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BLOG: Kassian conveys players' sense of urgency

The winger has nine points (6G, 3A) in his last 11 games and highlighted the Oilers need for victories ahead of a three-game road trip beginning Wednesday in Pittsburgh

by Jamie Umbach /

EDMONTON, AB - The Oilers are 12-11-4 on the road this campaign, where they'll be for a crucial upcoming three-game road trip through Pittsburgh, Carolina and Brooklyn starting Wednesday with the club six points back of the Minnesota Wild for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.

Players including Zack Kassian understand the urgency with only 27 games on the NHL regular-season schedule remaining and the need for a solid showing on the road to supplement a home record at Rogers Place that's 2-11-0 in their previous 13 contests.

The Oilers are 1-0-2 on the road since the All-Star break, gathering four out of a possible six points.

"With the remaining games we have, we need to go on a run here," Kassian said on Monday. "It's no secret, but it seems like we're a better road team right now. We don't know why, but we're excited to get on the road and put our best foot forward."

Video: RAW | Zack Kassian 02.11.19

Kassian has enjoyed positive performances statistically as of late with nine points (6G, 3A) in his last 11 outings, and skated alongside Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid during Monday's morning practice.

"I wasn't getting the results, but now they're starting to go in," Kassian said. "I don't read too much into the stats. It's nice to get rewarded with a few but I feel my game was good early on. I just need to continue to get better here and these are important moving forward."

Kassian continued, harking back to the feeling the players felt during the 2016-17 playoff run and the need to iron out mental errors.  

"Whoever was here during the playoff run two seasons ago knows that's what we live for and what we play for," he said. "That's the best time to play hockey. What's the point of playing 82 games if you don't get into the playoffs? We want it, we're just making mental errors that are costing us. Collectively in our group everybody needs to be better."

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