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BLOG: Eakins: "We need more Hemskys"

by Marc Ciampa / Edmonton Oilers

Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins was asked on Sunday about the compete level of his team and whether he was happy with it to this point in the season. What followed will be of interest to many Oilers fans.

"No," he said, matter-of-factly. "You have to get detailed with it. If I said you work hard, what does that mean? You've got to show instances of what we expect the compete level to be.

"But I will say this. The guy for me, who has been our best forward and who has demonstrated every night a passion for the game and his ability to get in on the forecheck and to protect pucks, to backtrack how we want him to is Hemsky.

"When I was coming in, it was like where's this guy going to fall. Is he in or is he out? He's been unbelievable. I said to our group this morning, 'we need more Ales Hemskys on our team right now. That kind of passion. And that's what I'm looking for.

"And then to show some video -- and listen, I could have done it on numerous players -- show a guy not going in to finish his check, a guy turning over the puck and then literally three minutes later the same player making the right play and competing so hard. It's like Jekkyl and Hyde.

"I think they're trying to find their way, it's like 'okay I'm going to do it the new way' and then they fall back to an old way. But that's okay. I was talking to one of our staff this morning. I didn't think we were going to come in here and flick a switch that I would say do this and they would all turn into robots. There's a muscle memory to this. There's a process to it and I love a good fight. And I am steadfast.

"I'm not going away anytime soon."

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