INSIDE THE OILERS
POSTED ON Saturday, 01.2.2016 / 6:18 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Benoit Pouliot missed eight games due to injury in early December. Now with him back in the lineup, it’s time to get him going. There have been signs that he’s getting closer to where the Oilers want him to be. He had three goals in two games on December 27 and 29.

Against Arizona on Saturday, Pouliot had five shots on goal and chipped in two points. However, it wasn’t all smiles for Pouliot in that game. A pair of penalties in the first period had Todd McLellan considering scaling back Pouliot’s ice time.

In the end, he sided with continuing to push the big winger out there in hopes he’d turn the afternoon around for himself, which he inevitably did.

“I’m trying to get Benny going,” said McLellan. “I think Benny is a tremendous player. I think he’s really important to our team. I talked to him yesterday and some of the things we talked about, he used tonight. Other than the penalties, I thought he was dangerous. He stripped pucks, he got in on the forecheck, he won body-position battles, he was really engaged, which was good to see. He was engaged on the bench. It was a catch-22. Do I strangle him and take that away or do I try and keep promoting his play and try to get him back in? I went the other way and maybe, hopefully, it was the right thing.”

Pouliot has 17 points (8-9-17) in 31 games this season.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 01.2.2016 / 6:18 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

No NHL team can rely on one line to always provide the offence, which is why it is imperative the Oilers get the line of Benoit Pouliot, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle playing with the consistency they’ve shown they can achieve, particularly last season.

“Obviously, we’re working as a team here,” said Nugent-Hopkins. “We need contributions from everybody, from D to forwards. Our line definitely needs to keep producing. Since the break here, we’ve done a little bit better job of it.”

That line combined for five points against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. They scored one of the Oilers two goals on December 29 against the Los Angeles Kings, and combined for six points against the Calgary Flames on December 27.

“It’s much better now, that’s for sure,” said Pouliot. “We’re trying to get back to what we were doing last year together. We’re finding each other a little bit more. We’re talking more too, which is nice. In the offensive zone, we know where we’re going.”

Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan was happy with that line’s performance against Arizona. Eberle scored twice, while Pouliot finished the game with two assists and Nugent-Hopkins had one helper, as well as a shootout goal.

“I felt confident with that line,” said McLellan.

“Just that group alone, I thought was our most effective group throughout the night.”

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POSTED ON Saturday, 01.2.2016 / 6:17 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Todd McLellan was bullish when he talked about the performance Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had against Arizona on Saturday.

“He wanted the puck tonight. He wanted it on his tape, he was ready to shoot it, guys were getting it back for him. That’s good for those three and that’s good for our team,” said the head coach.

The centre finished the game with an assist and three shots on goal in 21:30 of ice time, adding a shootout tally at the end of the game to win it. He also came close to ending it in OT with a speedy rush down the right wing.

“I thought Nuge had a really good game,” said McLellan. “I don’t know what anybody else thought. But standing back there, I kept wanting to put him on the ice. He battled, he stripped pucks, he created a great opportunity for (Jordan Eberle) on the (game-tying goal) and I felt confident with him.”

Nugent-Hopkins has four assists in his last four games.

“There’s been games where I could have had a few but didn’t get the bounces and a few where it’s kind of gone the other way too,” said Nugent-Hopkins. “You’ve just got to try to stay positive.”

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POSTED ON Saturday, 01.2.2016 / 10:04 AM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The lone Oilers prospect participating in the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship is 2014 fourth-round pick William Lagesson. The defenceman plays for Sweden, and we will have updates on his performance as the tournament unfolds.

SWEDEN 6, SLOVAKIA 0



The Swedes stayed perfect at the 2016 World Junior Championships with a 6-0 beatdown of Slovakia in the quarterfinal.

Sweden got off to a fast start, with Joel Eriksson Ek giving them a 1-0 lead at 5:10 of the first. Oskar Lindblom would score 6:25 later to make in 2-0 heading into the intermission.

Christoffer Ehn made it 3-0 at 10:07 of the middle frame, and then goals by Adrian Kempe, Jens Looke (shorthanded) and Alexander Nylander closed out the 6-0 decision in the third.

Swedish netminder Linus Soderstrom needed only to make 17 saves for the shutout.

