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Posted On Monday, 10.20.2014 / 9:37 PM

By Derek Van Diest - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Lightning at Oilers

EDMONTON -- Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin, recalled Sunday from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, was not expected to play Monday against the Edmonton Oilers, but has been inserted in the lineup for his NHL debut because Alex Killorn sustained an upper-body injury during the morning skate.

Drouin, the third pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, was on a conditioning assignment with the Crunch after breaking his thumb in training camp.

Posted On Friday, 10.17.2014 / 3:54 PM

By Derek Van Diest - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Canucks at Oilers

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will return to the lineup Friday against the Vancouver Canucks as the Oilers search for their first win of the season.

Nugent-Hopkins sustained an upper-body injury Saturday in Vancouver against the Canucks on a hit from defenseman Dan Hamhuis. The hit led to Nugent-Hopkins' first NHL fight, against Hamhuis.

"It was a physical game which led up to that hit," Nugent-Hopkins said. "The hit kind of jarred me there. I was just a little bit banged up in the upper-body region.

"I thought the fight was all right. Neither of us are exactly fighters, but I don't think it was a lopsided thing one way or the other and that's always a positive thing when you get into your first fight. But I've been in the League for a few years and you see a lot of fights and you kind of understand what you need to do. I just tried to protect myself as much as possible and I tried to get in as many in as I could."

Posted On Thursday, 10.09.2014 / 3:44 PM

By Derek Van Diest - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Flames at Oilers

EDMONTON -- Opening night can be stressful enough for the Edmonton Oilers. But having the entire 1984 Stanley Cup championship team in attendance will add another element of anxiety Thursday against the Calgary Flames (9:30 p.m. ET, SN360).

The Oilers' 1984 team will be honored prior to the game, commemorating the 30th anniversary of Edmonton's first Stanley Cup championship.

"Just having them in the stands at morning skate adds a little bit of pressure," Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle said. "But it's fun. It's nice to soak in some of the knowledge they have. A lot of these guys are in the Hockey Hall of Fame, so just to see their faces here in our dressing room is a little bit of a shock. I think it's great for Edmonton to have them back. For us as hockey players a lot of these guys were our idols, so to get to meet them is exciting. You want to soak in as much as you can from them."

Posted On Saturday, 04.12.2014 / 3:24 PM

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

Oilers face Canucks in Smyth's final game

EDMONTON — It was business as usual for Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Smyth on Saturday morning as he prepared for his final NHL game.

Smyth announced Friday he would be retiring at the end of the Oilers' season, which ends Saturday night against the Vancouver Canucks.

"I'm just going to try and keep the emotions in check and try to take it all in," Smyth said. "Everything was normal [Saturday morning] as far as taking part in the drills and stuff, but you look up at the rafters and you see all the banners of the Cups and the banners of the guys who have retired, so it's pretty special.

"It's a great building to play in and I'm really looking forward to [Saturday night]."

Posted On Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 2:34 PM

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

Oilers get one final crack at figuring out Kings

EDMONTON -- Though the argument can be made the Edmonton Oilers have struggled against a lot of NHL teams this season, the Los Angeles Kings have been a particularly problematic opponent.

The Oilers have lost all three games to the Kings this season; they play each other a final time Thursday.

"I find L.A. to be, for our group, the most difficult of the bunch," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said.
Posted On Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 4:13 PM

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

Oilers envious of Avalanche's quick turnaround

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers are going into their game against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday with a bit of envy.

The Avalanche are where the Oilers hoped they would be this season.

A year ago Colorado was at the bottom of the NHL standings and selected first at the 2013 NHL Draft.

This season the Avalanche are going to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the Oilers, with three No. 1 picks on their roster, are heading back to the draft lottery.

"They built the same way we did as far as through the draft," Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle said. "They have a lot of young guys and they've been able to put it together as far as the wins go. When I look at that I'm for sure jealous. They're going to be in the playoffs and we're not. That being said, it's just another game [Tuesday] where we want to beat them and show we can play with them. They somehow found a way to do it and we have to do that."

Posted On Sunday, 04.06.2014 / 2:58 PM

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

Oilers' Fasth gets second chance vs. former team

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers goaltender Viktor Fasth is looking forward to another opportunity to play against his former team.

Fasth was in goal in a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday and will get the start Sunday when the Oilers play the Ducks for the final time this season.

"It doesn't matter really what team you play, you want to win every game and that's why you play hockey," Fasth said. "That's what it's all about. Of course it's a special game, I've played with these guys [Ducks] for over a year. But it's still two points and it's a new game."

The Oilers acquired Fasth from the Ducks a day prior to the March 5 NHL Trade Deadline in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft and a third-round pick in the 2015 draft.

Posted On Sunday, 03.30.2014 / 2:18 PM

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

Oilers looking to continue success against East

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers sometimes wonder how things could be different if they played in the Eastern Conference.

Geography has been detrimental to the Oilers this season. They've struggled against Western Conference opponents, but have held their own against Eastern Conference teams.

The Oilers host the New York Rangers on Sunday with a 14-13-4 record against the East and 5-0-2 in their past seven games against teams from the Metropolitan Division. They are 12-26-5 against teams in their own conference.

"I think the record speaks for itself," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "Where we're at with our size and our strength, most of the teams in the East are built with the same size and strength. That's with my eyes and the feel of the game, not going to look at the stats pages, not looking at the height and weights. But I just feel that the teams in our conference, that are all at the top of the League as well, are built much differently than most of the Eastern Conference teams and us."

Posted On Friday, 03.28.2014 / 4:05 PM

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

Selanne ready for potential final game in Edmonton

EDMONTON -- Anaheim Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne could be playing his final game at Rexall Place on Friday night against the Edmonton Oilers.

Even though the Ducks have two road games left against the Oilers this season, Selanne is not expected to be in the lineup when Anaheim returns to Edmonton on April 6.

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau has not dressed Selanne on back-to-back nights this season and it's expected the veteran wing will sit out the next game against the Oilers and instead play the following night against the Vancouver Canucks.

"I have a lot of memories here, especially the times that I was in Winnipeg," Selanne said. "We used to play the Oilers eight times a year. I've been in this building very often, it's always been a great building. First of all, the ice is the best in the League. It was a good rivalry between Winnipeg and Edmonton. It was a good time and good memories."

Posted On Tuesday, 03.25.2014 / 3:17 PM

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

Oilers' Scrivens moves on from historic game

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens is not one to live in the past.

Scrivens stopped all 59 shots he faced Jan. 29 against the San Jose Sharks, setting an NHL record for most saves in a regulation shutout.

Scrivens will start Tuesday when the Oilers play the Sharks. It's the first time the teams have met since his record-setting effort.

"Honestly, it was a fun game to play in, but that game is behind us," Scrivens said. "We have a game [Tuesday] and I'm not going to be thinking about games in the past, whether it was last night or the last time we played them. It's a game that happened in the past. I'm moving forward."

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I don't know the room very well yet. I don't know how we're going to react in certain situations. We've had a couple of minor tests throughout the [preseason] ... We'll get to know each other as the year goes on. We'll figure it out.

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