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THE TEAM TODAY

The Team Today: Skate & Signing Saturday

Oilers practice, visit West Edmonton Mall for annual autograph session

Saturday, 13.02.2010 / 4:14 PM / The Team Today
By edmontonoilers.com staff
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The Team Today: Skate & Signing Saturday
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2010
KEEPING THE FOCUS

  MULTIMEDIA

VIDEO INTERVIEWS  AUDIO INTERVIEWS
PHOTO GALLERY
The Oilers plane touched down in Oil Country at approximately 4:30 am Friday morning from their five game road trip. The Oilers ended their two month road draught by taking down the Kings 3-2 in a shootout. As expected, the exhausted Oilers earned a much needed day off yesterday. They were back at it this morning at 10:00 am for one final practice before the Olympic break. The main key at practice today was to keep their focus for tomorrow's early Valentines matchup against the Anaheim Ducks.

The Oilers were just in Anaheim last Wednesday night where they dropped a 3-2 decision. One could argue however that the Oilers played one of their best games of the road trip in Anaheim despite the loss.

"Our overall play [in Anaheim] was fairly good," said Coach Pat Quinn. "Most of the night we handled the defensive zone coverage a lot better. They are a pretty good rush team so we want to be a little bit better on handling their second wave of defence. From a game-plan stand-point against the Ducks, I'd like to go in with the same effort and discipline and hopefully just get a better result."

GAGNER & JACQUES TAKIN' IT EASY

Both Sam Gagner and JF Jacques were not at practice today as Sam is favoring a bruised shoulder and was sent home early on the road trip to get checked out by a doctor.

"There is no damage that requires anything from a surgical stand point, " Quinn reported on Gagner. "He apparently has a bruised meniscus so it was recommended that he take the remainder of the games and then by the time we come back we expect we'll have him ready to go again."


Jacques tweaked his back on the road trip and must be very careful with back injuries as he has already had surgery. He will be taking the last game off to rest up and hopes to be back after the break.

"Right now it's recommended that he take the next couple games," reports Quinn. "He tweaked it with two games to go so we'll see how he comes back in after the break. Hopefully he'll be able to participate again. He brings an element to the game that as coaches we'd like more of. The heavy hitters, heavy players and heavy contact.
"

WEST ED MALL ANNUAL AUTOGRAPH SESSION

After practice, the Oilers headed out to West Edmonton Mall where hundreds, if not thousands were already lining up for their favorite players to sign memorabilia. Veteran players were paired with a younger player and 12 stations were set up throughout the mall. The autograph session ran from 1:00-2:30 pm this afternoon. Be sure to check out the video feature that will be posted to the website soon!

Author: Kristi Hennessy | edmontonoilers.com
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010
OILERS at KINGS:
AT THE MORNING SKATE


  MULTIMEDIA

PRE-GAME VIDEO POST-GAME VIDEO
  • Watch video highlights
  • Oilers post-game video interviews with Dubnyk, Horcoff, Moreau, Pisani and Quinn.
  • Columbus post-game video interviews with Rick Nash, Mathieu Garon and head coach Ken Hitchcock
GAME PHOTO GALLERY
  • Oilers at Kings
The Oilers practiced at Staples Center late Thursday morning in anticipation of their second game in two nights. Jeff Deslauriers got the start Wednesday night in Anaheim, and Devan Dubnyk is expected to play between the pipes tonight.

Last game, the Oilers outshot the Ducks and scored two shorthanded goals but were unable to come away with the win. Despite the outcome, Oilers coaches were talking positively Thursday.

"We played a good game, maybe deserved a better fate, didn't get that, so number one is just mental toughness and the resiliency to come back and play hard," Associate Coach Tom Renney said.

"We really have probably only had five, six stinkers where our team wasn't very good, but every team has at least that many," Head Coach Pat Quinn added. "But we've had a lot of nights where our guys competed hard, like last night, and should have had better results.

"What I like is we've got lots of guys that haven't changed about how they look at themselves, and that's really the key right now is your own self-respect, and who you are, and to try to make sure you compete at your level, your standard. And then maybe we can still pull this team together."

SPECIAL SPECIAL TEAMS

Powerplay and penalty killing are big components of a team's success, and the Oilers broke their own mold Wednesday night by scoring twice shorthanded. The two shorthanded goals -- courtesy of
Ryan Potulny and Ethan Moreau -- tripled the team's season totals and were one shy of the franchise record for most in a game, which was set at three on four different occasions.

"Our penalty kill has not been a strong part of our game this year," Quinn said, "but the last couple of nights they've been real sharp and of course we've done something we didn't do all year and that's score two goals of them, which is strange in that sense.

"We've been struggling enough to say 'Let's just kill the penalty first' and don't even think about that. But we had two opportunities -- I'm happy. Maybe that's going to help our penalty kill continue to do a good job."


OILERS 3 - KINGS 2 (SHOOTOUT)

Lubomir Visnovsky's goal in the 10th round of the shootout, lifted the Oilers to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night, ending the team's five-game road trip with a victory.
Author: Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
 
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2010
OILERS at DUCKS:
AT THE MORNING SKATE


  MULTIMEDIA

PRE-GAME VIDEO POST-GAME VIDEO
GAME PHOTO GALLERY
The Oilers held an optional skate at Honda Center Wednesday morning, but most players opted to take to the ice. Among those who didn't were Tom Gilbert, Jean-Francois Jacques, Lubomir Visnovsky, Steve Staios, Dustin Penner & Marc Pouliot.

