Since being recalled from the American Hockey League, Ryan Jones has been steadily playing better and better for Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins.
The bench boss says it's due to Jones having a newly acquired desperation that has inspired an upswing in production on the ice.
"I think he's come back with desperation, that's for sure," said Eakins. "I think he's come back with a little desperation and now he's played some more hockey too, he's missed a bunch of games. We need Jonesy to play just how he has kind of the last couple of games. He's got to finish every check. That's not negotiable with Jonesy and he's doing a good job with that."
With Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the receiving end of a knee-to-knee hit against Los Angeles last week, it was Jones who answered the bell and went after the offender later in the game. Jones and Kyle Clifford scuffled as the Oiler was sticking up for his teammate, something that didn't go unnoticed.
"He went and stuck up for one of his teammates. I don't expect that of him a whole lot. I challenge our group that we have to stick up for each other. It's everyone's job. He did that in the L.A game which took courage, so we like that out of him."
Eakins says that for Jones, it's all about sticking to his game.
"He's playing a simple game right now and that's what Jonesy is. He's going to skate up and down his wing, he's going to hit everything that moves and he's going to drive the net hard and cause a commotion there. That's where he'll be rewarded with his points. I've been encouraged with Jones over the last few games. I just find him to be more desperate now than he was in training camp."
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