Oilers forward Matt Hendricks has been shifted to the middle between Lauri Korpikoski and Iiro Pakarinen. So far, the trio has enjoyed some success particularly last game in Ottawa when they combined for four points.
Hendricks was asked about his on-ice success with the two Finns.
“First off, I’m playing with two great guys in Lauri and Iiro. They’re both very defence-orientated where they can help protect me in the middle a bit. I’m still getting my feet wet, getting used to playing a new position I haven’t played in awhile. They’re protecting me and helping me with net-front coverage in the defensive zone.”
The three players have been a force both offensively and defensively. Even when not putting up points on the scoresheet, they've pinned the opposition deep in their own end for lengthy periods of time which naturally has positive effects.
“They’re both skilled. They both like to make plays, they both like to shoot the puck. And they’re hard to play against down low in the offensive zone. Team defenders have a hard time staying on them and staying with them.”
Hendricks was asked if he's been brushing up on his Finnish now that he's playing with the two players from Finland.
“I look at them and ask, ‘what are you guys talking about? I’m not that bad, am I?’ and they start laughing. It’s all good. We’re having a good time together right now.”
Korpikoski laughed when asked about the foreign language speak between himself and Pakarinen.
“It’s better that me and Iiro talk finish and keep him on the outside. He doesn’t know what’s going on, it’s better that way,” Korpikoski remarked.