Wescott (@TheChrisWescott) November 12, 2013
"I like the kid. He's a passionate kid who works hard and still has a lot to learn about the game." - Coach Eakins on Yakupov— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 12, 2013
The Oklahoma City Barons defeated San Antonio 3-2 on Tuesday in a rare morning game. Tyler Bunz stopped 34 of 36 shots for the win. In his first game as a Baron, Roman Horak scored. Linus Omark also scored a highlight-reel goal.
Former Oiler Ryan Whitney scored a goal for the Rampage.
Watch the highlights:
The Oilers are on the ice for practice at Russ Barnes Arena.
It is MacIntyre's first full skate with the team since injuring his knee in late September in Oklahoma City.
#Oilers lines today --> Perron-RNH-Eberle, Hall-Gagner-Hemsky, Smyth-Arcobello-Yakupov, Joensuu-Gordon-Jones, Gazdic-Acton-MacIntyre.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 12, 2013
#Oilers skating at Russ Barnes Arena this morning. JSchultz (groin/ribs), Gazdic (shoulder) and MacIntyre (knee) all participating.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 12, 2013
The Barons are on the ice right now for their annual school day game. Tyler Bunz is in goal, meaning that Ilya Bryzgalov will have to wait until the weekend to make his Oilers organizational debut. The Barons play the Heat on Friday and Saturday.
Recently-signed Oilers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov spoke to the media in Oklahoma City on Monday after practice.
You can watch highlights of the interview in the video window below or click here to watch the entire interview raw.
Bryzgalov talked about being back in the AHL for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
"It's a good opportunity for me to play a few games, get some good practice with good players to get some shots and get myself in good shape."
Bryzgalov was asked if he will change anything in terms of his playing style or preparation this season as compared to the past few in Philadelphia.
"I just continue to work hard and play hard, keep myself in good shape and do everything possible in my power to make the team that I play for better."