Although he missed Tuesday's practice due to a late arrival from the east coast,
Devan Dubnyk was in one of the practice nets to help his squad prepare for the game. Jeff Deslauriers will get the start tonight vs. the Ducks, while Dubnyk is expected to play Thursday night in Los Angeles.

HOW TO DROWN DUCKS

The Ducks have won their past 10 games played at The Pond, and although the home team will be missing forward Ryan Getzlaf, the Oilers are prepared to face a formidable foe.

"They want desperately to get themselves back into the playoffs and be effective when they get there, so as much as [Getzlaf] might not be in the line-up, for us anyway we know we're going to have our hands full," Associate Coach Tom Renney said after the skate.

"They're playing really well," captain
Ethan Moreau added. "We just watched some video on them so we'll be ready."

According to Renney, that readiness centres on a simple game plan: "Battle earlier, harder, and longer."

"It's about puck management for us," the coach explained. "We try to make so much out of little plays that don't get you a whole lot. It's sort of a risk/reward game for us right now and we've got to play more low-risk hockey but also elevate the battle level so that the other team knows we're in it."

Dustin Penner said it's important to forget about the past, including the club's 10 straight road losses, heading into the game.

"You've just got to break it down to the simplest form and that's that each game is just a one-game season," Penner said. "You've got to forget about the games before and the games that are coming up next, even if we're playing the next night in L.A like we are here. Just focus on tonight and what we can do and what we think can make the game successful for us and resulting in a victory."

Like in Monday night's game in Phoenix, Penner is expected to play with
Ryan Potulny and Robert Nilsson tonight.

"I thought as a line we moved the puck well, we got in on the forecheck, we got a lot of shots on net just not a lot to show for it. Shots don't add up to goals unless they go in, so we've got to work on that part of it."

The former Duck is looking forward to more success with his linemates and a win tonight against his former team.

"It's always nice to come back here and play against guys that I won a Cup with," Penner said. "We have a good bond by winning it and it's just fun to get on the ice and play against them and test your skill against them. The banter that goes back and forth is always pretty funny."
"

DUCKS 3 - OILERS 2

After surrendering the first goal, the Oilers stole the show in Anaheim by dominating the shot clock and tallying two shorthanded markers -- one short of the franchise record -- in the second period. But the Ducks responded with a powerplay goal and then go-ahead goal in the third, holding on for a 3-2 win Wednesday night.

Captain
Ethan Moreau set up Ryan Potulny for Edmonton's first shortie and then added one of his own, while Anaheim's Bobby Ryan scored the Ducks first two goals. Goalies Jeff Deslauriers and Jonas Hiller finished with 27 and 37 saves respectively.
Author: Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2010
FROM SEA TO SEA

  MULTIMEDIA

VIDEO INTERVIEWS  AUDIO INTERVIEWS
PHOTO OF THE DAY
After arriving in Anaheim from Phoenix late Monday night, the Oilers held an afternoon practice at Honda Center Tuesday. Earlier in the day, the Oilers swapped goaltenders with their AHL affiliate on the opposite coast, recalling Devan Dubnyk and reassigning Bryan Pitton to Springfield.

The long cross-continental flight kept Dubnyk from arriving in Anaheim until the evening, limiting the Oilers to just one goalie -- Jeff Deslauriers -- for practice.


ALL SKATERS, MINUS SAM

As the only goalie, Deslauriers was kept busy throughout practice, especially since all healthy skaters were present. Forward Sam Gagner, who tweaked his knee Saturday in Colorado, flew back to Edmonton Monday afternoon for an assessment. There is no timeline for his return to the line-up.

With Gagner out and a 6-1 loss to the Coyotes clear in their minds, Pat Quinn and the other Oilers coaches switched up the lines. Most notably, Ryan Potulny replaced Marc Pouliot at center on the top line, and Shawn Horcoff slipped into Potulny's place between Patrick O'Sullivan and Mike Comrie.

The complete practice lines were as follows:

Dustin Penner - Ryan Potulny - Robert Nilsson
Patrick O'Sullivan - Shawn Horcoff - Mike Comrie
Gilbert Brule - Marc Pouliot - Fernando Pisani
Ethan Moreau - Andrew Cogliano - Zack Stortini / Jean-Francois Jacques

Ladislav Smid - Lubomir Visnovsky
Denis Grebeshkov - Jason Strudwick
Steve Staios - Tom Gilbert

As for between the pipes, Oilers Associate Coach Tom Renney confirmed that Dubnyk will get the start in one of Edmonton's next two games, likely Thursday night in Los Angeles. "My guess is he probably won't go tomorrow," he said.


OKLAHOMA IN OCTOBER

Downtown Oklahoma City will be the home of Edmonton's primary AHL affiliate next season.
Midway between Anaheim and Springfield, Oilers representatives gathered at Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City to make a special announcement.

Starting in October, the Oilers will reactivate their dormant AHL franchise and entrust their top prospects to the passionate hockey fans in OKC. Until last summer, the prairie city was home to the Central Hockey League's Oklahoma City Blazers, who first introduced pro hockey to Oklahoma in 1965.


BROADCASTER'S OLYMPIC BREAK

Also on Tuesday, the Oilers notified fans that Hall of Fame broadcaster Rod Phillips, the voice of the Oilers for over 30 years, will be taking a well-deserved break for the next five games. Colour commentator Bob Stauffer will slide into the play-by-play seat for Wednesday night's game, and he will be joined by Kevin Karius and Rob Brown on the broadcasts during Rod's absence.


Author: Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com

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