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Posted On Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 4:42 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

Calls bring different news for Bouwmeester, Hall

EDMONTON -- St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and Edmonton Oilers left wing Taylor Hall each received a phone call from Hockey Canada on Tuesday morning.

One brought good news, the other bad as the Canadian Olympic team selections were announced in Toronto.

Bouwmeester, who was left off the Olympic team four years ago in Vancouver, will be on the squad heading to Sochi, Russia in February. Hall will not.

"It's pretty exciting stuff," Bouwmeester said. "It wasn't something I was thinking about or worried about, there are a lot of real good players. I've been on the other side, looking in and it's not a lot of fun.

"It's a great opportunity and it's something that if you have the chance to be a part of, it's something special and it's something you want to take advantage of."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.07.2014 / 3:30 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Oilers hope for partial repeat of past game vs. Blues

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers took it on the chin last time they hosted the St. Louis Blues.

Despite being shut out 6-0 on Dec. 21, there were positives in the loss to take into the return engagement Tuesday at Rexall Place.

The Oilers outshot the Blues 14-5 in the first period of that game before the wheels fell off in the second and third periods.

"We need to stick with that game plan that we had in that first period right through the game," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "We've run into that a few times this season where we had the game plan going, everything is great and maybe we haven't scored or maybe even the other team is up 1-0.

"We have a tendency to say, 'That's not working,' but it is if we're out-chancing them terribly and we're spending very little time in our zone. We have to just do this for the full 60 minutes, and it may take until the 57th minute to break them but you can't come off it."

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Posted On Sunday, 01.05.2014 / 2:51 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Eberle returns to Oilers' top line

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers (13-26-5) are shaking up their top line in an effort to snap a four-game losing skid.

Jordan Eberle returns to the Oilers' lineup Sunday against the Tampa Bay Lightning (25-12-4) at Rexall Place and will skate alongside Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the top line.

Eberle missed the 5-2 loss against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday with a knee injury he sustained the previous game in a collision with San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture.

"I just tried to step up and hit him and I felt my knee tweak a bit," Eberle said. "I think because of the adrenaline of the game I felt alright to play [and finish the game]. The next day was when it hit me and it was really sore. It's tough to sit out, but I'm happy to be back."

Prior to the injury, Eberle had been playing on the Oilers second line with Sam Gagner and Nail Yakupov.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.28.2013 / 3:58 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Oilers' Bryzgalov gets first shot at Flyers since buyout

EDMONTON -- Ilya Bryzgalov will be looking for a measure of revenge when the Edmonton Oilers host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night at Rexall Place.

The Oilers goaltender is facing his former team for the first time since being bought out this offseason, two years into a nine-year, $51 million contract.

Bryzgalov signed with the Oilers as a free agent on Nov. 8 and has played in eight games.

"Bryzgalov has been excellent for us," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "Obviously not being in the Philadelphia organization, you read things and you hear things and you see all of this talk. It seems like it's been the exact opposite here from what went on there.

"He's been a good teammate and a pleasure to coach. He's been stopping the puck fairly well. We've had absolutely no problems at all."

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Posted On Monday, 12.23.2013 / 2:59 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Oilers to play Perron, Hall together against Jets

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers are putting two of their best players together in an effort to snap a six-game winless streak.

Against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday, the Oilers will use David Perron and Taylor Hall on the same line for the first time this season.

"It's interesting. It's the first time I get a chance to play with [Hall] in 35 games," Perron said. "I'm interested to see what's going to happen. I'm excited about it. He's obviously a guy that you can give the puck to in the neutral zone and he can use his speed through the zone. That's something I'm going to try to do. We've already talked about how we want to play in the offensive zone, moving the puck quickly and working hard in the corners."

Perron and Hall have been two of the Oilers' best offensive forwards this season.

Acquired in a trade from the St. Louis Blues during the offseason, Perron has 14 goals and 13 assists in 34 games. Hall leads the team in scoring with 13 goals and 17 assists.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.21.2013 / 3:29 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Oilers' Perron looks to bring edge against Blues

EDMONTON -- David Perron is looking forward to facing his former teammates Saturday night.

The Edmonton Oilers left wing is going up against the St. Louis Blues for the first time since being traded this offseason. Perron was acquired by the Oilers in exchange for Magnus Paajarvi and a second-round pick in 2014 NHL Draft.

“When I got traded and the schedule came out, that’s the first thing I looked at,” Perron said. “Normally I look at when we play [the Montreal Canadiens], because I’m from there, but this year was a little different. It’s going to be fun to play against them.”

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Posted On Thursday, 12.12.2013 / 3:39 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Oilers feel speed, smarts best assets against Bruins

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers are not a big, strong, heavy team.

So going up against the Boston Bruins on Thursday night at Rexall Place, they won't try to match up physically.

Oilers coach Dallas Eakins concedes it would not be a wise tactic.

"I think it might not be the smartest game plan to try and match them physically," Eakins said. "If you don't match up that way, there's no use trying to do it. I want to use more of our speed, and our smarts against them.

"I'm not sure if they're as big as they have been in the past. They still have some heavy guys, but I want to get into a game where we're playing quick with really good puck support, and if we do have to give up the puck, then we're going to be first to it. To go in and try to match a team like this physically, I don't think it gives us a chance to win the game."

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.10.2013 / 3:16 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Oilers still searching for consistent, 60-minute efforts

EDMONTON -- The only thing consistent about the Edmonton Oilers of late has been their inconsistency.

The Oilers have alternated between winning and losing in their past eight games. They host the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday at Rexall Place, having lost to 2-1 in overtime against the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

"The ups and downs of our team are sometimes understood and sometimes not," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "The last game against Calgary was a head-shaker for all of us. We thought we made some progress, we were feeling very good about ourselves and we made some knucklehead plays that cost us some offense."

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Posted On Saturday, 12.07.2013 / 3:49 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Smid returns for latest Oilers-Flames rivalry game

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames can still get temperatures rising. Saturday, the teams meet in the second game of the season series, at Rexall Place.

"Hockey is like everything, it goes in cycles," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "Both franchises are in unbelievable hockey markets. Right now we're in a rebuilding phase and there is no secret formula, you need time.

"With time you're going to have growing pains. You see some bright flashes, you look at [Calgary's] Sean] Monahan and [Edmonton's] Taylor Hall and [Nail] Yakupov, and those guys are the building blocks. You need to surround them with quality veterans. You look at teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks a few years ago, they went through the same thing and today they're leaders in the League."

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Posted On Thursday, 12.05.2013 / 3:25 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Oilers shake up defense group

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers plan on making a number of roster changes for their game Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche, but the reinforcements from Oklahoma City did not arrive in time for the morning skate.

Defensemen Martin Marincin and Corey Potter, along with center Anton Lander, were recalled from the Oilers' American Hockey League affiliate Wednesday, and despite flight delays the trio is expected to play.

"They got delayed [Wednesday] coming in," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "They're either in the air or may have landed already. They'll be available for [Thursday night]."

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Quote of the Day

I feel that responsibility, I've felt it for the last two years. We core guys get a lot of minutes, we get a lot of opportunity out there. Our teammates, the organization and fans look to us to be the guys to put the puck in the net and to create momentum out there.

— Jordan Eberle on taking his game and the Edmonton Oilers to the next level