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BLOG: About the process, says Eakins

by Marc Ciampa / Edmonton Oilers

After the game, Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins talked about the ongoing process as the Oilers learn to become a more consistent team.

“It’s the process. Our guys, they’re slowly getting it. It takes time to build a program, to understand the program and to get better. Our guys this year have been excellent students of the game. They’re working a lot on the fundamentals. Our group’s different. We’ve got a little bit more NHL experience now. And some of our key guys are getting stronger,” Eakins began.

One of the players making big strides is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who had a goal and an assist with five shots on goal in 20:40 in icetime in the win.

“Again tonight, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. This kid is coming like gangbusters right now and that’s important," Eakins continued. "And we’ve got other guys coming right behind him, too. I thought it was a great team effort.”

Another key indicator of team effort was seeing how the team played while up 2-1. The Rangers didn't get a shot on goal for the first half of the third period.

"We were still being aggressive," Eakins said, answering why the team was successful. "We don’t want to change our game much when we do have the lead. We had success throughout the game playing an aggressive game. Other than tweaking it just a tiny bit, our guys stayed with that aggression.

"When you start getting the result like that, there’s not that negative thought in your head that something bad’s going to happen. It’s, hey, if we continue doing this we’re going to be rewarded. But for me it was our aggression still in the game and not coming off it."

Nugent-Hopkins contrasted the team's performance today with their game in Boston where they did let a 2-1 third period lead slip away.

"Against Boston we didn’t do a good enough job, just a few big mistakes. We limited those tonight. It really goes to show how much more mature our team is.”

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