OILERS NOTES: Household time at Rogers Place on Thanksgiving weekend

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Following a prolonged coaching camp and eight pre-season video games, the Edmonton Oilers took their foot off the gasoline as they head right into a Thanksgiving off day.

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It was household day at Oilers observe Saturday, gathering for a lightweight skate the day after concluding the exhibition schedule with a 5-3 win in opposition to the Seattle Kraken on Friday.

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The Oilers then mingled with household, who have been invited into the dressing room and on the ice.

“I believe typically in skilled sports activities, the time period ‘household’ will get tossed round so much and definitely we consider ourselves as a household right here, however it’s important to dwell it too,” stated Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft. “All people right here is an accepted member of the Oilers household, however they’ve prolonged households as properly they usually’re a part of our group too.

“Anytime which you can deliver within the gamers’ households or the workers’s households, it’s a bit ‘thanks’ to them, based mostly on the sacrifice they make to ensure that their husbands to work on this area, or their dads to work on this area and also you need to make them really feel a part of what’s occurring right here. We expect now we have a extremely good group of individuals and everybody’s prolonged households are part of that.”

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Woodcroft has at all times been open to household on the area. Final season, the Oilers had an open-door coverage notably within the playoffs.

“It’s superior,” stated Oilers ahead Zach Hyman with two-year-old son Theo in hand. “We’re attempting to create a household atmosphere and introduce every gamers’ household to the remainder of the room, and get to know them; and the coach will get to know them and it creates an superior atmosphere and all people loves it.”

Having youngsters and companions round helps deliver levity to the on a regular basis rigours {of professional} hockey.

“I believe it’s essential, I believe it provides all people a bit little bit of power,” Woodcroft stated. “Final evening (Friday) was the final recreation of the pre-season and that is the final observe of the pre-season, so we wished to do one thing completely different, one thing enjoyable with folks’s households and it’s not simply our gamers.

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“Workers members introduced their youngsters and their vital others. It’s only a solution to deliver all people in and join and I believe any time you are able to do that, they’re cementing bonds that assist you to as you undergo a tricky 82-game schedule.”


The Oilers acquired what they wished out of coaching camp, the primary underneath Woodcroft, who took over halfway by means of final season.

The eight pre-season video games over three weeks allowed the Oilers teaching workers to implement their methods and consider expertise, whereas giving veterans a runway into the regular-season.

“I believed we touched a number of bases and had a number of good educating moments and educating conferences throughout coaching camp to date,” Woodcroft stated. “I believe heading into subsequent week, what you’ll see us do is okay tune. The massive factor is, we’ve laid the inspiration of how we need to play and now it’s about executing at a sooner tempo, executing at a better degree.

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“Our purpose is that we would like our gamers to hit the ice on Wednesday evening, feeling free, feeling quick and able to execute. So these final two practices will simply be about wonderful tuning.”

Most of the veterans didn’t get right into a recreation till the second week of coaching camp after the variety of gamers attending camp was decreased. For established gamers, the pre-season permits them to get again into recreation form and helps with timing.

“Yeah, positively, the pre-season is all concerning the course of and ensure you’re feeling good and in form,” Hyman stated. “I believed each recreation I used to be feeling higher and I’m able to go for Wednesday.”

Hyman performed in 4 of the eight pre-season video games, and had two targets with two assists. Dylan Holloway led the Oilers in pre-season scoring with 4 targets and two assists in three video games.

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Leon Draisaitl had two targets and 5 factors in three video games, whereas Connor McDavid had two targets and 5 factors in 4 video games.

“4 video games was good, that was an excellent quantity,” Hyman stated. “I used to be proud of these video games and pleased to get into these video games.”


Having made it to the Western Convention Remaining final season, and returning the majority of the staff, the Oilers have excessive hopes heading into the 12 months.

With a brand new goaltending tandem of Jack Campbell and Stuart Skinner, and an injection of youthful enthusiasm within the proficient Holloway, the Oilers are anticipated to contend for the Stanley Cup this season.

“We’re extraordinarily excited clearly,” Hyman stated. “It was an important 12 months final 12 months and we simply must construct on it. Now we have a majority of our staff again from final season, and we’ve had an excellent pre-season; all people is on the identical web page and we’re able to rock.”

Notes: The Oilers made two extra roster strikes Saturday, putting ahead Brad Malone on waivers and assigning defenceman Markus Niemelainen to Bakersfield of the AHL. Ahead Mattias Janmark and defenceman Dmitri Samorukov each cleared waivers and can be heading to Bakersfield as properly.

E-mail: dvandiest@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @DerekVanDiest

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