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THE TEAM TODAY

THE TEAM TODAY: Moving Day

Oilers hold fun practice before making a pair of moves on Trade Deadline

Monday, 28.02.2011 / 6:16 PM / The Team Today
By Jen Sharpe  - edmontonoilers.com
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THE TEAM TODAY: Moving Day
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28

MOVING DAY

At the start of perhaps the most stressful day of the year for NHL players and management, the Oilers attempted to keep the mood light with an upbeat practice at Rexall Place.

The on-ice activities included a few quick drills,
five-on-five and three-on-three scrimmages, and then a shootout showdown.

With head coach Tom Renney assisting general manager Steve Tambellini in his trade discussions away from the rink, associate coach Ralph Krueger ran the practice.

"There's been a lot of talk within the group in the last few weeks, and it's kind of culminated this morning. We felt it in the energy and you've got to react to that, let the guys flow and get a good sweat and get this day over with," he said.

As Krueger could likely anticipate, the day had only just begun.

CALLING COLORADO

Shortly after 11am local time, two hours shy of the trade deadline, the Oilers made their first move.

In exchange for defenceman Shawn Belle, the club acquired another young defenceman, Kevin Montgomery, from the Colorado Avalanche.
The 22-year-old has appeared in 51 games this season with the AHL's Lake Erie Monsters, recording 19 points and 34 penalty minutes.

Read the Montgomery press release

ALL THE KINGS MEN?

Shortly after the Montgomery trade, rumours started to fly about Dustin Penner being traded to Los Angeles. 15 minutes before the deadline, the Oilers confirmed that they had acquired 21-year-old blueliner Colten Teubert and two Kings draft picks in exchange for the big winger.

Read the Teubert press release

"Over the last, I'd say, 48 hours, discussions with a few teams with regards to Dustin were taken place and then it became quite evident that the return was going to fit into what we're trying to do here," Tambellini explained. "We have to give up a good player but (we got) the first round pick, the first-round prospect of a defenceman that we don't have a lot of."

In Teubert, the GM expects a solid young defencemen that will bolster the Oklahoma City Barons this season and add to the organization's defensive depth.

"I think his strengths are going to be one of compete, he has great leadership qualities, he's a good person, and I would say a predictable puck-moving type of player," Tambellini said. "He's been involved with Team Canada at a high level, he's played with Jordan Eberle, he's not fun to play against. We need a lot more of that."

Tambellini added that the organization is also pleased with the first-round and conditional third-round draft picks they acquired in the trade.

"(Head Scout) Stu MacGregor, he's an excited man today," he said. "This is the time in the growth of our organization to have those type of assets. This is the right time, and I think we had to recognize that this fits in. Maybe five years from now, this doesn't make sense, but right now, this is exactly what we need."

Penner expressed surprise at being traded.

Dustin Penner addresses the media for the first time as an LA King.

"I don't think anything can prepare you for something like this," he told the media. "I'm sad to leave. I think, like everybody here, I felt like we were building something together. I didn't expect to get traded. It's interesting. I haven't been in this position before and especially being at the rink, so it's been kind of a daze."

Andrew Cogliano had nothing but good things to say about his now-departed teammate.

"I really enjoy Pens and him being around the room and playing, he's been great here," Cogliano said. "For him, it's good. He's going to a team where they're in a playoff hunt, he's familiar with some of the guys on the team, so I'm happy for him and hopefully he does a good job."

LOOKING AHEAD

Tambellini expects his club to adapt well to Penner's absence, starting tomorrow night vs Nashville.

"I expect them to compete to win every night, just like we said at the beginning of the year. Does it mean more time for Taylor and Jordan and Magnus Paajarvi? Maybe. Or does it mean time where you see someone come up from the minors to get some extra time? We have lots of offensive strength along with Ales (Hemsky), that we should be able to handle anything that we play right now."

Limited tickets are available for the Oilers-Predators game. Click here to purchase.

ONE-ON-ONE

In the latest edition of our fan question series, Shelley Fleming of Edmonton submitted a question for Shawn Horcoff.

SHELLEY: "What outlook do you put forth to your teammates, especially the rookies, with the team now playing "spoiler?"

