BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN
After a disappointing first road trip in which the Oilers dropped games in Minnesota and Calgary, the team rested Sunday and returned to Rexall Place for an off-ice workout Monday morning.
Edmonton had a successful start to the season with big wins over Calgary and Florida, but two losses since then have tempered optimism in Oil Country.
The Oilers are preaching patience and urging fans, media and players themselves to lay off the panic button.
"There are things now that we have to eliminate from our game, no question about that, but we have to stick with it, and that's probably the patience part is just keep hammering that through and make sure the guys understand that," Head Coach Tom Renney explained. "We can recognize parts of players' games, and our game in general, we just cannot have. I think that the Edmonton fan will remind us of that, if anybody does."
Growing pains are to be expected, he added.
"You want to minimize the pain, you want to grow quick, but you know you've got to go through it," Renney said. "I remind myself of that too. I have to make sure that I kind of keep myself in check. It's not productive to blow a gasket and go kind of cuckoo coaching this team out of these circumstances right now.
"There is a time, and it's coming, where the demands become greater, the attention to detail is pressed into them deeper than it is now. I'm looking forward to that, but certainly my cue will be them and the mental state of this team, and where the effort is."
From a player perspective, the weekend's results were disappointing but the games weren't without some positives.
"I felt like we were in both games, we had a chance to win both games, but obviously there's things we want to improve on as well," Sam Gagner said. "We feel like Khabi played great for us again, and we're relying on him a little too much. We've got to try and play in their end a little more, generate chances off the forecheck, get pucks in deep, and limit the turnovers.
"I feel like it's a work in progress and we've got to keep driving it in and keep getting better."
Ladislav Smid agrees.
"The Minnesota game wasn't our best, but I think we have to learn from our mistakes, what we did wrong," he added. "The Calgary loss, we were up by one after two periods and obviously it's a real disappointing loss for us, but those losses are going to help us in the long run."
WILD ONE AHEAD
|Oilers vs. Wild coming up Thursday
The Oilers are hoping to apply those lessons learned in the rematch vs. the Wild Thursday, October 21 at Rexall Place. The puck drops at 7:30pm.
In the latest edition of our fan question series, Braden of Calgary submitted a question for Ladislav Smid.
BRADEN: "You have seen your role increase year by year and change on occasion. How do you prepare yourself today for the changes that have taken place?"
LADISLAV: "I'm still learning a lot. Obviously I'm happy that I've got more ice time, but every game is a big learning opportunity for me. I'm just 24. I'm just trying to work my best and get better and better.
As for my preparation, I prepare the same for every game. It hasn't changed at all since I've been given more responsibility."
Fill out the form on the right to submit a question for one of the Oilers. We will ask one of the submitted questions after the next practice and will post the answer in the next Team Today.
Author: Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com, with files from Tom Gazzola