Oilers prospect William Lagesson did not register a point, but was +2. He had one shot on goal.

Sweden now advances to the semifinal and will play the winner of Canada vs. Finland.

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POSTED ON Friday, 01.1.2016 / 12:52 PM MT
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POSTED ON Friday, 01.1.2016 / 12:48 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The next step to Connor McDavid's road to recovery happened on New Year's Day. McDavid skated with the team for the first time since breaking his collarbone on November 3, nearly two months to the day.

“It’s good to feel normal again and be out there with them. Today was a little bit of a lighter practice, they were getting ready for tomorrow’s game but it was still a lot of fun to be out there,” McDavid began, while speaking to a relatively large contingent of media considering the holiday.

“It feels really good. There hasn’t been any pain with it since surgery. Obviously, a few days after but it’s felt pretty good for a long time. Just gotta wait for it to heal.”

McDavid talked about the difference in recovery this time around from last year when he broke his hand in a fight in November.

“It’s a little bit different. It’s not like last year with my hand. It’s in a cast and you know it’s broken. But when it feels so good you ask ‘can I do this, can I do that’ but doctors know what’s best. We do x-rays pretty frequently so you know what’s going on in there pretty good,” he said. “It’s their job to worry about that.”

The rookie centre was asked about how he's been able to stay in shape these past couple of months.

“The good thing about this injury is it was an upper-body injury and you can still keep your legs feeling good. I think I was on the bike four days after so that’s no excuse to come back out of shape or anything like that. I feel really good with my legs and all that.

“There’s still a process I have to go through. Today was the first step, being out with the guys. We’ll just kind of go from here, taking contact and doing all that. We’ll see how fast that moves along. Today it felt good to be back out there with them.”

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POSTED ON Friday, 01.1.2016 / 11:07 AM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers are on the ice for practice today and Connor McDavid is skating with the team for the first time since his injury. Nail Yakupov is on the ice as well, reuniting the two linemates.

The team did not do much in the way of line rushes in what was a brief practice.

Check back for more coverage and reaction.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 12.31.2015 / 10:26 PM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The opportunities were there and the chances came but the Ducks waddled away with a 1-0 win over the Oilers.

Edmonton was unable to respond after a shot from Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf midway through the first gave Anaheim the lead.

“It started in the corner. I thought we did a good job battling and getting that puck back…it was a broken play, Sami kind of threw it in and [Perry] made a nice play over and I just was able to get a good backhand on it,” said the Captain.

A back-and-forth battle on the ice saw the Ducks and the Oilers scrapping for the puck but both teams came up short.

“You think of 1-0 and you think of a team that’s playing really defensively but we had so many chances out there, their goalie was great,” said Ducks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau.

Cam Talbot ended the night with 34 saves.

Anaheim’s lone goal and win leaves them with a 15-15-6 record heading into tomorrow’s game against Vancouver.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 12.31.2015 / 3:45 PM MT

The Edmonton Oilers announced today, they have activated winger Rob Klinkhammer and defenceman Brandon Davidson from Injured Reserve.

Klinkhammer, 29, has appeared in eight games with the Oilers this season, registering one goal and two penalty minutes.

Davidson, 24, has appeared in 23 games this season, posting five points (2G, 3A) and 12 penalty minutes.

The Oilers also announced today they have assigned defenceman Nikita Nikitin to the American Hockey League's Bakersfield Condors.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 12.31.2015 / 3:31 PM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The lone Oilers prospect participating in the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship is 2014 fourth-round pick William Lagesson. The defenceman plays for Sweden, and we will have updates on his performance as the tournament unfolds.

SWEDEN 5, CANADA 2



Team Sweden swept Group A thanks to a fairly convincing 5-2 win over Team Canada today in Helsinki.
 
It was a heated affair, with a total of 17 penalties being doled out for the two teams.
 
Oilers prospect William Lagesson was called for slashing at the 9:18 mark in the first period.
 
The defenceman finishes the preliminary round having scored one goal and adding one assist for two points in four games.
 
According to IIHF, this is the first time Canada has lost two round-robin games in regulation since the 1998 World Juniors, also in Finland.
 
Lagesson and the Swedes will face Slovakia in the quarter-finals on Saturday at 9 a.m. MT. 

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