Shawn Horcoff

SHAWN: "When you're playing at this time of year, the majority of teams are going to be in a fight for playoffs, for position in the standings, and getting their games geared up. Hockey really starts to pick up this time of year, so it's going to be a really good challenge for us and the young guys to get a taste of high-intensity games.

"I thought last night (vs the Bruins) was a good example of that. They came out in the first period and they're obviously one of the best teams in the league and one of the best in the east, and they really had their intensity at a different level than we were prepared to match with four lines.

"There's always things to play for. There's jobs to play for here, there's pride. We obviously feel like we're going to go somewhere here in the future and you want to be a part of that, us veterans alike, so there's plenty to play for."

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 Bob Stauffer & Tom Gazzola

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27

BRUINS 3 - OILERS 2

Despite scoring the first and last goals of the game, Edmonton surrendered three in the middle, resulting in a 3-2 loss to Boston Sunday night. Ales Hemsky and Gilbert Brule lit the lamp for the Oilers, while Devan Dubnyk stopped 37 shots in the losing effort.

Under the Scope

FIRST PERIOD

Dubnyk made the first save of the game and Tuukka Rask the second, but the third attempt couldn't be stopped. Capitalizing on a juicy rebound, Hemsky fired from the slot and got the puck across the Bruins goal line to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead one minute into the game.

Following the goal, the Bruins peppered Dubnyk in an attempt to get back on even terms. At 8:27, the focus turned to Theo Peckham and Nathan Horton, who dropped their gloves for a spirited scrap near the Oilers bench. The fight ended when Peckham lost his balance and tumbled to the ice, and he would not return to the game for precautionary medical reasons.

By the 15-minute mark, Boston had assumed a 12-3 shot advantage and tied the game. With Dubnyk desperately stretching to cover the left side of his net, Michael Ryder caught a loose puck and lifted it over the sprawled-out goalie, evening the score 1-1.

Three minutes later, confusion among Oilers defencemen left Horton out in the open. With help from David Krejci and Dennis Seidenberg, the Bruins winger fired into an open net to give the visitors a 2-1 lead and 15-5 shot advantage heading into the second period.

SECOND PERIOD

16 seconds into the middle frame, Adam McQuaid tripped up Taylor Hall and the Oilers benefited from the game's first power-play. Edmonton couldn't get the puck on (or past) Rask, however, and as McQuaid left the penalty box, he was tripped up by Kurtis Foster, resulting in a Bruins power-play. The visitors added three attempts to their tally, but Dubnyk turned them all away.

A second consecutive Oilers infraction, this time to Hall for roughing, helped the Bruins crack the 30-shot mark with four minutes remaining on the clock. Edmonton, by comparison, had 12.

In the final minute of the second period, Boston got its 32nd shot and third goal. Completing a give-and-go with Ryder, Rich Peverley skirted Dubnyk and tapped the puck into the net to set the score 3-1 after 40 minutes.

THIRD PERIOD

Early in the third period, Edmonton got back within one. From along the left wing boards, Brule slapped the puck under Rask's glove to firmly announce his return from a two-month stint in sick bay.

The goal sparked the Oilers, and Andrew Cogliano channeled the team's fire into flying fists. Squaring up against Brad Marchand, the speedy forward fared well in his first fight since December 28, 2009.

Shortly after both players settled into the penalty boxes, Jim Vandermeer and Milan Lucic embarked on a fight of their own in front of Dubnyk. The lengthy brawl brought fans to their feet and, after earning the decision with a handful of landed jabs, also brought a smile to Vandermeer's face.

The smile didn't last long. The Oilers opted for six skaters in the final 90 seconds of regulation, but the extra attacked failed to produce an extra goal. As a result, the Bruins capped the weekend with a 3-2 win.

 

Author: Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com

 
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26

FROM BLUES TO BRUINS

On the heels of Friday's 5-0 loss to St. Louis, the Oilers returned to the scene of the crime for an hour-long practice Saturday morning. 

Edmonton is taking little solace in the fact that they out-shot the Blues 39-22. The shutout is difficult to swallow, but the club wants to learn from the loss and
get a better result Sunday night vs. Boston.

