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BLOG: Eakins says Hendricks "heart beat" of team

by Marc Ciampa / Edmonton Oilers

Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins was asked after the game about what Matt Hendricks has added to the team with his play since joining the squad in mid-January.

“Hendy’s quietly become the heart beat of our team. He’s come in and led very well and as everybody can see, he lays it on the line every night. This guy is not afraid to sacrifice his body. He is 100% a team player and he’s rubbing off on our group,” Eakins began.

The head coach added that having what Hendricks has contributed to the squad on a nightly basis has been huge for the team’s recent resurgence.

“You can look at all the stats you want, but you have to have players like that on your team. They’re quietly off the stat sheets but they’re very loud in the game. They do a lot of the dirty work but a lot of their dirty work helps the team, inspires the team and it rubs off on the team. And that’s critical to us taking the next step.”

Hendricks talked about the team’s 2-1-1 road trip.

“I think it was a good road trip. We battled back in Minnesota to get two points there. We played 40 good minutes of hockey against a very good St. Louis team and then against Detroit we played the type of road hockey we have to play to win in this league. If you take out the 20 minutes in St. Louis it was a great trip. It shows we’re still trying to complete our game and be a more well-rounded group.”

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