“Those moves today were strictly numbers. We had to clear roster spots for guys potentially coming back in,” Eakins began. “First, Ben Eager went down with a great frame of mind. He went down and played well. He was named as part of the captains in Oklahoma City which says volumes to me.”
Eager played seven games and had one assist in his time with the big club.
“He came up and played solid for us. I have no reservations about having Ben Eager in our lineup. The problem is, we have an influx of forwards right now and we have to sort that out. We can only carry so many players.”
“We'll see how he is. Joensuu is in the same boat. I put them on lines today being hopeful that they'll be able to,” said Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins after practice.
“I’m feeling better. Worked hard for a few days there in Sherwood Park,” said Perron. “We'll see how it goes later today and make a decision for tomorrow.”
Perron has missed his last four games. After initially missing the team’s game against Toronto with an illness, a neck injury got aggravated and he has been out for the past three as a result of that.
Joensuu has missed 10 games in a row with a back injury. He initially tried to come back from the injury early and ended up out of the lineup again. It has been frustrating for the Finnish winger.
“It's tough any time you get hurt. It's one of the most annoying and toughest things in hockey,” Joensuu began. “Me and the trainers have been working on (getting 100%). I don't know if it's tomorrow but if it's tomorrow I'm pretty excited.”
Regarding Anton Belov, Eakins said the blueliner was also close.
"We have to see how his knee is feeling in the morning and the call will be made on that one (at that time)."
Omark played one game on his call up to the Oilers, and finished last night's contest with no points in 9:04 of ice time.
Eager has played in seven games for the Oilers this season, with one assist.
Oilers forward David Perron has traveled to Philadelphia to meet the team tomorrow at practice.
Where am I? That's right I'm in Philadelphia joining the team tomorrow at practice :) good luck to the boys tonight pic.twitter.com/4Fcv6VRiEK— David Perron (@DP_57) November 7, 2013
Perron has missed four games due to pain in his neck.
The winger is fourth on the team in scoring with nine points (2-7-9) through 13 games.
The Oilers play the Flyers in Philadelphia on Saturday at 11 a.m. MT.
Yesterday, Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins said that he had talked to Nail Yakupov about recent trade rumours surrounding his name.
“I wanted to let him know that these reports in the media, the people that are making trades for him are absolutely, 100% untrue. This kid is not going anywhere.
“Guys like Joe Thornton. The kid here, Stamkos. Those guys struggled early in their careers and, boy, they turned out to be pretty good players. Nail Yakupov is not being shopped, he’s not going anywhere and I wanted him to hear that from me, look in my eyes and let him know that we’re attached at the hip. We’re going to make him a better player. It’s okay to struggle.”
Today, Yakupov talked to Oilers Now host and Oilers radio colour analyst Bob Stauffer about that conversation he had with the team's head coach.
"I talked to Dallas and it was great to hear his thoughts. He said everything's fine," said Yakupov. "I don't want to go anywhere. I'd love to be in Edmonton and be a part of the Oilers."
Yakupov has one goal and two assists in three games to start the season for the Oilers after scoring 17 goals in 48 games in his rookie campaign.
"It happens sometimes, you go up and down. You have to be ready for it. You have to challenge yourself. It's frustrating to not get that much points, maybe the points would help my team win more games. Trying to stay positive and trying to forget about everything in the past and just think about tomorrow and tonight's game."
Stauffer asked Yakupov if he feels he has to be scoring to help the team.
"It doesn't matter what you do (as long as you) get two points but I'm an offensive forward and I'm supposed to do something offensively. We have defence who play defence and forwards who play forward. But I need to help in the defensive zone."
Linus Omark made his initial Oilers debut in a memorable game several years ago against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Omark's spin move at centre ice prior to scoring a shootout goal helped lead Edmonton to the win.
"It seems like it's always the Lightning," Omark laughed.
Yesterday, coach Eakins stressed that Omark needs to buy in to the team's defensive strategy to stay on the team. That was something that Omark acknowledged today.
"I need to play my game, be responsible with the puck on defence too," he said.
Taylor Hall returns to the lineup tonight after missing seven games with a knee injury suffered back on October 22.
"It's good that I didn't miss the four weeks that were planned. If I felt good enough to play I knew I had to play," said Hall following the skate. At practice yesterday I felt ready to go. I was planning to play Saturday but felt good enough to go today."
The original prognosis for Hall was that he would be out four weeks but the left winger always felt that he would be back in the lineup sooner than that.
"I had a feeling I'd be back sooner. I had a goal of three weeks when it first happened and I'm back even sooner than that."
He does have to wear a knee brace the rest of the season, however.
"It's fine. It's a little clunky but it feels good on my knee."
Coach Eakins was happy to have Hall back in the lineup. In nine games this season, Hall has eight points (3g, 5a).
"He's been cleared to play and he will play," announced the head coach, adding that he's not averse to playing him for big minutes. "How he's going and how the team is going will determine how much ice time he gets tonight."
The Oilers are on the ice for morning skate at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Seven defencemen are on the ice: Nick Schultz, Ference, Fedun, Larsen, Smid, Petry and Anton Belov. Belov is skating with the team for the first time since suffering his lower-body injury on Saturday against Detroit.
Chance that Taylor Hall is in...looks like Eager and Acton could be out...those 2 are doing extra work— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) November 7, 2013
Oilers projected lines:Hemsky-RNH-Eberle, Hall-Gagner-Yakupov, Omark-Gordon-Arcobello, Jones-Smyth-Gazdic— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) November 7, 2013
IN FOCUS | Taylor Fedun Story | Eakins comments on Yakupov rumours
RAW | Linus Omark | RAW | Taylor Fedun | RAW | Devan Dubnyk | RAW | Dallas Eakins
Dallas Eakins | Linus Omark | Taylor Fedun | Devan Dubnyk
Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins sat Nail Yakupov for the final 9:14 of the third period on Tuesday night as well as in overtime. When asked about it, the head coach said that it didn’t really have anything to do with how Yakupov played. In fact, he liked what he saw from the Russian winger.
“The thought process for me — I think I didn’t play him after the eight-and-a-half minute mark, somewhere around there — we had enough forwards that were playing really well defensively. It wasn’t more about protecting our team, it was about protecting the kid.”
Yakupov was on the ice for the first Panthers goal but certainly couldn’t have been faulted for it. In all, he had two shots on net in 12:47 of ice-time.
“I thought he had done enough well in the game defensively and tried hard enough that I just didn’t want anything to go wrong for him. We had enough guys to cover it off.
“They ended up tying the game there on a broken play but when you give up three chances in the third protecting a lead you’ve done one hell of a job. It was little to do with his play, it was more of, listen, you had a sound game for what we were looking for from you and that was enough.”
“I didn’t want anything crazy to happen for him to put a negative spin on it. And now, sitting for eight minutes seems to be a negative spin but it wasn’t. I was happy with his game and I just wanted it to end there and protect him.”
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