"We definitely outchanced them and probably had better opportunities to score and more shots, obviously, but I think the little things of competing and really taking it to the next level, energy physically-wise wasn't there, and I think that was the difference," Andrew Cogliano reflected. "There needs to be more physical play, there needs to be more battle level, there needs to be better defensive and harder defensive plays.

"We're playing Boston and they're a very good team, they're a physical team, they're a big team and we're going to need everyone to show up and be really ready to work and to play hard," he continued. "They're a team that wants to push teams out of the building with the style they play, so it's going to be a big responding game for us in this room."

LINE-UP NOTES

Head coach Tom Renney is expected to tweak the forward lines for the Bruins battle.

After missing 27 of the past 30 games due to illness, Gilbert Brule will make his return to the line-up Sunday, centering Ryan Jones and Steve MacIntyre on the fourth line.

"I've been waiting patiently and I'm very excited to get back in the line-up," Brule said after practice. "I don't want to give an exact timeline but I think I've been pretty healthy for at least a week here and I've been just been waiting to get into the line-up. We've been kind of up and down the last few games so it's tough to get in when we're winning."

Also returning to action will be rookie Linus Omark, who will skate with Magnus Paajarvi and Sam Gagner after sitting out the past two games as a healthy scratch.

"I don't think it hurts for young guys to watch here and there," Renney explained. "The only guy that really hasn't has been Taylor (Hall). Ebs (Jordan Eberle), because of injury, had a chance to watch, and we know how that ticked him off, but he also learned a lot by it. And I think Magnus had an opportunity to watch, and Linus has had a chance to watch. There's nothing wrong with that and it's certainly not fatal."

On the topic of experiences that aren't fatal but are certainly uncomfortable, Shawn Horcoff did not attend practice due to lingering effects of a puck to the groin. The Oilers captain blocked a Kurtis Foster slapshot in the third period last night and has not taken to the ice since.

"
I think he's going to be fine," Renney said. "It's sore and you've got to just be careful with how much you raise the blood pressure and how much exertion there is."

For the second consecutive game, the Oilers will leave most of the shot-blocking to Devan Dubnyk Sunday evening. After allowing five goals on 22 attempts vs the Blues, the 24-year-old goaltender is encouraged by Renney to get right back between the pipes.

"He had a tough night," the coach said. "There's other guys that have had tough nights too and they've had the opportunity to press on, and I think it's really good for Dubey to jump right back in there and do a good job."

HALL VS SEGUIN

It's like Summer 2010 all over again! ... except in the winter, and during an NHL game.

In addition to the line-up changes and comments about team performance, another big weekend storyline is Hall vs Seguin, part two.

Following last year's drama about the first overall draft pick, number one (Hall) and two (Tyler Seguin) will face eachother on NHL ice for the first time Sunday night.

"I think it's a great challenge for both kids, obviously. I don't thinks we need to blow it out of proportion at all," Renney said.

Hall is currently third among NHL rookies with 40 points (21, 19) in 62 games, while Seguin sits 16th with 21 points (10, 11) in 56 games. Although the stats point to Hall as the better first-year player, Renney said such a comparison isn't fair.

"Taylor gets a lot of minutes and plays a pretty significant role on our team, and Tyler is on a team that's deeper and with more experience and is a legitimate contender, so it equates into exactly what it is, where one is getting a little bit more opportunity than the other."

That being said, the coach had nothing but good things to say about his club's selection.

"I think Taylor's been excellent," Renney added. "I think that he certainly fits what is, in my mind, symbolic of a first overall pick by the nature of how he plays, naturally, but the maturity that he brings to the rink and how he handles interviews with [the media] and just the whole thing of having to be kind of an ambassador or a spokesman for the game as a young player. He's done a very good job of that too, nevermind how well he's played."

ONE-ON-ONE

Linus Omark

In the latest edition of our fan question series, Jesse Lesik of Edmonton submitted a question for Linus Omark.

JESSE: "Do you think the smaller North American ice has affected your style of play in any way?"

LINUS: "Yeah, I'd have to say it's a little bit different, mostly behind the net. I don't have so much time or space behind the net, so I notice a difference there. But otherwise I try to play the same way."

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 Bob Stauffer & Tom Gazzola

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